Associate Professor

Contact InformationJames Craig

Phone: 519-888-4567 x37554
Location: E2 2315


Biography Summary

James R. Craig is an Associate Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo.

He conducts research on numerical and analytical methods for modelling groundwater flow, subsurface contaminant transport and surface water. Professor Craig has worked on parameter estimation, uncertainty analysis, and the integration of GIS and environmental models. Along with his research group, he is working to improve the science of environmental modelling using analytical and semi-analytical methods.

Professor Craig is currently addressing the issue of simulating large scale systems and local scale systems by integrating the Analytical Element Method (AEM), which is advantageous at large scales, and the Finite Element Method (FEM), which is more appropriate for complex local scale phenomena. He is working with Dr. Robert Gracie on the extension of the Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM) to mixed-scale problems of carbon sequestration and reservoir leakage in multilayer aquifer systems.

He is also working with novel methods based upon the Bers-Vekua theory of pseudo-analytic functions to obtain solutions for heterogeneous porous media flow problems. These methods may eventually be used to benchmark numerical simulation methods and better understand the impact of heterogeneity on pollutant transport.

Surface water models are another research interest of Professor Craig’s. They are expected to successfully simulate the interaction of several complicated processes such as infiltration at large scales in an efficient manner. To complicate issues, these processes are extremely variable (both in time and space). Professor Craig and his students are investigating how to use distribution-based approaches to successfully model a variety of phenomenon at mixed spatial and temporal scales. They are also working on the development of a robust computational framework, Raven, for assessing the impacts of modelling decisions on model output.

As a result of his work, Professor Craig received the Early Research Award in 2011 for high scholastic achievement at the University of Buffalo as well as the 2012 Distinguished Performance Award at the University of Waterloo.

Research Interests

  • Environmental & Water Resources
  • Flood forecasting
  • Groundwater flow modelling
  • Contaminant transport modelling
  • Analytic element method
  • surface water modelling
  • Series solution methods
  • Upscaling in hydrology
  • Model calibration
  • Geothermal energy
  • Water


  • 2005, Doctorate, Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo
  • 1999, Bachelor's, Civil Engineering, Bucknell University


  • ENVE 573 - Contaminant Transport
    • Taught in 2015
  • ENVE 321 - Advanced Mathematics
    • Taught in 2015
  • CIVE 497 - Special Topics in Civil Engineering
    • Taught in 2015
  • CIVE 486 - Hydrology
    • Taught in 2016
  • CIVE 770 - Topics in Environmental Engineering
    • Taught in 2016
  • ENVE 223 - Differential Equations and Balance Laws
    • Taught in 2017, 2018
  • CIVE 781 - Principles of Hydrologic Modelling
    • Taught in 2017, 2018, 2019
  • ENVE 279 - Energy and the Environment
    • Taught in 2017, 2018, 2019
* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Tolson, Bryan and Craig, James, A new fit-for-purpose model testing framework: Decision Crash Tests, , 2016
  • Ameli, AA and Craig, JR and McDonnell, JJ, Are all runoff processes the same? Numerical experiments comparing a Darcy-Richards solver to an overland flow-based approach for subsurface storm runoff simulation, Water Resources Research, 51(12), 2015, 10008 - 10028
  • Ladubec, Chris and Gracie, Robert and Craig, James, An extended finite element method model for carbon sequestration, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, 102(3-4), 2015, 316 - 331
  • Craig, JR, A general analytical solution for steady flow in heterogeneous porous media, Water Resources Research, 51(6), 2015, 4184 - 4197
  • Connon, RF and Quinton, WL and Craig, JR and Hanisch, J and Sonnentag, O, The hydrology of interconnected bog complexes in discontinuous permafrost terrains, Hydrological Processes, 29(18), 2015, 3831 - 3847