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Robert Gracie

Associate Professor, Associate Chair

Contact InformationRobert Gracie

Phone: 519-888-4567 x38827
Location: E2 2321


Biography Summary

Dr. Robert Gracie is an Associate Professor in the Department of the Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo (UW) and is an expert in Computational and Applied Mechanics. He completed his PhD at Northwestern University in 2009 on multiscale analysis of the deformation and fracture of solids, prior to which he spent two years with Natural Resources Canada conducting analysis of the interactions between ice scours, the seabed soil, and offshore pipelines. He is speaks both French and English and enjoys playing hockey.

At UW, he carries out research on the development of numerical methods to simulate the deformation and fracture of solids, the flow of fluids, and heat transfer in fluids and solids. He’s known for his work on the development and application of the Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM) to fracture and to hydraulic fracturing. He has published research on topics ranging from the methods for the simulation of multi-physics phenomena, for multiscale analysis and upscaling, and for parameter estimation and model calibration under uncertainty. Applications of his work range for oil and gas development and geothermal energy to carbon sequestration. His current research projects focus on developing new technologies for multi-physics simulation of hydraulic fracturing, enhanced geothermal systems, and solution mining for caverns for compressed air energy storage systems.

Research Interests

  • Simulation & Modelling of Multiphysics Problems
  • Verification and Validation of Simulators
  • Parameter Estimations and Uncertainty
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Solid and Fracture Mechanics
  • Plasticity
  • Geomechanics
  • Heat Transfer and Thermodynamics
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Molecular Dynamics
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Numerical Methods
  • Finite Element Analysis


  • 2009, Doctorate, Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University
  • 2002, Bachelor's, Mechanical Engineering, University of Ottawa
  • 2002, Bachelor's, Computing Technologies, University of Ottawa


  • CIVE 221 - Advanced Calculus
    • Taught in 2016, 2017
  • CIVE 303 - Structural Analysis
    • Taught in 2018, 2019
  • CIVE 422 - Finite Element Analysis
    • Taught in 2016, 2018, 2019
  • CIVE 611 - Finite Element Analysis
    • Taught in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020
* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Gee, Bruce and Parchei-Esfahani, Matin and Gracie, Robert, XFEM simulation of a mixed-mode fracture experiment in PMMA, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 229, 2020
  • Rivas, Endrina and Gracie, Robert, Numerical considerations for the simulation of proppant transport through fractures, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 180, 2019, 1006 - 1021
  • Komijani, M and Gracie, R and Sarvaramini, E, Simulation of induced acoustic emission in fractured porous media, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 210, 2019, 113 - 131
  • Rivas, Endrina and Parchei-Esfahani, Matin and Gracie, Robert, A two-dimensional extended finite element method model of discrete fracture networks, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, 117(13), 2019, 1263 - 1282
  • Yetisir, Mike and Dusseault, Maurice and Gracie, Robert, On the homogenization and up-scaling of a discrete element method model, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 56(10), 2019, 1367 - 1379
  • Parchei Esfahani, Matin and Gracie, Robert, On the undrained and drained hydraulic fracture splits, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, 118(12), 2019, 741 - 763
  • Sarvaramini, Erfan and Dusseault, Maurice B and Gracie, Robert, Characterizing the stimulated reservoir volume during hydraulic fracturing-connecting the pressure fall-off phase to the geomechanics of fracturing, Journal of Applied Mechanics, 85(10), 2018
  • Ladubec, Chris and Gracie, Robert, Stabilized finite element methods for vertically averaged multiphase flow for carbon sequestration, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, 111(8), 2017, 724 - 752
  • Gomez Rodriguez, DM and Dusseault, MB and Gracie, R, Cohesion and Fracturing in a Transparent Jointed Rock Analogue, , 2016
  • Komijani, M and Gracie, R, Nonlinear thermo-electro-mechanical dynamic behaviour of FGPM beams, Composite Structures, 150, 2016, 208 - 218
  • 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
  • Sarkarfarshi, Mirhamed and Gracie, Robert, Unscented importance sampling for parameter calibration of carbon sequestration systems, Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 29(3), 2015, 975 - 993
  • Ghavam, K and Gracie, R, Simulations of reactions between irradiation induced< a>-loops and mixed dislocation lines in zirconium, Journal of Nuclear Materials, 462, 2015, 126 - 134

Graduate Studies