Department of Civil Engineering Annual Awards 2020 goes virtual

The Annual Awards celebration is an important event in the Department calendar where we come together to recognise the achievements of staff and students and announce the prestigious Department of Civil Engineering Alumnus of the Year Award. It is also an opportunity to thank our valuable industry partners who sponsor the student awards and support us throughout the year.

Amidst a global pandemic and a year that no one could have anticipated, we wanted to ensure that the event received the recognition it deserves. With 42 awards, 63 awardees and 23 industry partners and an element of zoom fatigue, planning a celebration event virtually, was no small undertaking.

Nevertheless, after weeks of planning, technical discussions, practice and more practice, we had lift off – some may say attune to sending astronauts to the moon! Going virtual did have some advantages – with no restriction on numbers, the webinar event was live streamed to staff, students, alumni, industry, family and friends from near and far.

Largely thanks to our IT guru, Hayden Hamwood and our MC, Department of Civil Engineering, Professor Michael Kennedy, who rose to the challenge and hosted the event with panache, the celebration was a great success.

Professor Elizabeth Croft, Dean Faculty of Engineering welcomed everyone to the online awards followed by Professor Jeff Walker, Head of Civil Engineering who gave his welcome and Departmental address. Staff and students received their awards with a few words of thanks and appreciation and only a couple of minor glitches along the way.

This year the Department of Civil Engineering Alumnus of the Year Award was presented to Professor Rebekah Brown. Rebekah graduated with a Bachelor of Civil and Computing Engineering (Honours) from Monash in 1994. From 2000- 2003 she studied a PhD in Environmental Studies at the University of New South Wales. She returned to Monash in 2005 as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography and Environmental Science.

During her subsequent 15-year career at Monash she has been instrumental in the development of the University’s education programs. Rebekah is currently the Senior Vice-Provost and Vice-Provost (Research) responsible for leading the University’s research agenda. She is also Director of RISE - Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments, an action-research program working in the Pacific to deliver solutions that benefit health, environment, water and sanitation.

Rebekah gave an inspirational address and we congratulate her on receiving this prestigious award.

The celebrations concluded with the virtual-door prize draw and a fitting display of fireworks– virtually of course. With this experience now under our belts, who knows what next year’s event will bring.

Congratulations to all the recipients and thanks again to our industry sponsors for their ongoing support. A complete list of award winners is below.

Michael Kennedy

Professor Michael Kennedy, Master of Ceremony

Elizabeth Croft

Professor Elizabeth Croft, Dean of Engineering

Jeff Walker

Professor Jeff Walker, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering

Rebekah Brown

2020 Alumnus of the Year: Professor Rebekah Brown

Dr Ha Bui

Team Player Award: Professor Geoff Ross


Top double degree first year student commencing Civil Engineering in 2019: Daniel Van Der Leest


The Civil Contractors Federation Ian Jack Award: Monica Abdelmalek, Lauren McCutcheon and Thomas Russ

Thank you to all our sponsors

If you missed the event, would like to watch it again or share with family and friends you can do so via the video.

Departmental awards

Professional Staff Member Award Ms. Joanne Hathway
Team Player Award Prof. Geoff Rose
Award for Excellence in Teaching Dr. Asadul Haque
Award for Excellence in Research Dr. Hossein Masoumi
Award for Best Teaching Assistant Dr. Mayer Melhem
Occupational Health and Safety Award Dr. Ella (Shaohua) Zhang
IAC Member of the Year Award Ms. Sam Linke
2020 Teaching FellowsDr. Nawshad Haque, Dr. Danqi Li, Dr. Angela Solarte Castaneda, Dr. Bill Wong, Mr. Derek Hamilton, Dr. Emily Payne, Dr. Steve O'Hern, Dr. Ezzat Shamsaei, Ms. Margaret Arblaster, Mr. Mohsen Ebrahimzadeh Hassanabadi, Dr. Rita Seethaler, Dr. Ying Gao, Dr. Zahidul Hoque, Dr. Ella (Shaohua) Zhang

Alumnus of the Year Award

2020 Alumnus of the Year Prof. Rebekah Brown

Student Awards

Level 1

Top first year single degree student commencing Civil Engineering in 2019, William Khoa Do
Top double degree first year student commencing Civil Engineering in 2019 Daniel Van Der Leest

Level 2

The Robert Keller Award for Water Technology Michael Natalizio
Ndevr Environmental Energy Efficiency Award Lachlan Szigeter
Coffey Geotechnics Prize for Geoengineering Andy Mach
MMG Merit Award for Fixed Plant Engineering and Project Management RSE2010 Paul Murdock

Level 3

SRIA Prize for Concrete Structures Nima Behshad
Australian Steel Institute Prize Matthew Chau
Douglas Partners Prize for Geomechanics Nima Behshad
The Tom McMahon Water Technology Award Benjamin Cressall
The Civil Contractors Federation Ian Jack Award Monica Abdelmalek, Lauren McCutcheon and Thomas Russ
GE Hydro Prize for Best performing student in RSE3241 Shinian Qian
MMG Merit Award for Mine Geotechnical Engineering unit RSE3010 Harrison Rees

Level 4

GHD Highway Design Prize Muneem Alam, Victoria Ear, Ashray George and Charlotte (Huilin) Xu
GHD Prize in Water Engineering Shou Chien Tan
GHD Civil Engineering Award - Top Graduating Student in 2019 Lauren McCutcheon
Foundation Industry Prize for Soil Engineering Jin Chern Chai
Traffix Group Prize Aaron Fernando
The Geofabrics Pty Ltd Group Project Prize Two groups awarded jointly:
  • Khye Chuen Ha, Kher En Heng, Ser Chiun Kwek, Seong Wei Chin
  • Zhengda Lei, Zeyu Li, Nathaniel Low, Qiankun Lu
Association of Consulting Structural Engineers Victoria Prize (ACSEV) Feng Xiao and Daiheng Shen
SMEC Structural Prize Xuening Zhang
SMEC Geomechanics Prize Zhengda Lei
AECOM Civil & Environmental Engineering Practice Prize Ryan Nettleton, John Requizo, Shou Chien Tan, Aime Weffer Perez and S M Moinudin Shah
MMG Merit Awards for Mine Design and Feasibility Project unit RSE4020 Lingxu Yuan and Jack Smith
MMG Engineering Leadership Scholarship Paul Murdock
Resources Engineering Scholarship Joelin Ying Yi Chen, Alba Carbonell Rivela and Samuel Amos Warren-Smith
CIV4284 Prize for Transport Engineering Hyun Jun Jang, Daniel Richards and Vybavi Muruga

Postgraduate Awards

Walker Family Award Michael Bernhard Mag
Master of Transport and Traffic Award Andrew O’Brien
Master of Infrastructure Engineering and Management Award Richard Peter Mannix
Best PhD Thesis and 2019 Mollie Holman Medal Nominee Dr. Radhika Vidange De Silva
Eric Laurenson Award Dr. Valentina Marchionni
SSSI Victorian Spatial Excellence Award Dr. Antara Dasgupta