Associate Professor
Undergraduate Advisor

Rock Mechanics, Rock Engineering, Block Caving

Frank Forward Building, Room 513
University of Exeter (UK), 2007, 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 2013-2019
NSERC CRD Grants 2014-2016
NSERC CRD Grants 2016-2018
Golder Associates Victor Milligan Award 2010
Golder Associates President’s Award for Technical Innovation 2009
Selected Publications
  • Schlotfeldt, P., D. Elmo and B. Panton. 2017. Overhanging rock slope by design: an integrated approach using rock mass strength characterisation, large scale numerical modelling and limiting equilibrium methods. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical engineering DJRMGE_2017_103. Accepted. In Press.
  • Nadolski S., M. Munkhchuluun, B. Klein, D. Elmo and C. Hart. 2017. Cave Fragmentation in a Cave-to-Mill Context at the New Afton Mine Part I: Fragmentation and Hang-Up Frequency Prediction. Mining Technology (TIMM A). In Press.
  • Mitelman A., D. Elmo and D. Stead. 2016. Development of a Spring Analogue Approach for the Study of Pillars and Shafts. International Journal of Mining Science and Technology. in Press.
  • Gao F., D. Stead and D. Elmo. 2016. Numerical simulation of microstructure of brittle rock using a grain-breakable distinct element grain-based model. Computers and Geotechnics 78:203-217.
  • 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.
  • Havaej M., J. Coggan, D. Stead and D. Elmo. 2015. A combined remote sensing-numerical modelling approach to the stability analysis of Delabole Slate Quarry, Cornwall, UK. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering. Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 1227-1245.
  • Hamdi P., D. Stead and D. Elmo. 2015. Characterizing the influence of stress-induced microcracks on the laboratory strength and fracture development in brittle rocks using a finite/discrete element method-micro discrete fracture network FDEM-?DFN Approach. Journal of Rock mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. Vol 7, 509-625.
  • 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.
  • 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 (Second most viewed paper since November 2015).
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