Faculty Profile


  • 2006-2009: Ph.D. studies in the geotechnical group of Navier Laboratory (CERMES), at École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC, France). Ph.D. Advisor: Professor B. Gatmiri.
  • 2005-2006: Master of Science in Soil and Rock Mechanics and Environmental Geomechanics, from École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC), Ecole Centrale Paris and Paris VI University (P. & M. Curie University).
  • 2002-2006: Civil Engineering degree from École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC), leading Engineering school in Europe.
  • Spring 2003: Three-month research training internship at the Lehrstuhl für Baustatik und Baudynamik in the Rheinish Westfälischen Technischen Hochschule Aachen (LBB, RWTH, Aachen, Germany).
  • 2002-2003: Second-year academic degree of philosophy, Paris I University (Diplôme d’Études Universitaires Générales).

I am a theoretical and numerical expert in damage and healing rock mechanics, thermo-chemo-poromechanics, and underground storage. My group designs and formulates models that link microscopic damage and healing processes to macroscopic rock behavior. For example, we explain how salt grain sliding mechanisms can result in crack propagation and how diffusive mass transfer at grain interfaces can actually heal these cracks. We study crack propagation at multiple scales, in shale for instance, and how crack patterns affect rock strength, stiffness and permeability. We also use principles of micro-mechanics and thermodynamics to understand fragmentation processes in granular assemblies - ballast for example. Recently, I got involved in the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center for Bio-mediated and 


  • Constitutive Modeling: damage and healing in rock, influence of microstructure on macroscopic rock properties, thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical couplings in porous media
  • Numerical Modeling: Finite Element code development in laboratory-owned programs (in Fortran), implementation of new subroutines in commercial software (ANSYS, ABAQUS, PFC3D), algorithms for the validation and calibration of damage models (MATLAB)
  • Geomechanical Applications: deep geological storage (nuclear waste disposals, carbon dioxide sequestration, high-pressure gas storage), shallow geothermal systems, hydraulic fracturing, ground improvement by jet-grouting, scour and erosion, ballast particle crushing
  • Other Applications: retention properties of cracked cement paste, strength properties of damaged teeth repaired by resin injection


  • Adjunct Courtesy Appointment, School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Tech, 2014-2017
  • “Future Leaders Program” Membership, ARMA, 2013
  • “Class of 1969” Teaching Fellowship, Georgia Tech, 2013-2014
  • ExCEEd Teaching Fellowship, ASCE, 2012 (“Excellence in Civil Engineering Education”).
  • ENHANCE Fellowship, NSF, 2012 (“Enhance the Career of Female Faculty in Earthquake Engineering Research”)
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2016
  • Ph.D. Prize, ALERT Geomaterials, 2010 (Alliance of Laboratories in Europe for Research and Technology)
  • Ph.D. Special Prize, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, 2010 (ENPC, France)


  • R. Kirkman, C. Arson, L. Stewart, R. Harris, A. Francis, 2017. The risks of hydraulic fracturing and the responsibilities of engineers, Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene (DOI:
  • W. Jin, C. Arson, 2017. Micro mechanics based discrete damage model with multiple non-smooth yield surfaces: theoretical formulation, numerical implementation and engineering applications, International Journal of Damage Mechanics (accepted)
  • W. Jin, C. Arson, 2016. Discrete Wing Crack based Damage Model for Brittle Solids, International Journal of Solids and Structures (accepted)
  • H. Xu, S. Busetti, C. Arson, 2016. Fracture-­Induced Anisotropy of the Stress‐Strain Response of Shale at Multiple Scales, ASCE International Journal of Geomechanics (accepted)
  • C. Zhu, A. Pouya, C. Arson, 2016. Prediction of viscous cracking and cyclic fatigue of salt polycrystals using a joint-enriched Finite Element Model, Mechanics of Materials, DOI: 10.1016/j.mechmat.2016.09.004
  • C. Arson, E. Berns, G. Akrouch, M. Sanchez, J.-L. Briaud, 2013. Chapter: "Heat Propagation around Geothermal Piles and Implications on Energy Balance", in: Energy Book Series - Volume # 1: “Materials and processes for energy: communicating current research and technological developments”, A. Méndez-Vilas ed., Formatex Research Center, ISBN(13): 978-84-939843-7-3, pp.628-635
  • J. Ding, F.M. Chester, J. Chester, X. Shen, C. Arson, 2017. Microcrack Network Development in Salt Rock During Cyclic Loading at Low Confining Pressure. 51st US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium of the American Rock Mechanics Association, San Francisco, CA, June 25-28 2017, Paper 17-0308 (accepted)
  • X. Shen, C. Arson, J. Ding, F.M. Chester, J. Chester, 2017. Experimental characterization of microstructure development for calculating fabric and stiffness tensors in salt rock. 51st US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium of the American Rock Mechanics Association, San Francisco, CA, June 25-28 2017, Paper 17-0568 (accepted)
  • C. Zhu, X. Shen, C. Arson, A. Pouya, 2017. Numerical study of thermo-mechanical effects on the viscous damage behavior of rock salt caverns. 51st US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium of the American Rock Mechanics Association, San Francisco, CA, June 25-28 2017, Paper 17-0353 (accepted)
  • X. Shen, C. Zhu, C. Arson, 2017. Analysis of microstructure, deformation and permeability of salt/sand mixtures during creep, 6th Biot Conference on Poromechanics, Paris, France, 9-13 July 2017
  • R. Jeanneret, C. Arson, E. Vennat, 2017. Homogenization of dentin elastic properties based on microstructure characterization, statistical back-analysis and FEM simulation, 6th Biot Conference on Poromechanics, Paris, France, 9-13 July 2017