Faculty Directory
John Rudnicki

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech A128
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-3411Email John Rudnicki


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Mechanical Engineering


Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Graduate Program

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Ph.D. Solid Mechanics, Brown University, Providence, RI

M.S. Solid Mechanics, Brown University, Providence, RI

B.S. Engineering Mechanics, Brown University, Providence, RI

Research Interests

Inelastic behavior and failure of geomaterials, particularly deformation instabilities in brittle rocks and granular media, including their interactions with pore fluids, with applications to fault instability, quantification of energy radiation from earthquakes and environment- and resource-related geomechanics. Mechanics of rat whiskers.

Significant Recognition

  • Fellow, American Rock Mechanics Association, 2017
  • Engineering Science Medal, Society of Engineering Science, 2014
  • Fellow, Engineering Mechanics Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2013
  • Daniel C. Drucker Medal, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2011
  • Brown Engineering Alumni Medal, Brown University, 2008
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2008
  • Maurice A. Biot Medal, Engineering Mechanics Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers “For his fundamental contributions to the mechanics of porous media and its applications to rock mechanics and geophysics,” 2006
  • Award for Outstanding Research in Rock Mechanics from the U. S. National Committee on Rock Mechanics (shared with J. R. Rice), 1977.

Significant Professional Service

  • Co-chair, Thematic Session on Geomechanics and Geophysics at the 26th International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, ICTAM2024, Daegu, Korea, August 25-30, 2024
  • External Advisory Board, Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), Member 2005 - 2010
  • Advisory Board, Mechanics of Cohesive-Frictional Material and Structures, An International Journal on Experiments, Modeling and Computation
  • U. S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Energy Sciences, Geosciences Council, 1997 - 2010 (Chairman 2008 - 2010)
  • IUTAM Working Party 8, Geophysical and Environmental Mechanics, Member, 2004 - present
  • Poroelasticity Committee, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2003 - present

Selected Publications

1. J. W. Rudnicki, A three invariant model of failure in true triaxial tests on Castlegate sandstone, International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences, 97, 46-51, 2017. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrmms.2017.06.007

2. X. Ma, J. W. Rudnicki, and B. C. Haimson, Failure characteristics of two porous sandstones subjected to true triaxial stresses: applied through a novel loading path, Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth, 122, 2017. doi: 10.1002/2016JB013637

3. Y. Song and J. W. Rudnicki, Plane-strain shear dislocation on a leaky plane in a poroelastic solid, Journal of Applied Mechanics, 84, 2017. DOI: 10.1115/1.4035179

4. L. Huet, J. W. Rudnicki, and M. Hartmann, Tactile sensing with whiskers of various shapes: Determining the three-dimensional location of object contact based on mechanical signals at the whisker base, Soft Robotics, Vol. 4, No. 2, 88-102, June, 2017. DOI: 10.1089/soro.2016.0028

5. John W. Rudnicki, Fundamentals of Continuum Mechanics, 199 pages, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., ISBN 978-1-118-47991-9, 2015.

6. J. R. Rice, J. W. Rudnicki, and J. D. Platt, Stability and Localization of Rapid Shear in Fluid-Saturated Fault Gouge, 1. Linearized Stability Analysis, Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth, 119, 4311-4333, doi:10.1002/2013JB010710, 2014.

7. J. D. Platt, J. W. Rudnicki, and J. R. Rice, Stability and Localization of Rapid Shear in Fluid-Saturated Fault Gouge, 2. Localized Zone Width and Strength Evolution, Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth, 119, 4334-4359, doi:10.1002/2013JB010711, 2014.

8. J. W. Rudnicki, 2011 Drucker Medal Paper: Localized Compaction in Porous Sandstones, Journal of Applied Mechanics. 80(6), doi:10.1115/1.4025176, 2013.

In the Classroom

John Rudnicki teaches a variety of mechanics courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate courses he has taught recently include Engineering Analysis 2, Mechanics of Materials and Mechanics of Sports. At the graduate level, he regularly teaches Mechanics of Continua I and has taught Mechanics of Continua II, Inelastic Constitutive Relations for Solids, Plasticity, Fracture Mechanics and Elasticity.