Joseph F. Labuz

Joseph F. Labuz

Joseph F. Labuz

Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering


Civil Engineering Building
Room 260
500 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455


  • B.S., 1979, Civil Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology
  • M.S., 1981, Civil Engineering, Northwestern University
  • Ph.D., 1985, Civil Engineering, Northwestern University

Professional Background

Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Denver, CO., 1985-87

Research Interests

Experts@Minnesota | Google Scholar

Research activities have focused on investigating the mechanical behavior of micro-cracked solids on the material and system levels. A plane-strain apparatus has been designed and built for determining the constitutive response of rock-like materials. The biaxial device (U.S. Patent number 5,063,785) is unique because it allows the failure plane to develop and propagate in an unrestricted manner, as opposed to conventional systems where the material is constrained by the testing apparatus. In addition, homogeneous deformation is promoted by the use of a stearic acid-based lubricant.

The failure response of structures composed of rock-like materials is influenced by the localization of deformation in the form of a process zone. This region, which is the seat of energy dissipation, has a fundamental importance for defining the behaviour of brittle materials in terms of the post-peak instability (a qualitative size effect) and the maximum stress (a quantitative size effect). The importance of defining the "strength" of brittle materials is related to the increased use of high-strength concrete and the urgency of storing wastes within rock. Recent developments include (1) the use of acoustic emissions to identify the zone of localized deformation; and (2) an explanation of the size effect, based on a characteristic length of the material.

It is evident from experimental observations of most rock that an analysis of the structural behavior and in particular, an evaluation of the nominal strength, requires a knowledge of the evolution of microcracking as a function of applied load. Among the methods used to examine development of microcracks within a test specimen is the acoustic emission (AE) technique, which is based on the recording of transient elastic waves resulting from the sudden release of energy due to microcracking.

Honors and Awards

Patent #5063785, Plane-strain apparatus (1991)

Patent #5024103, Surface instability detection apparatus (1991)


Selected Publications

Diana, V., Labuz, J.F., Biolzi, L. (2020). Simulating fracture in rock using a micropolar peridynamic formulation. Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 230. doi: 10.1016/j.engfracmech.2020.106985

Zeng, F., Folta, B.L., Labuz, J.F. (2019). Strength testing of sandstone under multi-axial stress states. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 37(6), 4803-4814. doi: 10.1007/s10706-019-00939-5

Lin, Q., Wan, B., Wang, Y., Lu, Y. & Labuz, J. F. 2019. Unifying acoustic emission and digital imaging observations of quasi-brittle fracture. Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics. 103, 102301.

Labuz, J. F., Zeng, F., Makhnenko, R. & Li, Y. 2018. Brittle failure of rock: A review and general linear criterion. Journal of Structural Geology. 112, p. 7-28.

Tarokh, A., Detournay, E. M. & Labuz, J. F. 2018. Direct measurement of the unjacketed pore modulus of porous solids. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 474, 2219, 2018060.

Zeng, F., Li, Y. & Labuz, J. F. 2018. Paul-Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion for geomaterials. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. 144, 2, 06017018.

Tarokh, A., Li, Y. & Labuz, J. F. 2017. Hardening in porous chalk from precompaction. Acta Geotechnica. 12, 4, p. 949-953.

Ishida, T., Labuz, J. F., Manthei, G., Meredith, P. G., Nasseri, M. H. B., Shin, K., Yokoyama, T. & Zang, A. 2017. ISRM Suggested Method for Laboratory Acoustic Emission Monitoring. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering. 50, 3, p. 665-674.