Simone Markus

Simone MarkusPhD Geological Engineering

Thesis Topic Advanced Discontinuum Hybrid Models with Fully Coupled Hydrologic Capability to Update and Advance Models for Tunnel and Cavern Construction
Supervisor Dr. Mark Diederichs

Research Interests

My research is focused on groundwater issues in tunneling and underground construction, and excavation induced consolidation in rock and competent ground. I use continuum and discontinuum numerical models to study hydro-mechanical interactions in geological media, with the goal of updating and advancing design models for tunnel and cavern construction.

About Simone

Simone is a geotechnical engineer-in-training, returning to Queen’s for a PhD after spending over 2 years working in the construction and oil and gas industries in Canada. Simone has been involved in a number of projects during her time in industry, including the Muskeg River Mine in Northern Alberta, the Ottawa East-West LRT expansion, the Kingston Third Crossing bridge, and the Little Long Dam Safety project in Northern Ontario. Simone completed a B.A.Sc. in Geological Engineering at Queen’s in 2017 and a M.A.Sc. at Queen’s in 2019.


  • RockEng Graduate Scholarship Awarded by RockEng Inc. in 2022 (Value CA$10000)
  • Dan Eisenstein Memorial Scholarship
    Awarded by the Tunnelling Association of Canada Oct 2021 at the TAC 2020-One Conference in Toronto, ON (Value CA$6000)

  • Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Graduate Engineering Ambassador Award
    Awarded by the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation (CEMF) in 2021 (Value CA$15000)

  • Rapid Excavation and Tunnelling Conference Scholarship
    Awarded by the UCA of SME in June 2019 (Value US$1000)

  • Manuel Fine Civil Engineering Scholarship
    Awarded by the Deep Foundations Institute in 2018 (Value US$2500)

  • North American Tunnelling Conference Scholarship
    Awarded by the UCA of SME in June 2018 (Value US$1000)

  • Hemmera Teaching Award
    Awarded by the Dept. of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering in Dec 2017
  • Raymond Price Prize for Geological Engineering Design (Group submission)
    Awarded by the Dept. of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering in June 2017


  • Markus, S. & Diederichs, M. (Apr. 2021) "Use of Continuum and Pseudo-Discontinuum FEM Models in Stepwise Verification of the FDEM for Simulating Damage Around Tunnels in Brittle Rock", RocScience International Conference, April 20-21 2021, Toronto, Canada

  • Markus, S. (2019). A Stepwise Approach to Verification of the Combined Finite-Discrete Element Method for Modelling Instability Around Tunnels in Brittle Rock. MASc. Thesis, Queen's University at Kingston, Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Kingston.

  • Markus, S., Diederichs, M., & Vazaios, I. (Sept. 2019) Establishing a Stepwise Verification and Upscaling Process for Modelling Brittle Failure in Rock Using the FDEM Method, 14th Annual International Congress on Rock Mechanics, Iguassu Falls, Brazil

  • Dadashzadeh, N., Markus, S., Diederichs, M., (Jun. 2019), "EDZ Analysis with Discontinuum Modelling: Reliability, Sensitivity, and Verification." [Poster Presentation] Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) GeoScience Seminar, June 2019, Toronto, Canada

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