Master’s Thesis Award


In 2023, CARMA established a Master’s Thesis Award to recognize outstanding contributions of its members in the Canadian rock mechanics and rock engineering community.

Dr. Evert Hoek Master's Thesis Award

This named award is in honour of Dr. Evert Hoek’s many outstanding and ongoing contributions to Canadian rock mechanics and rock engineering.

This award shall recognize an outstanding Master’s thesis in rock mechanics or rock engineering granted by a Canadian institution.


Award nominees must have been members in good standing of CARMA during the nominating period. A nominator does not have to be a member of CARMA.

To be considered for this award, the candidate must be nominated within two (2) years of the date of the official Master’s degree certification (i.e., for the 2024 award, since December 31, 2021).

Selection Criteria

The Award Committee shall consider the following criteria and weightings:

  1. Problem statement (10%): Description of the problem being addressed by the thesis.
  2. Appreciation of state-of-art (10%): Quality of literature review and bibliography; awareness of pertinent previous research; ability to convey concisely the state-of-the-art and add insight.
  3. Quality and novelty of lab and/or field data and its interpretation (35%): Extent and quality of data and its analysis and interpretation; this can be accomplished through the use of numerical, empirical, or other approaches.
  4. Practical application and usefulness (35%): Benefit to humankind in short and medium term, particularly in applied rock engineering, which may focus on any or all of civil, mining, or petroleum engineering; avoidance of natural hazards, economies and improved safety in construction, etc.
  5. Quality of presentation (10%): Format, use of headings, style, language, clarity, clarity of introduction and conclusions, etc.

Nomination Package

Each award nomination must include the following items:

  1. Cover letter including (a) the full name and contact information of the nominator, (b) nominated thesis author, title and reference information, and (c) significance of the nominee’s contribution, where the nominator should explain the significance in terms of the award selection criteria (up to 2,500 words). Self-nominations are not accepted.
  2. One page curriculum vitae of the nominee, including the name, nationality, place of birth, position held, postal address, telephone, and email address;
  3. An electronic copy of the complete thesis document and copies of any relevant publications; and
  4. An electronic copy of the Master’s degree certificate.

Members of the Award Committee must not be related to or have a close professional, academic, or supervisory connection with one of the nominees. If a thesis is submitted causing such conflict of interest, the person concerned shall inform the Award Committee Chair, who will take appropriate action.


The award shall be presented to the recipient at a CARMA event such as a RockEng Symposium.

If no CARMA RockEng Symposium is scheduled in a given year, the award shall be presented at an Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS) Rock Mechanics Division and/or the Canadian Institute for Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum (CIM) Rock Engineering Society, in consultation with the award recipient. The award may be presented at more than one event.

The award shall be presented by the Award Committee Chair, the CARMA Chair, or a designate.

Award Prize

The award recipient shall be given an award plaque or framed certificate naming the recipient, the title of their work, and his/her University. CARMA, at its discretion, may pay for reasonable travel expenses and registration fee of the award recipient to attend one of the symposium/conference at which the award will be presented.

Submission and Selection Schedule - 2024 Award

CARMA shall collect electronic award nominations at all times via email ( The deadlines for the 2024 award are as follows:

DeadlineSubmission & Selection Stage
December 31, 2023Nomination submission deadline
January 8, 2024CARMA Chair distributes full details of nominations to each Award Committee Member
February 15Award Committee recommends award recipient to CARMA Executive*
February 28CARMA Executive ratifies or declines to ratify the initially recommended award recipient**
March 7If initial recipient is declined by CARMA Executive, Award Committee recommends alternate award recipient
March 15CARMA Executive ratifies final award recipient and informs the recipient in writing, or declines to ratify the award for the particular year

*The Award Committee shall (i) review the nominees, (ii) compare nominations to selection criteria and rank the nominees, and (iii) recommend the name of the preferred award recipient to the CARMA Executive.

**In the event that an award selection is not ratified, the CARMA Executive may, at its discretion, request another recommendation from the Award Committee else no award shall be made for that year.

At the discretion of the Award Committee, if there are no suitable candidates in a particular year, the award does not have to be given that year.