Geosynthetic Institute



Y. (Grace) Hsuan, Ph.D.

Associate Director






Dr. Y. (Grace) Hsuan is a Professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.She is also the Associate Director of the Geosynthetic Research Institute and her career spans twenty-five years of research and development experience.


Grace was born in China and grew up in Hong Kong, and then she went to United Kingdom for her undergraduate and graduate studies.In 1981 she was awarded a B.Sc. in Materials Engineering, followed by a Ph.D. in 1985, also in Materials Engineering at Imperial College of the University of London.She did post-doctoral research for one-year.She immigrated to America where she began her geosynthetic experiences in 1986 with the Geosynthetic Research Institute.She has continued this activity to date and is currently the Associate Director of GRI (in addition to being a full professor with teaching, advising and service activities).Some of her R & D activities are as follows:


         Evaluation on stress crack resistance of high density polyethylene (HDPE) corrugated pipe resins

         Investigation on the field performance of HDPE corrugated pipes

         Evaluation of the effect of post consumer recycled polyethylene resins on stress crack resistance of virgin high density polyethylene resins and other material properties

         Depletion mechanisms of antioxidants in HDPE geomembranes under different environmental conditions

         Lifetime prediction of HDPE geomembranes and HDPE geogrids

         Evaluation and lifetime prediction on the hydrolysis resistance to polyester (PET) geotextiles

         Viscoelasticity behavior of geomembranes, including creep and stress relaxation

         Ultraviolet degradation of geomembranes, geotextiles and geogrids

         Freeze-thaw effects of geomembrane sheets and seams

         Cold temperature tensile behavior of various polymeric types of geomembranes

         Failure analysis of geomembranes (including PVC, CSPE, HDPE and fPP materials)

         Development of a specification for HDPE geomembranes

         Evaluation on the long-term chemical resistance of Poly terephthalated (PET) based on their molecular weight and carboxyl end group.Establishing standard test method for these two projects by working with PET resin and geogrid manufacturers.

         Established the ASTM test method, the notched constant tensile load (NCTL) test, to assess the stress crack resistance of HDPE geomembranes

         Setup and organization of GRIís Home Page on the Internet

         Development, setup and implementation of a polymer identification laboratory

         Developing and implementing test methods and standards involving geosynthetic materials


The above activity has lead to over 100 publications.


Dr. Hsuan has been active in a number of professional organizations


         North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS)

         International Geosynthetics Society (IGS)

         American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM)

         Materials Research Society (MRS)

         Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)

         Member of TRB-AFF7O (Culverts and Hydraulics Structures)