Professor John McCartney, along with Professor Patrick Fox, Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Penn State, and their previous PhD student Yewei Zheng, now an Assistant Professor at Old Dominion University, received the 2018 IGS Award from the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS). The award, given once every four years during the International Conference on Geosynthetics (ICG), recognizes individuals or groups of individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the scientific and engineering development of geosynthetics products and associated technologies. They were chosen for their research contributions published in a series of 6 journal papers that involved experimental and numerical modeling to uncover significant findings about the response of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) bridge abutments in terms of service limit, strength limit and seismic loading conditions. Although GRS bridge abutments are extensively used in transportation infrastructure and show worthy field performance under service loading conditions, the role of various design parameters isn’t adequately understood. There are also concerns about the performance of these structures in high seismic zones. The researchers used full-system numerical simulations of GRS bridge abutments, 3D numerical simulations of GRS mini-piers and longitudinal and transverse shaking table tests on half-scale GRS bridge abutment systems to help shed light on these issues. Professor McCartney has been a member of IGS since 2000 and received the Young IGS Award in 2008 for his research on the behavior of geosynthetics in contact with unsaturated soils. He is a member of the editorial board of Geosynthetics International, one of the two IGS journals.