Personal profile

Research interests

Pore-scale and grain-scale studies leading to the prediction of emergent macroscopic properties. Numerical simulation of geomechanical processes – faults, flexures, compaction. Coupling of geomechanics and flow simulation. Fractured reservoirs. Development and behaviour of seals. Design of rock mechanics testing apparatus. My research is focused on materials and processes. I have been fortunate to have established productive collaborations with others who possess complementary skills, allowing me to investigate problems that involve complex interactions and which require a broad knowledge base. I attempt to integrate observations, experiments and theoretical/simulation methods to gain as much understanding as possible, and I try to apply research outcomes to the solution of practical problems.


I grew up in west Texas, and attended Texas A&M for my undergraduate education. I earned my Master’s degree at Rice University, and then a PhD at Texas A&M. I worked in the oil industry (Cities Service Co in Oklahoma, and Amoco in Colorado) and then ran a consultancy before moving to the UK. While at Glasgow University, I focused on basin-scale hydrogeological topics, and have been able to emphasise geomechanical research since joining Heriot-Watt in 1998.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the persons scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 1996 2017

Analysis of geomaterials using frequency-modulated continuous wave radar in the K-band

Blanche, J., Flynn, D., Lewis, M. H., Couples, G. D. & Cheung, R. 13 Jun 2017

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

continuous radiation

Idealised Discrete Pore-Scale Model of Poro-Elasticity via Closed-Form Analytical Expressions

Couples, G. D. Jul 2017 Proceedings of the 6th Biot Conference on Poromechanics. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 8 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

porous materials

Initiation of Stimulation Treatments Depends on Wellbore Mechanical Responses During Drilling

Alruwaili, K., Couples, G. D. & Ma, J. Jun 2017 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Localised Deformation of Weakly Cemented Sands: A Case Study

Soriano, I., Charalampidou, E-M. C., Lewis, H., Viggiani, G., Buckman, J. & Couples, G. D. 2017 Bifurcation and Degradation of Geomaterials with Engineering Applications. Papamichos, E., Papanastasiou, P., Pasternak, E. & Dyskin, A. (eds.). Springer, p. 381-389 9 p. (Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


Modeling and simulation of wormhole formation during acidization of fractured carbonate rocks

Liu, P., Yao, J., Couples, G. D., Ma, J., Huang, Z. & Sun, H. Jun 2017 In : Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering. 154, p. 284-301 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Finite volume method