MSc Prize

Following the successful launch of this award in 2011, the BGA will again be offering a prize of £500 for the best Masters’ degree dissertation on a geotechnical topic.


The competition is open to student members of the BGA who will be completing a dissertation in 2016, either as part of a taught course MEng or a coursework-based MSc at a British University.
The dissertation should be completed in the field of soil mechanics, geotechnical engineering, geo-environmental engineering, engineering geology or an allied subject.
It is intended that the dissertation should represent the student’s own work completed as part of the final year assessment for an MEng graduate degree or as part of coursework completed in satisfaction of an MSc postgraduate degree. Dissertations produced as part of MRes or similar postgraduate research based degrees/diplomas etc are not eligible for the award.


Entries will be judged by a panel of members of the BGA Executive Committee. The panel will contain both practising geotechnical engineers and academics.
Entries will be assessed using a range of criteria, including: scientific quality; originality; depth and breadth of understanding; standard of presentation; practical significance.
The BGA reserves the right to make no award.


  1. There is a limit of one entry per course from each university, the expectation being that this would be the top-ranking dissertation(s) emerging from the university’s own assessment process for each MSc or MEng course.
  2. The entry should be submitted by the MEng/MSc course leader or the dissertation supervisor on behalf of the student.
  3. If the student is not a BGA member, he/she should be encouraged to join immediately using the Concessionary Student application form available on the BGA website at to ensure eligibility for the prize.
  4. The entry should comprise:
    1. a completed application form submitted in Excel format
    2. the student’s masters dissertation, as submitted for assessment, in pdf format
    3. A citation letter from the course leader or dissertation supervisor, briefly outlining why the dissertation is considered prize-worthy, in pdf format
  5. The entry should be sent to
  6. The closing date for entries is 27th January 2017.
  7. The outcome will be notified during spring/early summer 2017.
  8. The winner may be invited to prepare a technical paper, based on the dissertation, for publication in Ground Engineering magazine and to present at the 2017 BGA AGM.

Previous Winners

2015: Iona Richards, University of Oxford, Time and rate effects for laterally loaded driven piles in clays

2014: Srikanth Madhabhushi, University of Cambridge, Investigating the deformation mechanisms beneath shallow foundations

2013: Victor Dubasaru, Imperial College, Pile clash mitigation

2012: Marina Sideri, Imperial College, A study of ground loading on shafts

2011: Thomas Clifford, University of Birmingham, Designing for rockfall in quarries

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