Matthew Perras

Contact Information

(416) 736-2100 ext. 44209

Campus Address

BRG 337E, 11 Arboretum Ln. York University Toronto ON M3J 1P3


Dr Matthew Perras is an Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at the Lassonde School of Engineering, York University, Toronto, Ontario. His research interests lie in Geotechnical and Geological Engineering with a focus on near underground excavation or Earth’s surface temporal crack growth in brittle rocks, the influence of environmental factors on fracture mechanics processes, and engineering applications related to time-dependent behavior of rocks and other civil engineering materials.

Matthew received his BSc from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, in Geological Engineering with a specialization in Geotechnical Engineering. Matthew join the Geotechnical Department of Hatch Ltd. (formerly Acers International) in 2005. He worked on a variety of projects from the award winning Shikwamkwa Replacement Dam Project to the Niagara Tunnel Project, the largest hard rock tunnel at the time to be excavated by an open tunnel boring machine.

It was while working on the Niagara Tunnel Project that he first became interested in research and he incorporated this project into a part-time MSc on the anisotropic behaviour of laminated sedimentary rocks around underground excavations. In 2009 he applied his experience with the sedimentary rocks of Southern Ontario to his PhD research to better understand and improve our ability to predict excavation damage zones around underground excavations. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) of Canada sponsored this research through an NSERC-IPS and Matthew was awarded a PhD from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, in 2014. Before joining Lassonde in 2017, Matthew was an Oberassistant in the Engineering Geology Group of the Department of Earth Sciences at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Closing the gap between Geological Engineering practice and Geological Engineering research continues to be the driving force behind Matthew’s research interests. This is reflected in the practical application of his research published in over 30 journal and conference papers.


2009 – 2014                         Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Ph.D. (Geological Engineering)

2006 – 2009                         Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. M.Sc.Eng. (Geological Engineering)

2001 – 2005                         Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. B.Sc.Eng. (Geotechnical Option)

Areas of Expertise/Interest
  • Rock mechanics
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Numerical modelling
  • Excavation damage zone development
  • Long-term behaviour of brittle rocks
  • Environmental influences on fracture growth
Recent Publications

D Vogler, SDC Walsh, E Dombrovski, MA Perras, 2017. A comparison of tensile failure in 3D-printed and natural sandstone. Engineering Geology 226: 221-235.

C Paraskevopoulou, M Perras, M Diederichs, F Amann, S Loew, T Lam, M Jensen, 2017. The three stages of stress relaxation-Observations for the time-dependent behaviour of brittle rocks based on laboratory testing. Engineering Geology 216: 56-75.

C Paraskevopoulou, M Perras, M Diederichs, S Loew, T Lam, M Jensen, 2017. Time-Dependent Behaviour of Brittle Rocks Based on Static Load Laboratory Tests. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 1-40.

MA Perras, MS Diederichs, 2016. Predicting excavation damage zone depths in brittle rocks. Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 8(1): 60-74.

MA Perras, H Wannenmacher, MS Diederichs, 2015. Underground excavation behaviour of the Queenston Formation: tunnel back analysis for application to shaft damage dimension prediction. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering 48(4): 1647-1671.

G Walton, M Lato, H Anschütz, MA Perras, MS Diederichs, 2015. Non-invasive detection of fractures, fracture zones, and rock damage in a hard rock excavation—Experience from the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory in Sweden. Engineering Geology 196: 210-221.

Research Opportunities
Dr. Perras is currently seeking MSc students with a strong Geological or Geological Engineering background only.  Please visit for more information on how to apply.