Geological Science and Engineering

Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering
Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

Kiarash Farahmand

Geomechanics / Ph.D.

Office: Geomechanics Computational Lab, Bruce Wing/Miller Hall 36 Union Street
Thesis Topic : Coupled Flow-Stress-Damage Processes Within the Excavation Damage Zone (EDZ) in Underground Openings
Supervisor: Dr. Mark Diederichs

Research Interests

Kiarash’s current research entails understanding and modelling of the coupled flow-stress-damage processes involved in the rock fracture. The main goals of the project is to develop and verify an advanced Synthetic Rock Mass (SRM) model to provide enhanced understanding of the extent and severity of the Excavation Damaged Zones (EDZs) around underground excavations and its fluid flow characteristics, with taking into account the role of coupling processes between solid skeleton of rock and pore fluid. A grain-based Discrete Element modeling methodology is proposed based on the theory of Non-linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (NLEFM) in which the initiation and propagation of micro- and meso-scale fractures in the geo-material can be explicitly simulated. The developed technique is calibrated to the laboratory and in-situ experimental results in order to verify the capability of the proposed method to replicate realistic results. The final outcome of the current study will be of use in the design and safety assessment of a Deep Geological Repository (DGR) for nuclear waste disposal as well as the wide applications in the rock engineering-related problems such as improving and optimization of hydraulic fracturing for oil well stimulation.

Brief Biography

Kiarash received a B.Sc. degree in Mining Engineering from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran. Later, he joined the Rock mechanics Master program at the Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnics) in 2009 to gain the core knowledge and hands-on experience in rock engineering. In his master thesis, he performed a sensitivity analysis on hydro-mechanical properties of fractured rock mass using a hybrid DEM-DFN numerical technique. In this study, the dilational behaviour of fractures during shearing under different in-situ stress ratios and its effects on the evolution of fracture apertures and flow patterns in fractured rock were investigated. Kiarash is currently completing his Ph.D. (since January 2013) in Queen’s Geomechanics Group under supervision of Dr. Diederichs, with a focus on understanding the mechanisms involved in the development of the so-called Excavation Damaged Zone (EDZ) around underground excavations.


Queen’s Graduate Award (QGA) (2013-current)

The Carl Reinhardt Scholarship (2013-current)

Queen’s International Tuition Awards (2013-current)

Named TAship Award (Klohn Crippen Berger TA Award) (Winter 2014)

Named TAship Award (Winter 2015)

Top ranked student in M.Sc. program (2012)

The Mahan Institute Award for highest rank in the mining engineering examination (2010)

Ranked 2nd among ~4,000 participants in the Iran national universities’ entrance exam (Concours) for M.Sc. degree of Mining Engineering (2009)


Farahmand, K., Baghbanan, A., Shahryar, K. & Diederichs M.S. (2016). Investigating the Effects of Shear Behaviour of Fractures on Stress-Dependent Permeability Tensor of Fractured Rock. Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. (Under Review)

Farahmand, K., & Diederichs M.S. (2016). Hydro-Mechanical Effects of Pore Pressure on Deformability and Fracture Strength of Rock: A numerical modeling study. In: Proceedings of the 50th US Rock Mechanics Symposium, Houston, USA.

Vazaios, I., Farahmand, K., Vlachopoulos, N., & Diederichs, M.S. (2016). A Study of the Geometrical and the Mechanical Scale-Dependency of Fractured Rockmasses Using a Micro/Meso-Mechanical Approach. In Proceedings of the Canadian Geotechnical conference: GEOVANCOUVER, Vancouver, Canada, 2016.

Farahmand, K., Ferdosi, B., Nateghi, R., Abbasi, J., & Sharifzadeh, M. (2016). Comparison Between Hydraulic and Hydro-Mechanical Analyses for Estimating Flow Rate in Rock Masses Case Study Upper Gotvand Dam Foundation – Iran. In Proceedings of the Canadian Geotechnical conference: GEOVANCOUVER, Vancouver , 2016.

Farahmand, K., & Diederichs M.S. (2015). A Calibrated Synthetic Rock Mass (SRM) Model for Simulating Crack Growth in Granitic Rock Considering Grain Scale Heterogeneity of Polycrystalline Rock. In: Proceedings of the 49th US Rock Mechanics Symposium, San Francisco, USA.

Farahmand, K., Baghbanan, A., Shahryar, K. & Diederichs M.S. (2015). Effect of fracture dilation angle on stress-dependent permeability tensor of fractured rock. In: Proceedings of the 49th US Rock Mechanics Symposium, San Francisco, USA.

Farahmand, K., & Diederichs, M.S. (2015). Implementation of a Cohesive Crack Model in Grain-based DEM technique for Simulating Fracture in Quasi-Brittle Geomaterial. In Proceedings of the Canadian Geotechnical conference: GEOQUEBEC, Quebec City, Canada, September, 2015.

Farahmand, K., Vazaios, I, Diederichs, M.S., & Vlachopoulos, N. (2015). Generation of a Synthetic Rock Mass (SRM) Model for Simulation of Strength of Crystalline Rock using a Hybrid DFN-DEM Approach. In Proceedings of the EUROCK 2015, Salzburg, Austria.

Farahmand, K., & Diederichs M.S. (2015). Modelling hydraulic conductivity of granite during rock fracture considering micro-scale heterogeneity of material fabric. Poster presentation in EUROCK 2015, Salzburg, Austria.

Vazaios, I., Farahmand, K., Day, J.J., Vlachopoulos, N., Hutchinson, J., and Diederichs, M. 2015. Synthetic Rock Mass – SRM: Advanced Modelling at Different Scales. Nuclear Waste Management Organization, NWMO, Geoscience Seminar, Toronto, ON, June 2-3

Farahmand, K., & Diederichs M.S. (2014). Modeling of Stress-Induced Permeability Change with Progressive Damage in Intact Rock Using a Micro-Mechanical Approach. In: Proceedings of the 48th US Rock Mechanics Symposium, Minneapolis, USA.

Perras, M., Walton, G., Paraskevopoulou, C., Farahmand, K., Diederichs, M.S., & Lam, T. (2013). Advanced Rockmass Behaviour & Verification. Nuclear Waste Management Organization, NWMO, Geoscience Seminar, Toronto, ON, June

Ghazvinian, E., Palleske, C., Day, J., Farahmand, K., Kraan, M. V.D.P., & Diederichs, M.S. (2013). Effect of Natural and Induced Fractures on the Behaviour of Sedimentary Rock Masses. Nuclear Waste Management Organization, NWMO, Geoscience Seminar, Toronto, ON, June

Farahmand, K., Baghbanan, A., Shahryar, K. & Diederichs M.S. (2013). Effects of mechanical properties and stress on the existence of permeability tensor in fractured rock mass. 4th Canadian Young Geotechnical Engineers and Geoscientists Conference, Mont Tremblant, Canada, October, 2013.

Shams, G., Javadi, M., Sharifzadeh, M. & Farahmand, K. (2011). Modeling of water flow into underground excavations in fractured rock masses using Irregular Cellular Automata. First Asian and 9 th  Iranian Tunneling symposium, Tehran, Iran, Nov. 2011.

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