The BGA Medal goes to work on computational modeling of the behavior of kaolin clay

BFY Group consultant John de Bono and University of Nottingham geomechanics professor Glenn McDowell’s paper on “Particle-scale simulations of compression and shearing of kaolin clay” won the 2023 BGA Medal.

The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) annually awards a written paper medal for “meritorious contributions to geotechnical science or practice”.

It recently announced that the 2023 BGA Medal has been awarded for the paper “Particle-scale simulations of compression and shearing of kaolin clay” by John de Bono and Glenn McDowell. It was published in Geotechnics.

“A total of eight entries were received for this year, many of which were of a very high standard, making the selection of a winner by the awards sub-committee a difficult task,” the BGA said on its website.

The judges of the BGA Medal were impressed by the winning paper, which presents work undertaken on modeling the mechanical behavior of kaolin clays using the discrete element approach. This resulted in successful compression and shear simulations.

“This work paves the way for fundamentally improving our understanding of phenomena such as hysteresis and creep,” commented the judges.

The paper can be accessed through the ICE Virtual Library here.

Full reference

de Bono, JP & McDowell, GR (2023) Particle-scale simulations of compression and shear of kaolin clay. Géotechnique, Ahead of Print, Published online: 2 August 2023 (

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