2024 NSW Research Award Night

Waranga Habaraduwa Peellage, Penghao Zhang, Shashika Atapattu, Majid Jazebi and Jiawei Xie

As part of their ongoing support of academic institutions and students, the Sydney and Newcastle Chapters of the Australian Geomechanics Society are offering the prestigious AGS NSW Research Award for research in Geotechnical Engineering or Engineering Geology. The award aims to provide a forum for research students from NSW universities to showcase their research to the wider Geotechnical Community.


The award is open to:

Candidates must preferably be current research students (i.e. No PhD awarded at the time of the application) or research students that have been awarded their PhD within a year of the event. Also, they must not have applied for the AGS YGP award in the current year. However, unsuccessful candidates who have previously applied for this award and remain to be current research students are eligible to reapply for the current Research Award.


The five finalists will be giving a special presentation of their work to members of the AGS Sydney and Newcastle Chapters. The presentations will be targeting geotechnical professionals audience working in the industry.

Evaluation of Submissions

Written submissions were assessed by a Review Panel. The winner will be selected by the Review Panel at the end of their presentation on the basis of the selection criteria below. The decision of the Review Panel will be finalised after the presentations in Newcastle and no correspondence will be entered into. The speakers will be invited to the AGS Symposium in November where the awards will be presented and the finalists introduced to the wider geotechnical community audience.

Review Panel

The Review Panel will consist of:

Selection Criteria

TOTAL 100%


It is expected that written papers will be prepared by the finalists for publishing in Australian Geomechanics.


The event organisers would welcome a company to sponsor the event.

Expressions of interest can be made to Stefano Pirrello via [email protected]


Waranga Habaraduwa Peellage UTS

Dynamic Characteristics of Jointed Rocks Subjected to Cyclic Loading

Penghao Zhang UNSW

Efficient simulation of quasi-brittle cracking in rock structures based on phase field method and scaling theory

Shashika Atapattu UTS

Consolidation behaviour of subgrade subjected to rail loading and rest peri

Majid Jazebi UTS

Numerical Modelling of the Influence of Jointed Rock Formation on Heavy Haul Track Performance

Jiawei Xie University of Newcastle

Intelligent site investigation for rock mass

Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.