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The Rocha Medal


The Rocha Medal

The ISRM Board decided at its Tokyo meeting in September 1981, to institute an annual prize with a view to honour the memory of Past-President Prof. Manuel Rocha. Profiting from the basis established by Prof. Müller, Prof. Rocha organized the first ISRM Congress and he was the leader that was responsible for transforming the international collaboration carried out in an amateurish way into a real international scientific association, having for the purpose settled the fundamental lines that have guided and supported the ISRM activity along the years.

The Rocha Medal is intended to stimulate young researchers in the field of rock mechanics. The prize, a bronze medal and a cash prize, have been annually awarded since 1982 for an outstanding doctoral thesis selected by a Committee appointed for the purpose.

Starting with the 2010 award, one or two runner up certificates (Proxime Accessit certificates) may also be awarded.

Click here to download the Rocha Medal 2022 announcement

Recipients of the Rocha Medal

YearWinnerCountryThesis SupervisorsUniversitySummary
1982A.P. CunhaPORTUGAL

Mathematical Modelling of Rock Tunnels
1983S. BandisGREECE

Experimental Studies of Scale Effects on Shear Strength and Deformation of Rock Joints
1984B. AmadeiFRANCE

The Influence of Rock Anisotropy on Measurement of Stresses in Situ

Improvements to the Stability of Rock Walls in Open Pit Mines
1986W. PurrerAUSTRIA

Calculation Model for the Behaviour of a Deep-Lying Seam Roadway in a Solid (but cut by Bedding Planes) Surrounding Rock Mass, taking into Consideration the Failure Mechanisms of the Soft Layer Determined In-Situ on Models
1987D. ElsworthUK

Laminar and Turbulent Flow in Rock Fissures and Fissure Networks
1988S. GentierFRANCE

Morphology and Hydromechanical Beheviour of a Natural Fracture in a Granite, under Normal Stress – Experimental and Theoretical Study
1989B. FröhlichGERMANY

Anisotropic Swelling Behaviour of Diagenetically Consolidated Claystones
1990R.K. BrummerSOUTH AFRICA

Fracturing and Deformation at the Edges of Tabular Gold Mining Excavations and the Development of a Numerical Model describing such Phenomena
1991T.H. KleineAUSTRALIA

A Mathematical Model of the Rock Breakage by Blasting
1992A. GhoshINDIA

Fractal and Numerical Models of Explosive Rock Fragmentation (summary not available)

Experimental Study and Analytical Modelling of Compressive Fracture in Brittle Materials (summary not available)
1994S. AkutagawaJAPAN

A Back Analysis Program System for Geomechanics Application
1995C. Derek MartinCANADA

The Strength of Massive Lac du Bonnet Granite around Underground Openings
1996M.P. BoardUSA

Numerical Examination of Mining-Induced Seismicity
1997M. BrudyGERMANY

Determination of In-Situ Stress Magnitude and Orientation of 9 km Depth at the KTB Site
1998F. Mac GregorAUSTRALIA

The Rippability of Rock
1999A. Daehnke (CV not available)SOUTH AFRICA

Stress Wave and Fracture Propagation in Rock
2000P. CosenzaFRANCE

Coupled Effects between Mechanical Behaviour and Mass Transfer Phenomena in Rock Salt

An Investigation into the Identification and Modelling of Time-Dependent Behaviour of Deep Level Excavations in Hard Rock
2002M.S. DiederichsCANADA

Instability of Hard Rockmasses: the Role of Tensile Damage and Relaxation
2003L. M. AndersenSOUTH AFRICA

A Relative Moment Tensor Inversion Technique applied to Seismicity Induced by Mining
2004G. GrasselliITALY

Shear Strength of Rock Joints based on the Quantified Surface Description
2005M. HildyardUK

Wave Interaction with Underground Openings in Fractured Rock
2006D. AskSWEDEN

New Developments of the Integrated Stress Determination Method and Application to the ÄSPÖ Hard Rock Laboratory, Sweden
2007H. YasuharaJAPAN

Thermo-Hydro-Mechano-Chemical Couplings that Define the Evolution of Permeability in Rock Fractures
2008Z.Z. LiangCHINA

