Computer-Aided Design of Tunnels in Deep Rock

Computational Geomechanics

Code to Tackle Complex Engineering Challenges

I obtained an NSERC Industrial Undergraduate Student Research Award to work at Rocscience Inc., a private research company that develops CAD tools to support design projects involving computational modeling of rock and soil.

My project was an overhaul of an existing tool, RocSupport, which allows mining engineers to design tunnels through rock and soil, by implementing models drawn from recent academic papers. For example, I integrated a new model by Vrakas and Anagostou, which was developed at ETH Zurich to model projects like the Gotthard Base Tunnel (left) and the Nakayama tunnel (right), which underwent large squeezing deformations after excavation. I also worked on adding a finite element method simulation to the system.

The aspects of my work that involved structural engineering (i.e. shoring up tunnels with bolts or “shotcrete” concrete) were an asset when I later worked on structural modeling at EPFL. The strong C++ programming skills I developed were helpful in later projects such as my raytracer implementation and my work at Intel FPGA. Images courtesy of Rocscience Inc.

Contributions: Background Research (Literature Review), Implementation.