Mike Mooney

Grewcock University Endowed Chair and Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Joint Appointment, Mechanical Engineering
Michael MooneyMike’s research group focuses on geoconstruction monitoring, intelligent geoconstruction processes, ground vision and ground improvement as applied to underground construction and tunneling, earth dams and levees, urban excavations and pavement systems. In recent years, Mike’s group:

(1) developed a real-time technique to improve foundation construction at the seabed floor for the Venice lagoon restoration project;
(2) developed a real-time boulder detection system for tunnel boring machines (currently being used in Seattle),
(3) advanced the understanding of intelligent vibratory and static roller compaction techniques and developed specifications for intelligent compaction adoption; and
(4) advanced understanding of ground control using pressurized TBM tunneling and soil conditioning.

Mike’s current research includes real time tunnel boring machine monitoring, ground vision to look ahead of the tunnel boring machine, advancing horizontal directional drilling, earth dam and levee monitoring via remote sensing and geophysical methods, and rapid assessment of earth constructed conditions.

Mike teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in underground construction and tunnel engineering, earth retaining structures, foundations, soil mechanics, instrumentation and monitoring, nondestructive evaluation and intelligent geosystems, and infrastructure engineering. Mike is a registered Professional Engineer and actively consults on construction projects in the U.S. and Europe.


  • PhD Civil Engineering, Northwestern University, 1996
  • MS Civil Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 1993
  • BS Civil Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, 1991
  • BA Physics, Hastings College, 1991


  • Toohey, N.M. and Mooney, M.A. “Seismic Modulus Growth during Laboratory Curing of Lime-Stabilized Soils,” Géotechnique, 2012, 62(2), 161-170.
  • Haas, A.K., Revil, A., Karaoulis, M., Frash, L., Hampton, J., Gutierrez, M. and Mooney, M.A. “Electrical Potential Source Localization Reveals a Borehole Leak during Hydraulic Fracturing,” Geophysics, 2013, 78(2), 93-113.
  • Gharahbagh, E.A., Mooney, M.A., Frank, G., Walter, B. and DiPonio, M.A. “Periodic Inspection of Gauge Cutter Wear in EPB TBMs using Cone Penetration Testing,” Tunnels & Underground Space Technology, 2013, 38, 279-286.
  • Toohey, N.M., Mooney, M.A. and Bearce, R.G. “Relationship between Resilient Modulus and Unconfined Compressive Strength for Lime Stabilized Soils,” J. Geotechnical & Geoenv. Engr., ASCE, 2013, 139(11), 1982-1985.
  • Kimmel, S.C., Bearce, R.G., Rinehart, R.V. and Mooney, M.A. “Development of a Machine Integrated Strain-Based Contact Force Sensor for Pad Foot Soil Compactors,” J. Terramechanics, 2014, 51, 31-41.
  • Ikard, S.J., Rittgers, J., Revil, A. and Mooney, M.A. “Geophysical Investigation of Seepage beneath an Earthen Dam,” Groundwater, 2014, doi: 10.1111/gwat.12185.
  • Mooney, M.A., Karaoulis, M. and Revil, A. “Investigation of Geoelectric-While-Tunneling Look Ahead Methods through Modeling and Analysis of Project Data,” Proc. 2013 World Tunneling Congress, Geneva, Switzerland, June 1-5, 2013.
  • Bearce, R., Mooney, M.A., Neiderleithinger, E. Revil, A. “Characterization of Simulated Jet Grout Column Curing using Acoustic Tomography,” Proc. Geocongress 2014, Atlanta, GA, Feb. 23-26, 2014.
  • Mooney, M.A., Parekh, M.L., Lowry, B., Rittgers, J., Grasmick, J., Koelwijn, A., Revil, A., Zhou, W. “Design and Implementation of Geophysical Monitoring and Remote Sensing during a Full Scale Embankment Internal Erosion Test,” Proc. Geocongress 2014, Atlanta, GA, Feb. 23-26, 2014.
  • Mooney, M.A., Grasmick, J., Clemmensen, A., Thompson, A. Ground Deformation from Multiple Tunnel Openings: Analysis of Queens Bored Tunnels, Proc. North American Tunneling, Los Angeles, CA, June 22-25, 2014.
  • Mooney, M.A., Walter, B.W., Steele, J.P., Cano, D. Monitoring Earth Pressure Balance TBM Vibration to Assess Geological Conditions, Proc. North American Tunneling, Los Angeles, CA, June 22-25, 2014.
  • Schaeffer, K., Mooney, M.A. Implementation Aspects of TBM Look Ahead Imaging using Geoelectrics, Proc. North American Tunneling, Los Angeles, CA, June 22-25, 2014.

Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding Civil Engineering Faculty Award, 2010
  • National Academy of Engineering China-America Frontiers in Engineering Symposium invitee, 2009
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award, Colorado School of Mines, 2009
  • The Best Paper, 22nd Intl. Symp. on Automation and Robotics in Construction, Ferrara, Italy, 2005
  • Minority Engineering Program Outstanding Faculty Award, Colorado School of Mines, 2005
  • National Academy of Engineering Frontiers in Engineering Symposium invitee, 2004
  • ASCE Arthur Casagrande Award, 2003
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2000