University Awards
The knowledge and value a single researcher can contribute to society may be limited, but it is nonetheless exhilarating and worthwhile to be part of this majestic endeavour called research that profoundly alters the fabric of our existence. Prof PHOON Kok Kwang
PhD (Cornell University); MEng, BEng (First Class Hons) (NUS)
Department of Civil Engineering
  • Risk and reliability of geotechnical systems
  • Statistical characterisation of geovariability
  • Iterative solutions of very large Biot's problems
  • Rainfall-induced landslides
  • Achieved a breakthrough in adapting the Karhunen-Loève expansion for the simulation of non-Gaussian processes, bringing wide-ranging impact on diverse areas, such as geostatistics, signal processing and earthquake engineering
  • Conceived a national geotechnical data system containing over 31,000 borehole records across mainland Singapore, providing a spatial map of unprecedented coverage of Singapore's underground space that the Housing Development Board has endorsed
  • Pioneered a systematic compilation and worldwide synthesis of geostatistical data that influences an entire generation of reliability-based design guidelines and codes in geotechnical engineering
  • Developed novel pre-conditioners for iterative solutions of very large geotechnical problems such as 3D tunnelling, an innovation adopted for use in a commercial geotechnical software
  • Equally adept at advancing knowledge frontiers in basic research and generating innovations for industry
  • Published over 60 papers in leading international journals with over 600 citations received from diverse authors and journals across science and engineering
  • Edited over 15 proceedings, including three Geotechnical Special Publications of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and developed three sets of ASCE Standard Guidelines
  • Chair, Technical Committee on Engineering Practice of Risk Assessment and Management, International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (since 2009)
  • Board of Directors, International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics (IACMAG) (since 2009)
  • Chair, Executive Board, Geotechnical Safety Network (2007 – 2009)
  • Founding editor-in-chief, Georisk (since 2007)
  • Member, Scientific Council, Inter-Polytechnic Doctoral School, Italy (since 2007)
  • International Scientific Advisor, International Centre for Geohazards, Norway (since 2004)
  • Board of Directors, International Civil Engineering Risk and Reliability Association (since 2003)
  • Chair, Technical Committee on Risk Assessment and Management, Geo-Institute, ASCE (2003 – 2009)
  • Serves on the editorial boards and advisory committees of numerous leading international journals and conferences, including the top three journals in geotechnical engineering
  • Excellent Paper Award, Journal of GeoEngineering (2009)
  • Fellow, ASCE (2008)
  • Committee of the Year Award, Geo-Institute, ASCE (2008)
  • Minister Innovation Award (Distinguished), Ministry of Transportation (2008)
  • Excellent Contributions Award, IACMAG (2008)
  • Editorial Board Member Exemplary Service Award, Geo-Institute, ASCE (2007)
  • C.A. Hogentogler Award, American Society for Testing of Materials (2006)
  • ASCE Norman Medal (2005), the oldest and highest honour granted by ASCE, the world's largest civil engineering professional society
  • Highly Commendable Paper, 8th International Conference on Inspection, Appraisal, Repairs and Maintenance of Structures (2003)
"To push scientific and engineering boundaries in the creation of bigger, deeper and safer underground spaces and structures."
 Honour Roll Recipients