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Photo of Foster, Craig D.

Craig D. Foster, PhD

Professor, Director of Graduate Studies

Civil, Materials, and Environmental Engineering


Building & Room:

3085 ERF


842 West Taylor Street, MC 246, Chicago, IL 60607

Office Phone:



Research Interests

My research focuses on computer modeling of deformation in solid materials with an emphasis on geomaterials such as rocks, soils, and concrete, as well as biomaterials. In particular, I use finite element analysis to investigate a variety of problems, from plasticity and damage to fracture, shear banding and other types of localized deformation. Current areas of interest include:

Evolving discontinuity methods for capturing fracture, shear banding, and other forms of localized deformation

Coupled-physics problems, such as couple mechanics and fluid flow in soil biological tissues, and therm-hydro-mechanics of geothermal heat pumps

Computational plasticity, damage and constitutive modeling for geomaterials and soft tissues

Finite elements and other computational techniques

Structural behavior of earthen structural material such as rammed earth and stabilized soil block

Rail geotechnics

Selected Publications

  1. D.A. Weed, M.H. Motamedi, and C.D. Foster. “A robust numerical framework for simulating localized failure and fracture propagation in frictional materials.” Acta Geotechnica. In press
  2. Contreras, A.M. Recuero, P. Jayakumar, C.D. Foster, M.D. Letherwood, D.J. Gorsich and A.A. Shabana “Integration of ANCF Continuum-Based Soil Plasticity for Off-Road Vehicle Mobility in Multibody System Dynamics”. International Journal of Vehicle Performance. In press
  3. M.H. Motamedi, D.A. Weed, and C.D. Foster “Numerical simulation of mixed mode (I and II) fracture behavior of pre-cracked rock using the strong discontinuity approach” International Journal of Solids and Structures, Vol 85-86, 44-56, 2016
  4. A.G. Tennant, C.D. Foster, and B.V. Venkatarama Reddy “Detailed experimental review of flexural behavior of cement stabilized soil block masonry”. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering. 10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0001548 , 06016004, 2016.

Notable Honors

2015-2016, Academic and Professional Excellence Award, Fulbright

2014, Teaching Award, Christopher Burke


Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering (2006)
Stanford University

M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering (2002)
Stanford University

B.S. Mathematics (1995)
Princeton University

Research Currently in Progress

“Modeling of Rail Track Substructure for Coupling with Vehicle Dynamics Model”. 2012-2018. NURail Center, an USDOT OST-R University Transportation Center.