The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) is the principal
association for geotechnical engineers in the United Kingdom.

BGA Masters Dissertation Prize

The Masters Dissertation Prize is awarded annually by the BGA for the best Masters degree dissertation on a geotechnical topic.

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BGA Masters Dissertation Prize

The call for entries for the 2023 BGA Masters Dissertation Prize will open in December 2023.


The competition is open to student members of the BGA who will be completing a dissertation in 2023, 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 Masters 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 here 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 by email to
  6. The closing date for entries is midnight on 31 January of the year of the competition.
  7. The outcome will be notified during spring/early summer..
  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 2023 BGA AGM.

The Masters Dissertation Prize rules can be downloaded below:

BGA Masters Dissertation Prize Rules

List of winners of BGA Masters Dissertation Prize

2022Danette Tan, Imperial College London: Assessing life extensions of ageing infrastructure
2021Ana Pirrone, Imperial College London: Geotechnical data integration in the calibration of constitutive models using machine learning and metaheuristics
2020Abigail Bateman, University of Bristol: Analytical methods for non-linear pile base settlement prediction in clay
2019Geng Jie (Jay) Liang, Imperial College London: Characterizing the variability of London Clay: a study of tunnel face logs from the Jubilee Line Extension between Green Park and Waterloo
2018Isabel von Celsing, University of Oxford: Offshore wind turbine foundation design Using 3D finite element limit analysis
2017Jack Templeman, University of Oxford: Numerical modelling of lateral buckling of subsea pipelines
2016Lauren Doughty, Imperial College London: Laboratory testing of chalk
2015Iona Richards, University of Oxford: Time and rate effects for laterally loaded driven piles in clays
2014Srikanth Madhabhushi, University of Cambridge: Investigating the deformation mechanisms beneath shallow foundations
2013Victor Dubasaru, Imperial College London: Pile clash mitigation
2012Marina Sideri, Imperial College London: A study of ground loading on shafts
2011Thomas Clifford, University of Birmingham: Designing for rockfall in quarries

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