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 involves modern high-pressure high-temperature rock testing facilities and new graduate courses on the topic.

Dr. Makhnenko teaches CEE 380 Geotechnical Engineering and CEE 586 Rock Mechanics and Behavior.

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

- Geomechanical and flow properties of tight rock

- Induced seismicity in reservoirs with low-permeable beddings and faults

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

- understanding size effect on fracture propagation

- 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

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Makhnenko, R.Y., and A. Tarokh. 2018. Anisotropy in the undrained pore pressure response of rock. In Proceedings of the 52nd U.S. Rock Mechanics/ Geomechanics Symposium, Seattle, WA 17-20 June 2018, paper No. 1300.
  • Vilarrasa, V., R.Y. Makhnenko, and F. Parisio. 2018. Modeling the reactivation of a ductile fault. In Proceedings of the 10th Workshop of CODE_BRIGHT Users, Barcelona, Spain 3 May 2018.
  • Makhnenko, R.Y., A. Tarokh, and Y. Podladchikov. 2017. On the unjacketed moduli of sedimentary rock. Poromechanics VI ￿ Proceedings of the 6th Biot Conference on Poromechanics, pp. 897 ￿ 904.
  • Makhnenko, R.Y., and V. Vilarrasa. 2017. Clay-rich rocks as barriers for geologic CO2 storage. In Proceedings of the 51st U.S. Rock Mechanics/ Geomechanics Symposium, San Francisco, CA 25-28 June 2017, paper No. 199.
  • Makhnenko, R.Y., and J.F. Labuz. 2017. Localization in plane strain compression of fluid-saturated rock. In: E. Papamichos et al. (eds.), Bifurcation and Degradation of Geomaterials with Engineering Applications, Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering, pp 33-38.
  • Cassini, E., D. Mylnikov, and 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.
  • 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.
  • Vilarrasa, V., 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.
  • Makhnenko, R.Y., and J. Labuz. 2014. Calcarenite as a possible host rock for geologic CO2. In Proceedings of the 48th U.S. Rock Mechanics/ Geomechanics Symposium, Minneapolis, MN 1-4 June 2014, paper No. 7559.
  • Makhnenko, R.Y., and J. Labuz. 2013. Unjacketed bulk compressibility of sandstone in laboratory experiments. Poromechanics V ￿ Proceedings of the 5th Biot Conference on Poromechanics, 481-488.
  • 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. 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., G. 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.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.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.

Journal Editorships

  • Co-editor, Geofluids, 2019. Special issue on "Geomechanics and fluid flow in geothermal systems".

Professional Societies

  • International Society for Porous Media
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Rock Mechanics Association
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM)

Service on Department Committees

  • CEE Faculty Search Committee, 2018/2019
  • Geotechnical Engineering Admission and Fellowship Committee, 2018
  • Energy-Water-Environment Sustainability Admission and Fellowship Committee, 2017-2019


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