International lecture named after Queen's University professor
By Anne Craig, Communications Officer
In a rare honour, a new lecture has been named after Queen’s University professor Kerry Rowe, a world leader in geoenvironmental engineering. The first R. Kerry Rowe Lecture was presented at the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) quadrennial international conference in Paris, France on 3 September 2013. The ISSMGE is the largest society covering geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineers with 80 national societies making up the ISSMGE.
The naming of the lecture is in recognition of his pioneering research work and the impact it has had on development of the field.
“Of the recognitions that I have been fortunate enough to have received, this will be the most visible in the longer-term,” says Dr. Rowe. “While there are a few distinguished lectures in geotechnical engineering they are mostly named after pioneers who have passed away. I feel very privileged to have this occur during my lifetime and to actually have been able to be involved in the selection of the first lecturer – and hopefully many more in the future.”
Dr. Rowe’s expertise spans a wide range of areas of geoenvironmental engineering including contaminant transport, clean-up of contaminated sites and containment of contaminants. The area that has had the greatest impact on the public is the development of the science and engineering behind modern engineered barriers for providing environmental protection. His work has influenced regulations and modern design and construction practices around the world.
His team has been the only one in the world to have looked at how the entire barrier system works and the components interact. This has included working with an interdisciplinary team to understand, predict, and design landfill drainage systems to minimize the impacts of biologically induced clogging in landfill leachate collections systems and contaminant transport through, and the long-term performance of, liner systems.
Dr. Rowe was named a fellow of the Royal Society earlier this year.