GSI Prospectus




The following graphic illustrates how the Geosynthetic Institute (GSI) and its interrelated institutes are positioned to maintain a balance of activities between the three major groups involved with geosynthetic materials, applications, and related issues.


Clearly, those organizations dealing with the public interest and having long-term liability for systems which include geosynthetics have both the reason and need to be involved in GSI.  Thus public agencies and private owners form one part of the triangle.  These organizations usually regulate or initiate a project and by so doing involve many others.


In utilizing geosynthetic materials, both the manufacturers and their raw material producers have an obvious direct involvement and form a second part of the triangle.  The raw materials involved are polymer resins and the accompanying carbon blacks, additives, stabilizers and anti-oxidants.  Contractors and installation companies also form a critical role in this group.


The third part of the triangle consists of the group which interfaces directly with the other two groups.  They are the design consultants, testing laboratories and associated monitoring organizations who develop site specific plans, specifications and quality assurance documents.


All of these organizations are essential components of GSI and its affiliated institutes for the proper use and understanding of geosynthetic materials and their myriad applications. 


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·      GSI is the umbrella organization for the following interrelated institutes;


1.   Geosynthetic Research Institute (GRI)

2.   Geosynthetic Information Institute (GII)

3.   Geosynthetic Education Institute (GEI),

4.   Geosynthetic Accreditation Institute (GAI)

5.   Geosynthetic Certification Institute (GCI)


·      GSI was Incorporated in the State of Delaware on December 16, 1991.

·      GSI is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization as of September 17, 1993.

·      GSI is established through Institute Bylaws approved on December 11, 1994.

·      GSI is advised by a 9-person, member elected, board of directors.

·      GSI is supported by annual membership subscription and research contracts/grants/awards.

·      The location of GSI (about 4 km from the Philadelphia International Airport) is:


Geosynthetic Institute
475 Kedron Avenue
Folsom, PA 19033-1208 USA
Telephone: (610) 522-8440
Fax: (610) 522-8441


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Mission Statement


GSI constitutes a diverse assembly of agencies, corporations, companies, partnerships, and groups who actively engage in the manufacturing, design and use of geosynthetics as engineering materials.  The GSI mission is to develop and transfer knowledge, assess and critique geosynthetics, and provide service to the member organizations.


Geosynthetics consist of the following polymeric materials used in environmental, geotechnical, transportation, hydraulic engineering, and private development applications:


  • geotextiles – porous textiles
  • geomembranes – impermeable liners
  • geogrids – reinforcement grids
  • geonets – drainage nets (also geospacers)
  • geosynthetic clay liners –bentonite layers in/on other geosynthetics
  • geopipe – buried plastic pipe
  • geofoam – lightweight fill
  • geocomposites – various assemblages of geosynthetic and sometimes soil materials


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Goals and Objectives


The goals and objectives of GSI are to develop, investigate and implement the various facets of geosynthetics recognizing them as engineering materials.  This includes, but is not limited to, the following specific tasks:


1.       Conduct applied research on the engineering aspects of geosynthetics.

2.       Conduct basic research on resins, additives, stabilizers, antioxidants, fillers and modifiers used to manufacture geosynthetics.

3.       Develop test methods, standards of practice, standard guides, and product specifications for manufacturing, design and installation.

4.       Provide and implement geosynthetic certification and accreditation procedures.

5.       Provide training and tutorial services to member organizations and their employees.

6.       Develop and provide courses, webinars, symposia, workshops and training sessions.

7.       Provide geosynthetics information retrieval services.

8.       Provide publications in the form of newsletters, books, manuals, reports, journals, papers, articles, notes, and memos.

9.       Provide forensic services on both field successes and failures.

10.    Provide conflict resolution services between and on behalf of member organizations


Within the above specific tasks it is the goal and objective of GSI to be the conscience of the industry and to provide an ongoing and sustainable center of excellence for all types of geosynthetics.


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Affiliated Organizations


In order to provide geosynthetics-related global outreach, a number of associations called “affiliated organizations” have been implemented, e.g., Korea, Taiwan and India.  Their mandate is to provide for technology transfer from GSI to their respective countries in their native language and to develop research and development focused on their particular situations.


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Centers of Excellence


In specific application areas where the use of geosynthetics is underutilized, centers of excellence can be initiated accordingly.  Such centers are typically with universities where such expertise exists.  Examples are geosynthetics in reinforcement applications, hydraulic engineering applications, etc.


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The Structure of GSI




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GSI’s Interrelated Institutes


1. Geosynthetic Research Institute (GRI)


·      Incorporated in the State of Delaware on August 12, 1986 as Geosynthetic Research Incorporated.

·      Name amended to Geosynthetic Research Institute on March 3, 1989.

