Tensar Mercer Lecture Series

Welcome to the Mercer Lecture Series

Establishing future direction for those involved in the geotechnical, geosynthetics and civil engineering fields.

The University of Texas at Austin
Immediate Past-President, International Geosynthetics Society  

Stabilization of Paved Roads using Geosynthetics

Stabilization of pavement system involves placing a geosynthetic at the bottom or within the pavement base course in order to increase its load-carrying capacity. The base mechanical properties are improved because of the lateral restraint induced by the geosynthetic by minimizing deformations of the unbound granular material. There is clear evidence that geosynthetic stabilization has led to an increased design life of pavements for a given base thickness as well as to a decreased base course thickness for a given pavement design life. In addition, geosynthetic stabilization has been observed to result in significantly improved performance for pavements founded on problematic soils (e.g. on expansive clay subgrades).

Significant advances are being made towards identifying and quantifying the parameters that govern the stabilization of paved roads. This lecture provides an overview and discussion of current methodologies used in the design of geosynthetic-stabilized pavement systems. An overview is also presented of experimental, analytical and field monitoring evaluations that have been conducted to evaluate the geosynthetic stabilization function. The confined stiffness of the soil-geosynthetic composite under small displacements is identified as a parameter that provides good basis for the design of geosynthetic-stabilized pavements. Proper quantification of the parameters governing the behavior of geosynthetic-stabilized pavements is expected to trigger a significant increase in the adoption of geosynthetic stabilization of paved roads.


The Mercer Lecture is a biennial lecture sponsored by Tensar International, with the endorsement of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) and the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS).

The series was established in 1992 to provide individuals who have made significant technical contributions to the advancement of geosynthetics the opportunity to present their work at international conferences around the world. They are held in honour of the late Dr Brian Mercer, the inventor of geogrids and a strong advocate for innovation, research and development. For more information about Dr Mercer, click here

The key objective of the lecture is to help promote the co-operation of information exchange between the geotechnical engineering profession and the geosynthetics industry by giving an eminent professor the opportunity to undertake a lecture tour on the subject of Geosynthetics in Geotechnical Engineering.

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