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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 2020 announcement

Recipients of the Rocha Medal

1982 A.P. Cunha PORTUGAL Mathematical Modelling of Rock Tunnels
1983 S. Bandis GREECE Experimental Studies of Scale Effects on Shear Strength and Deformation of Rock Joints
1984 B. Amadei FRANCE The Influence of Rock Anisotropy on Measurement of Stresses in Situ
1985 P.M. Dight AUSTRALIA Improvements to the Stability of Rock Walls in Open Pit Mines
1986 W. Purrer AUSTRIA 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
1987 D. Elsworth UK Laminar and Turbulent Flow in Rock Fissures and Fissure Networks
1988 S. Gentier FRANCE Morphology and Hydromechanical Beheviour of a Natural Fracture in a Granite, under Normal Stress – Experimental and Theoretical Study
1989 B. Fröhlich GERMANY Anisotropic Swelling Behaviour of Diagenetically Consolidated Claystones
1990 R.K. Brummer SOUTH AFRICA Fracturing and Deformation at the Edges of Tabular Gold Mining Excavations and the Development of a Numerical Model describing such Phenomena
1991 T.H. Kleine AUSTRALIA A Mathematical Model of the Rock Breakage by Blasting
1992 A. Ghosh INDIA Fractal and Numerical Models of Explosive Rock Fragmentation (summary not available)
1993 O. Reyes W. PHILIPPINES Experimental Study and Analytical Modelling of Compressive Fracture in Brittle Materials (summary not available)
1994 S. Akutagawa JAPAN A Back Analysis Program System for Geomechanics Application
1995 C. Derek Martin CANADA The Strength of Massive Lac du Bonnet Granite around Underground Openings
1996 M.P. Board USA Numerical Examination of Mining-Induced Seismicity
1997 M. Brudy GERMANY Determination of In-Situ Stress Magnitude and Orientation of 9 km Depth at the KTB Site
1998 F. Mac Gregor AUSTRALIA The Rippability of Rock
1999 A. Daehnke (CV not available) SOUTH AFRICA Stress Wave and Fracture Propagation in Rock
2000 P. Cosenza FRANCE Coupled Effects between Mechanical Behaviour and Mass Transfer Phenomena in Rock Salt
2001 D.F. Malan SOUTH AFRICA An Investigation into the Identification and Modelling of Time-Dependent Behaviour of Deep Level Excavations in Hard Rock
2002 M.S. Diederichs CANADA Instability of Hard Rockmasses: the Role of Tensile Damage and Relaxation
2003 L. M. Andersen SOUTH AFRICA A Relative Moment Tensor Inversion Technique applied to Seismicity Induced by Mining
2004 G. Grasselli ITALY Shear Strength of Rock Joints based on the Quantified Surface Description
2005 M. Hildyard UK Wave Interaction with Underground Openings in Fractured Rock
2006 D. Ask SWEDEN New Developments of the Integrated Stress Determination Method and Application to the ÄSPÖ Hard Rock Laboratory, Sweden
2007 H. Yasuhara JAPAN Thermo-Hydro-Mechano-Chemical Couplings that Define the Evolution of Permeability in Rock Fractures
2008 Z.Z. Liang CHINA Three Dimensional Numerical Modeling of Rock Failure Process
2009 G. Li CHINA Experimental and Numerical Study for Stress Measurement by Jack Fracturing and Estimation of Stress Distribution in Rock Mass
2010 J.C. Andersson SWEDEN Rock Mass Response to Coupled Mechanical Thermal Loading. Äspö Pillar Stability Experiment, Sweden
2011 D. Park REP. OF KOREA Reduction of Blast-Induced Vibration in Tunnelling Using Barrier Holes and Air-deck
2012 M.T. Zandarin ARGENTINA Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Analysis OF Joints a Theoretical And Experimental Study
2013 M. Pierce CANADA A Model for Gravity Flow of Fragmented Rock in Block Caving Mines
2014 M.S.A. Perera AUSTRALIA Investigation of the Effect of Carbon Dioxide Sequestration on Coal Seams: A Coupled Hydro-Mechanical behaviour
2015 A.L. Bradley ITALY Investigating the influence of mechanical anisotropy on the fracturing behaviour of brittle clay shales with application to deep geological repositories
2016 C.W. Boon MALAYSIA Distinct Element Modelling of jointed rock masses: algorithms and their verification
2017 B. Tatone CANADA Investigating the evolution of rock discontinuity asperity degradation and void space morphology under direct shear
2018 M. Plessis SOUTH AFRICA The design and behaviour of crush pillars on the Merensky reef




Rocha Award Runner Up Certificates

2010 Yoon Jeongseok KOREA Hydro-Mechanical Coupling of Shear-Induced Rock Fracturing by Bonded Particle Modeling
2010 Abbas Taheri IRAN Properties of Rock Masses by In-situ and Laboratory Testing Methods
2011 Bo Li CHINA Coupled Shear-flow Properties of Rock Fractures
2012 B.P Watson SOUTH AFRICA Rock Behaviour of the Bushveld Merensky Reef and the Design of Crush Pillars
2012 J. Taron USA Geophysical and Geochemical Analyses of Flow and Deformation in Fractured Rock
2013 L. He CHINA Three dimensional numerical manifold method and rock engineering applications
2013 A. Perino ITALY Wave propagation through discontinuous media in rock engineering
2014 R. Resende PORTUGAL An Investigation of Stress Wave Propagation Through Rock Joints and Rock Masses
2014 S. Dehkhoda IRAN Experimental and Numerical Study of Rock breakage by Pulsed Water Jets
2015 Ahmadreza Hedayat IRAN Mechanical and Geophysical Characterization of Damage in Rocks
2016 Qianbing Zhang CHINA Mechanical Behaviour of Rock Materials under Dynamic Loading
2016 Silvia Duca ITALY Design of an experimental procedure and set up for the detection of ice segregation phenomena in rock by acoustic emissions
2017 Robert Bewick CANADA Shear Rupture of Massive Brittle Rock under Constant Normal Stress and Stiffness Boundary Conditions
2017 Gabriel Walton UNITED STATES Improving Continuum Models for Excavations in Rockmasses Under High Stress Through an Enhanced Understanding of Post-Yield Dilatancy
2018 Javier Arzúa Touriño SPAIN Study of the mechanical behavior of intact and jointed rocks in laboratory with particular emphasis on dilatancy 
2018 Topias Siren FINLAND Excavation damage zones, fracture mechanics simulation and in situ strength of migmatitic gneiss and pegmatitic granite at the nuclear waste disposal site in Olkiluoto, Western Finland



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