·      Sometimes affiliated with Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

·      Permanent staff who are assisted by technicians and graduate students.

·      Approximately 24 research projects are presently ongoing.

·      Included in these research projects are 10 in geoenvironmental related applications, 10 in transportation/geotechnical related applications and 4 in hydraulic related applications.

·      Most projects are long-term in their duration (generally, short-term projects are referred to the member organizations; mainly consultants and testing laboratories).

·      Major projects on lifetime prediction of HDPE, LLDPE, fPP, EPDM and PVC geomembranes, PP and PET geotextiles, HDPE and PET geogrids, and HDPE geopipes are ongoing.

·      Stress crack behavior and prevention in geomembranes and geopipes are priority research projects.

·      Evaluation of the behavior of antioxidants in geosynthetic formulations is an ongoing study.

·      Three-dimensional axisymmetric tension behavior of geomembranes at extremely slow pressurization rates is being investigated.

·      Life cycle benefits of geotextile separators in extending highway pavement performance is also a priority effort.

·      In-situ monitoring of landfills insofar as liner and cover temperatures, waste degradation over time, and behavior of leachate collection systems.


Information on GRI can be obtained from:


Dr. George R. Koerner


Geosynthetic Institute

475 Kedron Avenue

Folsom, PA  19033-1208  USA

Phone: (610) 522-8440

Fax: (610) 522-8441



2. Geosynthetic Information Institute (GII) 


·         The GII provides technical information to all of the GSI member organizations.

·         Information is daylighted in hard copy by means of a quarterly Newsletter/Report.  Each of the institutes are highlighted and their respective programs are reviewed and updated.

·         Information is also daylighted on the Internet via our website which is accessed via <>. 

·         This website has separate sections on

-   background/prospectus

-   current member organizations

-   guides and specifications

-   public information

-   member information

·         The public information file has multiple parts including links to most of the geosynthetics community and an updated list of laboratories with their accredited test methods.

·         The member information file is accessed only by password.  It includes test methods, proprietary report titles/abstracts, a key word search of the geosynthetic literature (approx. 35,000 citations), example problems, and frequently asked questions and answers.

·         Specific, project related, information is interactively obtained by member organizations via the website.

·         GII develops geosynthetic product specifications.  As such, the specific test methods, minimum (or maximum) property values and recommended frequency of testing are prescribed.  They are available free to everyone who has an interest. 

·         GII also develops geosynthetic test methods, guides, and practices.  These items are intended to function until other groups, such as ASTM or ISO, develop standards of their own.

·         These standards are available as a published set and currently comprise 105 separate standards documents.


Information on GII is available from:


Ms. Marilyn Ashley
Geosynthetic Institute
475 Kedron Avenue
Folsom, PA 19033-1208 USA
Telephone: (610) 522-8440
Fax: (610) 522-8441


3. Geosynthetic Education Institute (GEI)


  • One-day courses on geosynthetics in waste containment, transportation/geotechnical systems and private development, along with a quality control/quality assurance course are presented on a regular basis to member organizations and state/federal agencies at their home locations.
  • Distance learning can be described as interactive learning which is available at the time, location and discretion of the user/student.
  • GEI has produced two sets of ten 1-hour videotapes. One is on the topic of "Geosynthetics in Waste Containment" the other on "Geosynthetics in Transportation/Geotechnical Engineering Systems".
  • The tapes are available for purchase or rental.
  • A series of four Internet courses are available. Topics are geosynthetics in waste containment, transportation, private development and QC/QA.
  • The annual GRI conference is held each year in December. Past conference themes have been on durability, seaming, resins/manufacturing, landfill closures, filtration/drainage, soft soil stabilization, infrastructure remediation, performance, etc.
  • Briefings and seminars are available to member organizations at their facilities on an annual basis. The topics are mutually decided upon and the sessions last from 2 to 8 hours.
  • Tutorials (mainly for laboratory managers and technicians) are available to member organizations at GSI’s facilities. The sessions range from 4 hours to 2 days.


Information on GEI can be obtained from:


Ms. Jamie R. Koerner

475 Kedron Avenue

Folsom, PA  19033-1208  USA

Phone:  (610) 522-8440

Fax:  (610) 522-8441



4. Geosynthetic Accreditation Institute (GAI)


·         GSI regularly presents live on-line webinars of 90-minute duration for various professional organizations. A schedule is available. They all carry 1.5 professional development hours, or PHDs.

·         One-day, on-line courses are available on a schedule, or arranged basis. Focus is on waste containment and MSE wall construction inspection. Both are integrated in our certification programs.

·         GSI has approximately 60 power point presentations (each approximately 0-75 minutes long) available for on-line presentations. This form of distance learning is scheduled on an ad-hoc basis to members (free) and non-members (nominal fee).

