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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.

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Research Output

Dynamic Fluid Ingress Detection in Geomaterials using K-band Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave Radar

Blanche, J., Lewis, H., Couples, G. D., Buckman, J., Lenoir, N., Tengattini, A. & Flynn, D., 2020, In : IEEE Access. 8, p. 111027-111041 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 2 Downloads (Pure)

    Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave Analysis of Dynamic Load Deformation in Geomaterials

    Blanche, J., Buckman, J., Lewis, H., Flynn, D. & Couples, G. D., 4 May 2020, Offshore Technology Conference 2020. 21 p. OTC-30479-MS

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

  • John Logie Baird and the Secret in the Box: The Undiscovered Story behind the World's First Public Demonstration of Television

    Inglis, B. D. & Couples, G. D., Aug 2020, In : Proceedings of the IEEE. 108, 8, p. 1371-1382 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 72 Downloads (Pure)

    Sampling and preparation of c.200 mm diameter cylindrical rock samples for geomechanical experiments

    Fraser-Harris, A., Lightbody, A., Edlmann, K., Elphick, S. C., Couples, G. D., Sauter, M. & McDermott, C., Apr 2020, In : International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences. 128, 104233.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle