Engineers Australia

AGS NSW Research Award 2020

Davide Guccione, Aruni Abeywickrama, Navid Yeganeh and Ye Aung

Abstract submission date extended to May 20th

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.



Important dates

Closing Date for Submissions
20th May 2020
Selection of Three Finalists
14th June 2020
Finalists Presentation (Sydney)
8th July 2020


The award is open to:

  • Research students
  • Enrolled in any New South Wales university
  • Undertaking research in Geotechnical
  • Former PhD candidates already graduated within 18 months from this event date.

Engineering or Engineering Geology Candidates must be current research students (i.e. No PhD awarded at the time of the application) or have graduated within 18 months from the event date. Applicants 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 submission for the Award shall comprise a report, with a geotechnical engineering or engineering geology theme, of no more than 3,500 words, giving a broad summary of the research. The report shall cover the research questions and rationale, the scope of the thesis, the most important results, and conclusions. The submission must be detailed enough to convey the full impact and significance of the research and should be accompanied by selected tables and figures.
The student must be the sole author of the submitted report. The AGS may request supporting documentation from the candidate’s supervisor, and the supervisor’s details must be provided in the submission.
The finalists will be expected to provide a written paper (with any co-authors as appropriate), which complies with the editorial requirements of the Australian Geomechanics journal (obtainable from the Australian Geomechanics Society website). The written paper must be substantially new, unpublished material, and a statement of this must accompany the written paper.


The finalists will be required to give a special presentation of their work to members of the AGS Sydney Chapter in July. The presentations need to be targeted at the audience – geotechnical professionals working in industry. The AGS will pay the reasonable out of town transport and accommodation costs of finalists.

Evaluation of submissions

Written submissions will be assessed by a Review Panel. The Review Panel will select up to three finalists who will be invited to present their submissions at AGS technical meetings in Sydney. The winner will be selected by the Review Panel at the end of the second presentation on the basis of the selection criteria below.

The decision of the Review Panel will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Review panel

The Review Panel will consist of:

  • Three senior academics from NSW universities;
  • Two AGS committee members from the Sydney Chapter; and
  • One AGS committee member from the Newcastle Chapter.

Selection criteria

  • Technical content 30%
  • Originality of content 15%
  • Industry relevance 20%
  • Clarity of written submission 10%
  • Clarity of verbal communication 25%


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

About the speakers

Davide GuccioneUniversity of Newcastle

“Breakage of rocks upon dynamic impact”

Aruni AbeywickramaUniversity of Wollongong

“Mitigation of railway subgrade mud pumping using PVD”

Navid YeganehUTS

“Assessing Impacts of Soil Constitutive Behavior and Water Pressure on Seismic Performance of Buildings on Shallow Foundations”

Ye AungUTS

“Development of Mixed Hardening Hyper-Viscoplastic Constitutive Models for Soils Incorporating Creep & Fabric Effects”

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.