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Mark F Randolph, 1975, aged 24

Now: Professor of civil engineering, Director of Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.

Qualifications: MA (Oxon), PhD (Cantab), Fellow Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE), Fellow Institution of Engineers, Australia (FIEAust).

Winning paper: Modelling of tidal flow in a gravel aquifer at Crayford Ness.

Then: Employed by the Building Research Establishment, but studying for a PhD at Cambridge. The paper refers to work undertaken at BRE.

Afterwards: Finished my PhD and stayed at Cambridge as a lecturer until 1986. I then moved to UWA in Perth and now head an active research group, comprising about 40 researchers and technical support, focusing on the mining and offshore industries. I have a particular interest in centrifuge modelling - the UWA centrifuge facility includes both a fixed beam and a drum centrifuge.

I am also a director of consultancy Advanced Geomechanics and am actively involved in organisational aspects of the profession. I am a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, vice president (elect) for the Australasian region of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, and chairman of the Western Australian chapter of the Australian Geomechanics Society.

Professional highs: Becoming a junior research fellow at St John's, Cambridge; moving to Perth; and the award of Special Research

Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems at UWA.

On the downside: getting tenure at Cambridge University (I hope people can take a joke).

Did winning have an impact on your career? Yes, in the sense of helping to establish a profile and gain recognition. In particular, in the research leading to the paper, I established contact with Bob Gibson and, indirectly, John Booker, both of whom subsequently acted as mentors at different stages of my career.

How did you spend the prize money? My memory fades, but probably towards a contribution to my wine cellar.

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