Rocha Medal 2016: winner announced

Congratulations to Dr Chia Weng Boon ( St Cross College), an alumnus from the Department of Engineering Science now working in Malaysia, who has been announced by the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) as the winner of the 2016 Rocha Medal for the best thesis worldwide in rock mechanics. Boon’s thesis was titled: “Distinct Element Modelling of Jointed Rock Masses: Algorithms and their Verification”.

Dr Chia Weng BoonProfessor Guy Houlsby, one of Boon’s supervisors at the Department, said: “This is a very remarkable honour – especially as rock mechanics is not our speciality here”.

The Rocha Award Committee selected the winner of the Rocha Medal 2016 at the recent ISRM Council meeting in Montréal in conjunction with the 13th ISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics, hosted by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), in collaboration with three top Canadian universities: McGill University, Queen’s University, and University of Toronto, as well as the Canadian Rock Mechanics Association (CARMA). The American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA) also supported the ISRM. The Award will be presented to Dr Boon during the ISRM International Symposium in 2016 in Turkey.

This premier technical mining conference brought together over 1,000 high profile international researchers, engineers and practitioners to present the latest accomplishments, innovations and potential future directions in rock mechanics and its applications around the world.

Dr Boon said: “I am delighted that the International Society of Rock Mechanics found the thesis meaningful.  There are two subjects on which the findings are particularly notable for practising engineers in the industry.  The first is on the design of supports for underground openings such as tunnels or caverns in a jointed rock mass.  The second is on slope stability and kinematics in 3-D due to the impounding of water in dam construction”.