British Geotechnical Association (BGA) member Qinghua Lei has been announced as the winner of the 2019 Rocha Medal by the International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM).
The award recognises an outstanding doctoral thesis in the field of rock mechanics and rock engineering and was established in 1981 in honour of past ISRM president Manuel Rocha who organised the first ISRM Congress and is recognised as transforming international collaboration.
Lei was put forward for the award by the BGA on the basis of his pHD work at Imperial College London. Lei’s PhD research was on the subject of “Characterisation and modelling of natural fracture networks: geometry, geomechanics and fluid flow” and was completed under the supervision of John-Paul Latham and Jiansheng Xiang from the university’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering.
Commenting on the award, Latham said: “From the outset when Lei joined our solids modelling research group and set to work with powerful numerical modelling tools, he became driven by a wide range of open scientific questions in the geomechanics of rock fracture systems. It is fitting and heart-warming that this future leader with his powerful intellect, being able both to develop algorithms and code, and to apply advanced numerical methods to today’s challenging problems, has been rewarded with the Rocha Medal.”