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Civil Engineering grad student takes home first prize at CGS 2020

COVID-19 has suspended plenty of student competitions since its onset in March of this year. For the competitions that have continued in a modified format, UM engineering students remain front and centre in the awards category.

James Bartz, a Civil Engineering Ph.D. student, has been awarded the Canadian Geotechnical Society’s top prize in the oral category at their 2020 online competition that took place August. This national competition sees graduate students submit a video of a 15-minute presentation in front of a live technical audience, followed by a question-and-answer period. His presentation titled “Load Testing of Piles Subject to Negative Skin Friction” received high praise from the judges and is also the focus of his Ph.D. thesis. His impressive research and presentation earned him the top prize for the category. Due to physical distancing requirements, his presentation was done in front of a live audience on Microsoft Teams.

“I feel honoured to be acknowledged by the national geotechnical engineering community and proud to be able to showcase my research at the University of Manitoba,” Bartz said. “I would like to thank the CGS for administering this competition and my academic advisor, Dr. James Blatz, for the encouragement to participate in the competition.”

In addition to receiving the awards, James also received an honorarium, an annual membership for CGS, and registration for the annual national CGS conference this fall.

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