Faculty Profile

Roman Makhnenko

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Roman Makhnenko
Roman Makhnenko
Assistant Professor
2221 Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg
205 N. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 300-4587

Primary Research Area

  • Geotechnical Engineering


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, 2013
  • Master of Science, Geological Engineering, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, 2009
  • Specialist degree, Mechanics and Applied Mathematics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 2007


Roman Makhnenko is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Roman received his undergraduate degree in mechanics and applied mathematics at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia, in 2007. He then obtained his MS (2009) and PhD (2013) degrees in geological and civil engineering from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. From 2013 to 2016, Dr. Makhnenko worked as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) on the project related to assessment of geological storage of CO2. Currently, Roman is developing a rock mechanics program at Illinois that would involve modern high-pressure high-temperature rock testing facilities and new graduate and undergraduate courses on the topic.

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 12/2016 - present
  • Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer, Laboratory of Soil Mechanics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), 07/2013 - 11/2016

For more information

Research Statement

Prof. Makhnenko's research area is experimental geomechanics and development of novel methods in laboratory characterization of fluid-saturated geomaterials with applications to deep carbon dioxide (CO2) and nuclear waste storage, geothermal energy exploration, gas shales, and hydraulic fracturing.

Graduate Research Opportunities

- improvement of geomechanical measurements for deep CO2 storage

- thermo-poro-visco-elasticity of shales

- predicting fracturing of rock: from micro to macro level

- assessment of shallow and deep geothermal energy extraction

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

- understanding size effect on fracture propagation

- linking waste production to energy use and promoting recycling on campus

Research Interests

  • Rock-fluid interaction: poroelasticity, thermo-poro-visco-elasticity, plasticity, permeability
  • Fracturing of rock: size effect, process zone, hydraulic fracturing, failure criteria, induced seismicity
  • Geo-energy applications: deep CO2 storage, nuclear waste storage, gas shales, geothermal energy
  • Novel testing methods for geomaterials: optical, ultrasonic, X-ray CT, acoustic emission

Chapters in Books

  • Labuz, J.F., R.Y. Makhnenko, S.-T. Dai, and L. Biolzi. 2017. On yielding, failure, and softening response of rock. In: X.-T. Feng (ed), Rock Mechanics and Engineering: Principles, CRC Press, chapter 12, pp. 365-378.

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Makhnenko, R., and J. Labuz. 2014. Plane strain testing with passive restraint. Rock Mech. Rock Eng., 47(6): 2021-2029, doi: 10.1007/s00603-013-0508-2.
  • Makhnenko, R.Y., J. Harvieux, and J.F. Labuz. 2015. Paul-Mohr-Coulomb failure surface of rock in the brittle regime. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42: 6975-6981, doi: 10.1002/2015GL065457.
  • Makhnenko, R.Y., and J.F. Labuz. 2015. Dilatant hardening of fluid-saturated sandstone. J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 120: 909￿922, doi: 10.1002/2014JB011287.
  • Vilarrasa, V., R.Y. Makhnenko, and S. Gheibi. 2016. Geomechanical analysis of the influence of CO2 injection location on fault stability. J. Rock Mech. Geotech. Eng., 8: 805-818, doi: 10.1016/j.jrmge.2016.06.006.
  • Makhnenko, R.Y., and J.F. Labuz. 2016. Elastic and inelastic deformation of fluid-saturated rock. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 374: 20150422, doi: 10.1098/rsta.20150422.
  • Tarokh, A., R.Y. Makhnenko, A. Fakhimi, and J.F. Labuz. 2017. Scaling of the fracture process zone in rock. Int. J. Fract., 204: 191-204, doi: 10.1007/s10704-016-0172-0.

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Makhnenko, R.Y., A.P. Bunger, and E. Detournay. 2010. Deviation from linear elastic fracture in near-surface hydraulic fracturing experiments with rock. In Proceedings of the 44th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, Salt Lake City, UT 27-30 June 2010, paper No. 237, Vol. 1, 22-30.
  • Makhnenko, R.Y., J.J. Riedel, and J.F. Labuz. 2011. Undrained plane strain compression of shale. In Proceedings of the 45th U.S. Rock Mechanics/ Geomechanics Symposium, San Francisco, CA 26-29 June 2011, paper No. 420, Vol. 3, 2109-2115.
  • Makhnenko, R. 2012. AE in saturated rock under plane strain compression (student paper). In Proceedings of Acoustic Emission Working Group 54th meeting, Princeton, NJ 21-22 May 2012.
  • Makhnenko, R.Y., C. Ge, and J.F. Labuz. 2012. AE from undrained and unjacketed tests on sandstone. In Proceedings of the 46th U.S. Rock Mechanics/ Geomechanics Symposium, Chicago, IL 24-27 June 2012, paper No. 581, Vol. 1, 596-601.
  • Makhnenko, R., and J. Labuz. 2012. Drained and undrained plane strain compression of porous rock. In Proceedings of the XXIII International Congress on Theoretical & Applied Mechanics, Beijing, China, 19-24 August 2012, paper No. FS10-020.
  • Makhnenko, R.Y., and J.F. Labuz. 2013. Saturation of porous rock and measurement of the B-coefficient. In Proceedings of the 47th U.S. Rock Mechanics/ Geomechanics Symposium, San Francisco, CA 23-26 June 2013, paper No. 468, Vol. 1, 679-684.
  • Makhnenko, R., and J. Labuz. 2013. Unjacketed bulk compressibility of sandstone in laboratory experiments. Poromechanics V - Proceedings of the 5th Biot Conference on Poromechanics, pp. 481 - 488, doi: 10.1061/9780784412992.057
  • Makhnenko, R., and J. Labuz. 2014. Calcarenite as a possible host rock for geologic CO2 sequestration. In Proceedings of the 48th U.S. Rock Mechanics/ Geomechanics Symposium, Minneapolis, MN 1-4 June 2014, paper No. 7559.
  • Vilarrasa, V., R. Makhnenko, and L. Laloui. 2015. Influence of poromechanical and thermal properties of the caprock on the safety of CO2 storage. In Proceedings of Second EAGE Workshop on Geomechanics and Energy, Celle, Germany 13-15 October 2015.
  • Labuz, J.F., R.Y. Makhnenko, and J.T. Harvieux. 2016. Failure criterion with intermediate stress and two friction angles. In Proceedings of the 50th U.S. Rock Mechanics/ Geomechanics Symposium, Houston, TX 26-29 June 2016, paper No. 620.
  • Cassini, E., D. Mylnikov, and R. Makhnenko. 2017. Chemical influence of pore pressure on brine flow in clay-rich material. In: A. Ferrari and L. Laloui (eds), Advances in Laboratory Testing and Modelling of Soils and Shales (ATMSS), Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering, pp 273-280.


  • Sommerfeld Scholarship, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (2007/08)
  • Diploma with Honors (2007)