Steve Gaines

Steve GainesPhD Geomechanics (part-time)

Thesis Topic Advanced geomechanical lab testing
Supervisors Dr. Mark Diederichs

Research Interests

lab testing, coupled processes, brittle rock failure, geological storage/sequestration

About Steve

I am a Senior Rock Mechanics Engineer at Natural Resources Canada – CanmetMINING in Ottawa, Ontario. Prior to joining the CanmetMINING Rock Mechanics Lab in 2018 I was employed for over 10 years as an engineering consultant working on a variety of geological engineering and geoscience projects including siting studies for radioactive waste storage sites in southern Ontario, as well as supervision of drilling and hydrogeological testing to support mine development.  Both my undergraduate and master’s degrees were completed at Queen’s University (Geological Engineering) in 2006 and 2013, respectively.


Alejano, L.R., G. Walton and S. Gaines, 2021. Residual strength of granitic rocks. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology incorporating Trenchless Technology Research,

Walton, G, S. Gaines and L.R. Alejano, 2021.  Evaluating the Validity of Continuous-Failure-State Unloading Triaxial Tests as a Means to Estimate the Residual Strength of Rock.  Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 13(4):717-726.

Crow, H.L., Brewer, K.D., Cartwright, T.J., Gaines, S., Heagle, D., Pugin, A.J.-M., and Russell H.A.J., 2021. New core and downhole geophysical data sets from the Bells Corners Borehole Calibration Facility, Ottawa, Ontario; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8811.

McDonald, M., S. Gaines and M. Diederichs, 2021.  Interpreting Elastic Properties of Rock Core from Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Measurements.  Proceedings, GeoNiagara - 74th Canadian Geotechnical Society Conference, Niagara Falls, Ontario. Sept 26-29.

Gaines, S., 2020.  Laboratory Investigation and Comparison of Direct Shear Test Procedures using Induced Tension Fractures in Sandstone.  Proceedings, ARMA 54th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium, Boulder, Colorado, USA, 28 June – 1 July.

Gaines, S., K. Judge and D. Labrie, 2019.  Development and testing of the CMIN-BCM for monitoring borehole closure in underground environments.  Proceedings, 72nd Canadian Geotechnical Society Conference, St. John’s, NL. Sept 30 – Oct 2.

Gaines, S., G. Walton, and D. Labrie, 2019.  Residual properties estimated from post-peak triaxial unloading: case study of a hard rock mine site.  Proceedings, ARMA 53rd US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium, New York, NY, USA, 23-26 June.

Gaines, S., and M.S. Diederichs, 2013. Assessment of the stress path and stress conditions around a borehole: implications for in situ stress estimation using borehole breakouts.  Proceedings, ARMA 47th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium, San Francisco, CA, USA, 23-26 June.

Gaines, S., M.S. Diederichs and D.J. Hutchinson, 2012. Review of borehole in situ stress estimation techniques for various ground conditions and numerical stress estimation considerations. Proceedings, ARMA 46th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium, Chicago, IL, USA, 24-27 June.

Raven, K.G., S. Sterling, S. Gaines and A. Wigston, 2009. Regional and site geological frameworks – proposed Deep Geologic Repository, Bruce County, Ontario. Proceedings, 62nd Canadian Geotechnical Conference and 10th Joint CGS/IAH-CNC Groundwater Conference, Halifax, 1348-1355.

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