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Matthew Perras

Associate Professor, P.Eng


Civil Engineering


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

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.

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. 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 presented in over 30 journal and conference papers he has published.

Research Interests

  • Rock mechanics
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Numerical modelling
  • Excavation induced damage
  • Long-term behaviour of brittle rocks
  • Environmental influences on fracture growth