Geosynthetic Institute



George R. Koerner, Ph.D., P.E. and CQA




Geo K 2017 (2)




Dr. George R. Koerner’s interest in geosynthetics spans his entire professional life from undergraduate work in the 1980’s to the present. 


George was born and raised in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area and gained BSCE (1985), MSCE (1987), and Ph.D. (1993) degrees in Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia.  Between BSCE and MSCE degrees he worked for Schnabel Foundation Co. and S & ME, Inc.  He is a Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and is an ASQC Quality Auditor.


George’s master thesis was on direct shear testing of geosynthetic interfaces and his doctoral dissertation was on landfill leachate clogging of soil and geosynthetic filters.  Both are regularly cited to this day.  Beginning as a research assistant, then research associate in the Geosynthetic Research Institute his task segued into Assistant Director, Associate Director, Director Designate and Director of the Geosynthetic Institute.  During these 30-years of geosynthetics activities, Dr. Koerner’s output has been tremendous; for example, he has to his credit the following publications:



·         Books Edited or Co-Edited – 15

·         Journal Papers – 18

·         Symposium and Conference Publications – 40

·         Book Chapters and Published Reports – 4

·         Miscellaneous Articles – 30


In the course of developing these publications (and the usual verbal presentation of the material), George has received numerous awards.  They are the following:


·         Chi Epsilon National Honorary Society, 1985

·         Site Engineers Annual Soil Mechanics and Foundation Award, 1985

·         ASTM’s D-35 T.A. Haliburton Memorial Award, 1993

·         NAGS, Environmental Technology Award of Excellence, 1995

·         ASTM’s D-35 T.A. Haliburton Memorial Award, 1996

·         Geotechnical Engineer-of-the-Year Philadelphia Section ASCE, 2004

·         ASTM D35 Award of Appreciation, 2011

·         ASTM Fellow, 2013


George’s memberships are in the following organizations:


·         American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE

·         American Society of Testing and Materials, ASTM

·         North American Geosynthetics Society, NAGS

·         International Geotextile Society, IGS


There are two major programs within GSI which have been developed and managed by George which are outstanding and have had a major positive impact on the geosynthetic industry.  These two very successful programs are the following:


·         The Geosynthetic Accreditation Institute-Laboratory Accreditation Program (GAI-LAP) which has 70 laboratories testing as many as 230 individual tests which are evaluated by proficiency tests each year and audited every five years.

·         The Geosynthetic Certification Institute-Inspector Certification Program (GCI-ICP) which has 400+ certified inspectors for the installation of geosynthetics and compacted clay liners.