TRI Environmental 2018 Recap, 2019 Developments

In keeping with tradition, we take this time to offer you best wishes for a successful 2019 and to share news from TRI’s global team. We have just completed a successful and adventurous 2018 effort involving internal transitions and associated business growth and development. We give thanks for the many blessings we have received along the way as we continue to adapt and grow for continued service to our clients.

A synopsis of the letter follows. The full letter (PDF link to the right) includes greater detail on all items.

Highlights in this year’s Letter to the Industry

Continuous Internal Improvements
We fully implemented new accounting and laboratory information management systems (LIMS) in 2018 to streamline sample tracking and customer response times.

People News
Dr. Jeffrey Kuhn, P.E. and Ms. Patricia Zabaleta have been promoted; Ms. Kendall Villareal has joined the Geosynthetic Conformance Laboratory as a Project Manager; Jacqueline Dettman is retiring (!!) … but will serve as a Senior Project Advisor during the transition; and Sam Allen has been re-elected to the IGS Council and the GSI Board.

Enhanced Focus on In-Plant Sampling
Our independent, in-plant geosynthetic sampling services are widely recognized throughout the global materials procurement industry; yet, we often encounter questions about the program. In 2019, we will increase our focus on communicating the strict protocols our staff work under and our sampling procedures. We are committed to transparency with our clients in this vital manufacturing stage.

Global Services Expansion Continues
TRI Africa Environmental Services Pty. Ltd., headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, was officially announced in 2018! Learn more about TRI Africa in the letter and the services being led by Ms. Nadia Minnaar.

Laboratory Equipment & Infrastructure
We’ve got numerous equipment and capacity announcements in the letter, including:

  • Segmental Concrete Block Unit and Pullout Testing – A new large-scale, high-capacity load frame capable of shear forces up to 440 kN (100,000 lbf) joins our smaller block system load frame (130 kN (30,000 lbf)). We also continue to use 6 sustained load connection creep frames.
  • Interface friction testing – Turnaround time was greatly reduced in 2018, as we now offer 26 interface shear strength boxes, including 5 high-load hydraulic load frames and 5 low-load shear boxes
  • The AASHTO-accredited Geotechnical Laboratory is supported by 55 flexible wall permeability, 25 triaxial, 9 direct shear, 20 incremental consolidation, three CRS, and DSS capabilities. The rock mechanics and wet chemistry laboratories also provide substantial support.
  • Geosynthetic Clay Liner testing growth – Regulatory and industry-specific demands have increased investment in GCL testing, such as for hydraulic conductivity testing with potentially incompatible aqueous solutions and commercial testing of polymer-enhanced GCLs.

TRI Transportation Institute (TRITI)
Our Greenville, South Carolina testing center has added an Accelerated Pavement Tester (APT) and cyclic plate load (CPL) testing capabilities. The APT rolling wheel load test is conducted in a full-scale, concrete-lined pit and evaluates new construction, overlay durability, and more. The CPL test is designed to provide a cost-effective approach to developing a Traffic Benefit Ratio (TBR) with geosynthetic-enhanced road structures. Eli Cuelho, TRI’s Director of Transportation Research Services, leads the transportation systems research initiatives for TRI.

Evaluation of Stormwater Quality Devices
In 2018, TRI expanded its stormwater quality device testing with full-scale hydraulic evaluations of manufactured treatment devices (MTDs) and nutrient removal products. Learn more in the letter about the ASTM standards involved here the work Joel Sprague (TRI South Carolina Technical Director) is conducting with the industry.

Rockfall Product Testing
We are working with the Association of Geohazard Professionals (AGHP) to refine testing procedures for rockfall mitigation systems and technologies. Punch, puncture, and tensile testing is in progress with solutions such as rockfall checkfences, barrier fences, heavy-duty mesh netting, rockfall catch areas, sprayed fibre concrete (fibrecrete), and modifications to drainage systems (e.g., channel training works).

Leak Location Services
The Liner Integrity Survey and Assessment Division of TRI performed a record number of electrical leak location (ELL) surveys in 2018, encompassing more than 10 million square feet. TRI’s Australasia, China, and Brazil offices also continue to offer this service and TRI Africa is performing ELL too, as it is required in South Africa.

We’ve also got new LISA 3000 Series ELL equipment and a new and very important standard seems on the horizon for 2019 to support the ELL field.

2019 TRI Short Courses and Technical Training Schedule
We are now in our 16th year of offering high-quality professional development education around the world!

April 7 – 12, 2019 in Austin, Texas.

  • Liner Integrity Surveys/Assessments (LISA) – April 7
  • Slope Stability of Containment Systems – April 8 – 9
  • CQA/CQC for Geosynthetic Installations – April 10
  • CQA/CQC for CCL and GCL Lining Systems – April 11
  • GSI GCI-ICP CQA Exams – April 12

We appreciate your support and business. You motivate us to continually improve our dedication to providing unequalled services for geosynthetic testing and research. We are committed to assisting your drive for success with your geosynthetic and geotechnical projects by bringing you the highest quality and most responsive service in independent, third-party support.

Please contact us if you have any questions, suggestions, or comments. We look forward to working with you in 2019.

– Sam Allen



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