Associate Professor
Undergraduate Advisor

Rock Mechanics, Rock Engineering, Block Caving

Frank Forward Building, Room 513
University of Exeter (UK), 2017, Ph.D
University of Portsmouth (UK), 2001, B.Eng.

My research is related to rock mechanics, rock engineering design and numerical modelling. I have intensively researched and published on the use of discrete fracture network engineering, interaction between surface and underground mining, mechanical behavior of hard rock pillars, slope stability analysis, and applications of synthetic rock mass modelling. When applied, the findings of my research support more efficient rock engineering design and improve operational safety – an especially important consideration as mines are being developed deeper underground. I have worked for 10 years as a geotechnical and rock mechanics engineer for consulting companies in Ireland and Canada, providing consultation on aspects of both surface and underground rock engineering for mining and civil engineering project. To date, I have collaborated on more than 80 technical papers (peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings).

Research Interests

Discrete fracture network modelling and analysis of fragmentation processes
Advanced numerical modelling of block cave mining
Mechanical behaviour of hard rock pillars and synthetic rock mass modelling
Analysis of brittle fracture and damage around tunnels using FEM and FEM/DEM techniques.

NSERC Discovery Grant
NSERC Discovery Grant
NSERC Discovery Grant
NSERC Discovery Grant
NSERC Discovery Grant
NSERC Discovery Grant
Victor Milligan Award
Golder Associates President’s Award for Innovation and Technical Excellence
  • Elmo D., K. Moffitt and J. Carvalho. 2016. Synthetic rock mass modelling: experience gained and lessons learned. 50th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium. Houston, Texas, June 2016. Paper 777.
  • Elmo D., E. Eberhardt and D. Stead. 2016. Discrete Fracture Network modelling: importance of accounting for data uncertainty and variability. Seventh International Conference & Exhibition on Mass Mining – MassMin 2016. Paper 183.
  • Mitelman A. and D. Elmo. 2015. Analysis of Tunnel Support Design to Withstand Spalling Induced by Blasting. Journal of Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology. Vol. 51, pp. 354-361.
  • Panton B., D. Elmo, D. Stead and P. Schlotfeldt. 2015. A Discrete Fracture Network Approach for the Design of Rock Foundation Anchorage. Mining Technology Journal. Vol. 124(3), pp. 150-162.
  • Nadolski S., B. Klein, D. Elmo and M. Scoble. 2015. Cave-to-Mill: A Mine-to-Mill approach for block cave mines. Mining Technology Journal. Vol. 124(1), pp. 47-55.
  • Zhang Y., D. Stead and D. Elmo. 2015. Characterization of strength and damage of hard rock pillars using a synthetic rock mass method. Computers and Geotechnics Vol. 6, pp. 56-72.
  • Dorador L., E. Eberhardt and D. Elmo. 2015. Influence Block Strength and Veining on Secondary Fragmentation Related to Block Caving Proceedings of the 13th ISRM Congress. Montreal, May 10-13th. Paper 806.
  • Mitelman A. and D. Elmo. 2014. Modelling of blast induced damage in tunnels using a hybrid finite-discrete numerical approach. Journal of Rock mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. Volume 6(6), pp. 565-573.
  • Elmo D., S. Rogers, D. Stead and E. Eberhardt. 2014. A Discrete fracture network approach to characterise rock mass fragmentation and implications for geomechanical upscaling. Mining Technology Journal. Vol. 123(3), pp. 149-161 (Most downloaded paper in the period October-November 2015).
  • Elmo D., D. Stead, E. Eberhardt and A. Vyazmensky. 2013. Applications of Finite Discrete Element Modelling to Rock Engineering Problems. International Journal of Geomechanics. Vol. 13(5), 565-580.
  • Schlotfeldt, P., B. Panton and D. Elmo. 2013. New Park Bridge, Kicking Horse Canyon Pier 5: a difficult foundation on rock. Proc. 47th US Rock Mechanics Symposium, San Francisco, CA, June 27–30, 2013. Paper 13-613.
  • Elmo D., C. Clayton, S. Rogers, R. Beddoes and S. Greer. 2011. Numerical simulations of potential rock bridge failure within a naturally fractured rock mass. Proceedings International Symposium on Rock Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Elmo D., P. Schlotfeldt, R. Beddoes and D. Roberts. 2011. Numerical simulations of scale effects under varying loading conditions for naturally fractured rock masses and implications for rock for rock mass strength characterization and the design of overhanging rock slopes. Proc. 45th US Rock Mechanics Symposium, San Francisco, CA, June 27-30, 2011. Paper 11-311.
  • Elmo D., S. Rogers, R. Beddoes and A. Catalan. 2010. An Integrated FEM/DEM – DFN synthetic rock mass approach for the modelling of surface subsidence associated with panel cave mining at the Cadia East Underground Project. 2nd Int. Symp. On Block and Sublevel Caving. Perth, Australia.
  • Vyazmensky A., D. Stead, D. Elmo and A. Moss. 2009 Numerical Analysis of Block Caving Induced Instability in Large Open Pit Slopes: A Finite Element / Discrete Element Approach. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering. Vol. 43(1). Pages 21-39.
  • Elmo D. and D. Stead. 2009. An integrated numerical modelling – discrete fracture network approach applied to the characterisation of rock mass strength of naturally fractured pillars. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, Vol. 43(1). Pages 3-19.
  • Elmo D., K. Moffitt, S. D’Ambra and D. Stead. 2009. A quantitative characterisation of brittle rock fracture mechanisms in rock slope failures. International Symposium on Rock Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, Santiago, Chile.
MINE 303 Rock Mechanics Fundamentals
MINE 403 Rock Mechanics Design
MINE 505 Advanced Topics Rock Engineering
MINE 485 Block Caving Systems (Cavability and Fragmentation)
Services and Outreach Activities

Fellow of the Geological Society of London (UK). 2001 to Present
Member of the Canadian Geotechnical Society. 2010 to Present
Graduate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK). 2008 to Present
Graduate Fellow of the Institute of Material, Minerals and Mining (UK). 2003 to Present