·         The entire 914 page textbook “Designing With Geosynthetics” is available as a bundled CD-set consisting of ca. 3000 ppt slides with voice. It is keyed-into the sixth edition published in 2012.

·         Briefings and seminars are available to member organizations at their facilities on an annual basis.  The topics are mutually decided upon and the sessions last from 2 to 8 hours.

·         Tutorials (mainly for laboratory managers and technicians) are available to member organizations at GSI’s facilities.  The sessions range from 4 hours to 2 days.


Information on GAI can be obtained from:

Dr. George R. Koerner, CQA


475 Kedron Avenue

Folsom, PA  19033-1208  USA

Phone:  (610) 522-8440

Fax:  (610) 522-8441



5. Geosynthetic Certification Institute (GCI)


  • Two GCI’s Inspectors Certification Programs (GCI-ICP) are currently available.
  • Our program focuses on Construction Quality Assurance (CQA) as practiced by field inspectors who monitor the installation of liquid and solid waste containment systems such as landfills, canals, impoundments, etc.
  • The other program focuses on construction inspection of geosynthetic reinforced walls, berms and slopes.
  • The necessity of proper CQA has been demonstrated innumerable times via improperly performing systems (sometimes failures) and for liner systems by electric leak integrity system surveys.
  • These two programs are also of interest to Construction Quality Control (CQC) organizations and personnel.
  • Candidates for successful certification require:
    • recommendation by superior
    • minimum 6-mos. field experience
    • acceptable personal resume
    • successfully pass a proctored multiple choice examination
    • pay one-time fee good for 5-years
    • There is a special (additional) examination for inspectors of compacted clay liners.
  • The program is presently required for CQA personnel by several private waste companies and several state environmental agencies as well.
  • An 11-person steering committee gives oversight and updates the examinations on a mutual basis.


Information can be obtained from:

Ms. Jamie R. Koerner

475 Kedron Avenue

Folsom, PA  19033-1208  USA

Phone:  (610) 522-8440

Fax:  (610) 522-8441


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Membership Privileges

GSI provides for its members the privileges that are listed below:


1.     Voting in all GSI matters

2.     Eligibility for board of directors

3.     Annual traveling in-house seminar

4.     Training at GSI laboratories

5.     Input as to research project selection

6.     Guidance and critique of research projects

7.     Proprietary reports on the results of research projects

8.     Survey results on specific topics involving geosynthetics

9.     Access to “Members Only” portion of the Home Page on the Internet

10.  Keyword search on the geosynthetic literature on the GSI Website

11.  Member information posted on the GSI Website

12.  Direct linkage, i.e., “hot wiring” to individual member organizations Home Pages

13.  Peer review of manuals, brochures, reports, concepts, and related information

14.  Direct contact and relations with respect to litigious and insurance matters

15.  Focus group participation

16.  Briefings and tutorials at GSI

17.  Discounts on GSI Webinars and On-line Courses

18.  Data from all affiliated institutes

19.  Development of GRI standard test methods/practices/guides/specifications

20.  Quarterly Newsletter Reports

21.  Discounts on publications

22.  Document/brochure/project guidance and advice on an as-required basis

23.  Direct and immediate consultation with GSI personnel and staff at any time

24.  Conflict resolution services between, or on behalf of, member organizations



Membership Fees



Full Member


First Year

Subsequent Years






*Only for State and Governmental Agencies

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·         The Geosynthetic Institute (GSI) is the umbrella organization which directs and guides its affiliated institutes.  The interrelated institutes are GRI, GII, GEI, GAI and GCI as described in this prospectus.

·         Membership in GSI automatically brings full membership to all of the interrelated institutes.

·         An Associate Membership status (at the present reduced fee of $1000 per year) is available for Federal, State and Governmental Agencies.

·         Bylaws of GSI are available upon request.

·         GSI functions through advice by its nine person Board of Directors.

·         GSI operates via a Director, Associate Directors and associated staff and colleagues.

·         GSI and its interrelated institutes (such as GRI, GAI, etc.) are funded by contracts, grants and consortium fees from the member organizations.

·         Since GSI is a nonprofit organization under the IRS 501(c)(3) tax-free status, an Endowment Fund exist.  It is in existence and is supervised by a Financial Oversight Committee.

·         Funds are hereby solicited via special projects, honoraria, corporate gifts and personal gifts.

·         Affiliated-Organizations are based within non-U.S. agencies and/or universities in which English is not the major language and are formed to provide geosynthetics outreach in an orderly and proactive manner.

·         For additional information regarding this prospectus and/or questions on the activities described herein please contact:


Dr. George R. Koerner, CQA


475 Kedron Avenue

Folsom, PA  19033-1208  USA

Phone:  (610) 522-8440

Fax:  (610) 522-8441


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