Three Dimensional Numerical Modeling of Rock Failure Process
2009G. LiCHINA
Yamaguchi University, JapanExperimental and Numerical Study for Stress Measurement by Jack Fracturing and Estimation of Stress Distribution in Rock Mass
2010J.C. AnderssonSWEDENHåkan StilleChalmers University of Technology, SwedenRock Mass Response to Coupled Mechanical Thermal Loading. Äspö Pillar Stability Experiment, Sweden
2011D. ParkREP. OF KOREA
Seoul National University, KoreaReduction of Blast-Induced Vibration in Tunnelling Using Barrier Holes and Air-deck
2012M.T. ZandarinARGENTINA
Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, SpainThermo-Hydro-Mechanical Analysis OF Joints a Theoretical And Experimental Study
2013M. PierceCANADAPeter Cundall
Geoff Just
University of Queensland, AustraliaA Model for Gravity Flow of Fragmented Rock in Block Caving Mines
2014M.S.A. PereraAUSTRALIARanjith PathegamaMonash University, AustraliaInvestigation of the Effect of Carbon Dioxide Sequestration on Coal Seams: A Coupled Hydro-Mechanical behaviour
2015A.L. BradleyITALYGiovanni GrasselliUniversity of Toronto, CanadaInvestigating the influence of mechanical anisotropy on the fracturing behaviour of brittle clay shales with application to deep geological repositories
2016C.W. BoonMALAYSIAGuy Houlsby
Stefano Utili
University of Oxford, UKDistinct Element Modelling of jointed rock masses: algorithms and their verification
2017B. TatoneCANADAGiovanni GrasselliUniversity of Toronto, CanadaInvestigating the evolution of rock discontinuity asperity degradation and void space morphology under direct shear
2018M. PlessisSOUTH AFRICAFrancois MalanUniversity of Pretoria, South AfricaThe design and behaviour of crush pillars on the Merensky reef
2019Q. LeiCHINAJohn-Paul LathamImperial College London , UKCharacterisation and modelling of natural fracture networks: geometry, geomechanics and fluid flow
2020J. ShangCHINAJared West
Steve Hencher
University of Leeds, UKPersistence and Tensile Strength of Incipient Rock Discontinuities
2021Yasuhiro YokotaJAPANZhiye Zhao
Nanyang Technological University, SingaporeExperimental and Computational Study on Rock Bolt Modelling and its Application on a New Type of Energy-Absorbing Rock Bolt




Rocha Award Runner Up Certificates

YearRunner UpCountrySupervisorsUniversitySummary
2010Yoon JeongseokKOREA
Hydro-Mechanical Coupling of Shear-Induced Rock Fracturing by Bonded Particle Modeling
2010Abbas TaheriIRAN
Properties of Rock Masses by In-situ and Laboratory Testing Methods
2011Bo LiCHINA
Coupled Shear-flow Properties of Rock Fractures
Rock Behaviour of the Bushveld Merensky Reef and the Design of Crush Pillars
2012J. TaronUSADerek ElsworthGeophysical and Geochemical Analyses of Flow and Deformation in Fractured Rock
2013L. HeCHINAMa Guowei Three dimensional numerical manifold method and rock engineering applications
2013A. PerinoITALYGiovanni Barla
Renato Orta
Wave propagation through discontinuous media in rock engineering
2014R. ResendePORTUGALRui Calçada
Luís Lamas
José V. Lemos
2014S. DehkhodaIRANMichael Hood
Habib Alehossein
David Buttsworth
Experimental and Numerical Study of Rock breakage by Pulsed Water Jets
2015Ahmadreza HedayatIRANAntonio Bobet
Laura Pyrak-Nolte
Mechanical and Geophysical Characterization of Damage in Rocks
2016Qianbing ZhangCHINAJ. ZhaoMechanical Behaviour of Rock Materials under Dynamic Loading
2016Silvia DucaITALYClaudio Scavia
Luigi Sambuelli
Massimiliano Mattone
Design of an experimental procedure and set up for the detection of ice segregation phenomena in rock by acoustic emissions
2017Robert BewickCANADAPeter Kaiser
William F. Bawden
Shear Rupture of Massive Brittle Rock under Constant Normal Stress and Stiffness Boundary Conditions
2017Gabriel WaltonUNITED STATESMark DiederichsImproving Continuum Models for Excavations in Rockmasses Under High Stress Through an Enhanced Understanding of Post-Yield Dilatancy
2018Javier Arzúa TouriñoSPAINLeandro AlejanoStudy of the mechanical behavior of intact and jointed rocks in laboratory with particular emphasis on dilatancy
2019Bangbiao WuCHINAKaiwen XiaDynamic Tensile Failure of Rocks Subjected to Simulated In Situ Stresses
2020Yi FangCHINADerek ElsworthInduced microearthquakes and seismicity-permeability relationships in fractures
2021Bing LiCANADAHerbert Einstein
Microseismic and Real-time Imaging of Fractures and Microfractures in Barre Granite and Opalinus Clayshale
2021Wenzhuo CaoCHINASevket Durucan
Ji-Quan Shi
Monitoring and Modelling of Microseismicity Associated with Rock Burst and Gas Outburst Hazards in Coal Mines

Click on the name to download the Curriculum Vitae and on the thesis title to download the thesis summary.