Geomechanics Research Centre (GRC)

Mandate – Mission

To conduct research and development in the field of geotechnical engineering to promote safer and more economical mineral resource exploitation and underground construction.

Short History and Past Achievements

The Geomechanics Research Centre (GRC) at Laurentian University was formally established in 1988 under the leadership of Peter Kaiser and Sean Maloney and has been active in the field of geotechnical engineering since inception. One of the first mandates of GRC was to undertake rock support research following upon the recommendations of the Provincial Inquiry into Ground Control and Emergency Preparedness (the Stevenson Commission). GRC has now well over 500 technical papers in journals and conference proceedings, and four books to its credit. These publications cover geomechanics, mining, and seismology. Former GRC staff now occupy academic positions in various Canadian universities or high level, responsible positions in major consulting companies. Current staff include mining engineers, civil engineers and engineering geologists covering a broad spectra of research interests and capabilities.

Current Research Fields:

  • Rock Mass Characterization for Underground Construction

  • Underground Excavation in Difficult Ground Conditions

  • Rapid Tunneling and Mine Developments

  • Innovative Rock Supports

  • Rockbursts and Seismicity in Burst-prone Ground

  • Orebodies in Shear: Impact on Mine Planning and Design

Technical services:

  • Testing

  • Borehole Log Analyses

  • Rock Mass Characterisation Using Photogrammetric Method

  • Numerical Modeling

  • Virtual Reality Applications

  • In Situ Stress Measurement


A list of GRC’s publication from can be found here.


The GRC team includes individuals with varied backgrounds and experience levels, an ideal environment in which to conduct multidisciplinary research and equipped with the necessary resources to focus on specific problems and deliver innovative and practical solutions.


  • Sean Maloney, M.Sc., P. Eng. – Director – specialty in stress measurements, full-scale laboratory testing, and ground support design.
  • Navid Bahrani, M.Sc. – Research Engineer – main interest in numerical modeling, mining geomechanics, ground support design.more…
  • Rob Bewick, M.Sc., P. Eng. – Research Engineer – specialty in site characterization, mine design, ground support design (static & dynamic), crown pillar stability & photogrammetry using SiroVision & 3G tool sets.more…
  • Salina Yong, PEng, PE, PhD. – Senior Research Engineer – interests in field-scale investigations, site characterisation, data integration and interpretation, and development of engineering models.more…

Senior Research Advisors:

  • Peter Kaiser, Ph.D, P. Eng. – Chair for Rock Mechanics and Ground Control, Laurentian University. President and CEO of the Center for Excellence in Mining Innovation.more…
  • Ming Cai, Ph.D, P. Eng. – Full Professor in Laurentian University’s School of Engineering.more…

Graduate Studies and Internships:

  • Graduate Studies

  • Visiting Scholars

  • Internships