Competition Rules

Competition Rules


  • Submission deadline changed Dec 6, 2023 10 AM

About the Competition

A rock engineering design problem will be presented by the competition organizing committee on September 2022. The problem will be an evaluation of the stability of a cemented backfill stope exposed during vertical retreat stope mining. Teams will present a design solution using analytical tools and rock engineering design principles.

Eligibility and Team Registration

All members of the teams must be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs related to rock-engineering disciplines. This includes, but is not limited to, mining, civil, and geological engineering. Each team may have two to five undergraduate and/or graduate students. Teams composed of varying disciplines is welcome and encouraged. Each university may have more than one participating team. Teams must be registered by the registration deadline through the registration form.

Advisors and External Assistance

Each competing team must have one faculty advisor. Their role will be limited to ensuring that the competition’s rules are being followed throughout the duration of the contest. Teams may not communicate between each other about their solutions after they have been officially registered.

Software Use

Any software may be used. FLAC2D 9 demo downloads are available for free through Itasca’s download page.


All teams must submit a report consisting of the team’s solution addressing the topics outlined by the Problem Statement. The report should be concise (ideally within 8 pages) but there is no formal limit. The submission page for reports will be open until the submission deadline as defined in the time frame.

The report should address the following topics in addition to the Problem Statement‘s specific questions:

  • Problem definition
  • Figure representation of geological/geotechnical model
  • Overall approach and assumptions
  • Analysis methodology and justification
  • Variability of rock mass strength in design
  • Key risks to proposed solution
  • Risk mitigation

Finalists will be selected to present on their project in a virtual webinar. The duration of the presentation will be announced on the day of finalist selection. Each finalist presentation will be followed by a Q&A session open to all participants of the webinar.


The finalist judging panel will include experts involved with ARMA from academia, industry, and government agencies.


Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three teams and will be acknowledged in the ARMA Monthly News. The prizes will be awarded in USD as follows:

First Place$1000
Second Place$650
Third Place$350

Participants residing in countries with financial transfer restrictions from the US may be unable to receive the cash prize. However, the winning teams will be acknowledged in announcements following the competition.

Time Frame

Team registrationby November 25, 2023
FLAC2D webinarTBD
Problem set released and beginning of competitionDecember 6, 2023
Problem solutions submission deadlineDecember 29, 2023
Report review and finalist selectionJanuary 2024
Finalist project presentationsFebruary 2024
These dates are not yet finalized and may be subject to change.


For additional information, please contact the event coordinators:

Akash Chaurasia
PhD Candidate
Colorado School of Mines

Zhiyuan Li
PhD Candidate
University of Houston

Jineon Kim
PhD Candidate
Seoul National University

Earl Magsipoc
PhD Candidate
University of Toronto