The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) congratulates Dr Qinghua Lei who has been selected by the International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM) as the winner of the 2019 Rocha Medal. Dr Lei’s application for the Rocha Medal was nominated by the BGA, which hosts the UK ISRM National Group.
This prestigious award annually recognises an outstanding doctoral thesis in the field of rock mechanics and rock engineering. Dr. Lei conducted his PhD research of “Characterisation and modelling of natural fracture networks: geometry, geomechanics and fluid flow” under the supervision of Dr. John-Paul Latham and Dr. Jiansheng Xiang at the Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, between June 2012 and April 2016. Due to the great achievements in his PhD thesis, Dr Lei will join the distinguished list of Rocha award recipients.
Dr John-Paul Latham (Reader in Geomechanics) at Imperial College London said “Qinghua, from the outset when he joined our solids modelling research group and set to work with powerful numerical modelling tools, 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…” .
The Rocha award consisting of a bronze medal and a cash prize will be presented to Dr Lei during the ISRM 14th International Congress of Rock Mechanics in Foz do Iguassu, Brazil (13th-18th September 2019), where he will give a plenary lecture on his PhD research. In addition to this prestigious Rocha Medal, Dr Lei was also the recipient of the 2015 Rock Mechanics Research Award and the 2016 N.G.W. Cook PhD Dissertation Award from the American Rock Mechanics Association. After his PhD, Dr Lei worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Fluid Mechanics at Imperial College London between February 2016 and May 2018. Dr Lei is now a Lecturer and Senior Researcher in Engineering Geology at the Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zürich, Switzerland.
Photos of Dr Qinghua Lei with his PhD supervisors at Imperial College London: (Top) Dr John-Paul Latham; (Bottom) Dr Jiansheng Xiang