J. P. Giroud  —  Biographical Note

Independent consulting engineer in geosynthetics and geotechnical engineering
Civil engineer from Ecole Centrale Paris, PhD in geotechnical engineering
Member of the US National Academy of Engineering
Chevalier in the Order of the Légion d’Honneur
Doctor Honoris Causa of the Technical University of Bucharest (Romania)
Vienna (Austria) and ASCE (USA) Terzaghi Lecturer
Mercer Lecturer and Victor de Mello Lecturer
Past President of the International Geosynthetics Society
Chairman of the Editorial Board of Geosynthetics International
Chairman Emeritus of Geosyntec Consultants

Dr. Giroud, a pioneer of geosynthetics since 1970, is recognized worldwide as a geosynthetics leading expert. In 1977, he coined the words “geotextile” and “geomembrane”, thus starting the “geo-terminology”. In 1982-83, he was instrumental in the formation of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS), of which he was President until 1990. A former professor of geotechnical engineering, Dr. Giroud has been Director (1978-1983) of the Geotextiles and Geomembranes Group of Woodward-Clyde Consultants, a major consulting firm, now URS. In 1983, he co-founded GeoServices, which became Geosyntec Consultants, of which he was Chairman of the Board. In 2001, he retired from Geosyntec Consultants, with the title of Chairman Emeritus, to work as an independent consultant (JP GIROUD, INC.). He is Chairman of the Editorial Board of Geosynthetics International, and was Chairman of the Editorial Board of Geotextiles and Geomembranes (1984-1994).

Dr. Giroud has developed many of the design methods used in geosynthetics engineering for filters, drainage systems, unpaved roads, liner leakage evaluation, leachate collection and leakage detection layers, liner system stability, reinforcement of liners and soil layers overlying voids, geomembrane stress and strain analysis, evaluation of geomembrane properties, connections between geomembranes and rigid structures, geomembrane uplift by wind, etc.

Dr. Giroud, considered the “father of geosynthetic liner systems”, has developed many methods for the design of liner systems in landfills, reservoirs, dams, tailings dams, etc. He wrote three books published as special issues of Geosynthetics International: “Design of Geomembrane Applications”, “Liquid Migration Control Using Geosynthetic Liner Systems”, and “Liquid Collection Systems”. Dr. Giroud has originated several geosynthetics applications: first nonwoven geotextile filter (1970), first geotextile in a dam (1970), first geotextile cushioning a geomembrane (1971), first double liner with geomembranes (1974), first entirely geosynthetic double liner system with two geomembranes and a geonet leakage detection system (1981). He played a key role in the development of liner construction quality assurance (1983-1984) and the development of exposed geomembrane landfill covers (1995-1998). Dr. Giroud has also extensive field experience gained at geosynthetic construction sites in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Far East.

Dr. Giroud has been involved in the design, performance analysis or expert testimony for hundreds of structures with geosynthetics. He is recognized as a leading expert in the analysis and remediation of failures associated with geosynthetics.

Dr. Giroud was chairman of the 2nd International Conference on Geotextiles (1982) and the International Conference on Geomembranes (1984). He served two terms as chairman of the Technical Committee on Geosynthetics of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). He is the author of 425 publications and the editor of a book of case histories on most applications of geosynthetics. His work on testing is used in standard test methods (ASTM, GRI). He wrote in 1991 the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Design Standards on Embankment Dams with Geomembranes (302 pages). Since 1980, he has developed unpaved road design methods used worldwide. Dr. Giroud is the author of a monumental Geosynthetics Bibliography (1721 pages, more than 10,000 references) and four books on foundation design.

Dr. Giroud has taught courses on geosynthetics at conferences and for organizations (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (which he advised for the development of landfill regulations), Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Association of State Dam Safety Officials). He has lectured worldwide and has been keynote lecturer at numerous conferences. In 2005, he delivered the prestigious “Vienna Terzaghi Lecture”, and wrote the chapter on filter criteria in the book commemorating the 75th anniversary of Terzaghi’s book “Erdbaumechanik”. Dr. Giroud has delivered the 2005-2006 Mercer Lectures, a lecture series endorsed jointly by the IGS and the ISSMGE in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.

Dr. Giroud has received awards from the French Society of Engineers and Scientists, the Industrial Fabrics Association International, and the IGS (1994 for liner leakage prediction and 2004 for filter design). In 1994, the IGS named its highest award “The Giroud Lecture”, “in recognition of the invaluable contributions of Dr. J.P. Giroud to the technical advancement of the geosynthetics discipline”. In 2002, he became Honorary Member of the IGS with the citation “Dr. Giroud is truly the father of the IGS and the geosynthetics discipline”. In 2005, Dr. Giroud has been awarded the status of “hero” of the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In 2007, Dr. Giroud has been appointed Doctor Honoris Causa of the Technical University of Bucharest, Romania. In 2008, Dr. Giroud presented the Terzaghi Lecture, the highest award bestowed on a geotechnical engineer by the ASCE. In 2009, Dr. Giroud has been elected to the US National Academy of Engineering. In 2010, Dr. Giroud was appointed Chevalier in the Order of the Légion d’Honneur. In 2013, he received the prestigious Felix Centraliens award in Paris; and, in 2014, the IGS Service Award as co-founder of the two IGS journals. In 2016, Dr. Giroud presented the Victor de Mello Lecture, an award of the ISSMGE.

Dr. Giroud is currently involved in presenting lectures, writing papers and books, providing expert testimony for litigations, participating in research programs, and providing consulting services.


Dr. J.P. Giroud ECP, PhD

Member of the
US National Academy of Engineering


To contact J.P. Giroud: jpg@jpgiroud.com