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Ingrid Tomac


  • Assistant professor

I am an Assistant Professor of geomechanics and geotechnical engineering at the Department of Structural Engineering, University of California San Diego. My research interests revolve around soil and rock mechanics, energy geotechnics and hazards such as are devastating post-wildfire mudflows. I wish to dedicate my research efforts towards creating a better world through exploration and development of civil engineering infrastructure for supporting renewable and sustainable energy resources. 

In my research, I use micromechanics, micro-scale imaging videography, fundamental theories, and numerical simulations involving coupling between the Discrete Element Method and computational fluid dynamics (DEM-CFD) to better understand coupled processes in geomechanics at the relevant constituent scale.


Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, USA 2014
Mr. SC. Civil Engineering (Geotechnical), University of Zagreb, Croatia 2007
Diploma Eng. Civil Engineering (Structural), University of Zagreb, Croatia 2000

Academic Positions

Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego, July 2017 - present
Assistant Research Scientist, University of California, San Diego, September 2014 -J une 2017 (with breaks to work in Goettingen, Germany)
Visiting Research Scientist, University of Goettingen, Goettingen February - August 2015 and January - June 2017
Research Associate, Colorado University at Boulder May 2014 – August 2014
Post-doctoral Fellow, Colorado School of Mines January 2014 – May 2014
Research Assistant, Colorado School of Mines January 2011 - April 2014
Teaching Assistant, Colorado School of Mines August 2010 – April 2014
Teaching Associate, Polytechnics of Zagreb Sept. 2008 – July 2009

Awards and Research Grants

  1. NSF CBET 2025643 Standard Grant: ISS: A new paradigm for explaining catastrophic post-wildfire mudflows: transport phenomena and gravity-driven aggregation dynamics of hydrophobic particle-air-water mixtures, PI: Ingrid Tomac, 10/01/2020 – 09/30/2024, $400,000
  2. KEM-24/202003010: Effect of Pressure Maintenance by Fluid Injection on Seismic Risk, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (MEA), Netherlands, Foreign Partner
  3. UC Institute of Transportation Studies (UC ITS) Research Grant: Assessment of Maintenance Strategies for Bio-stabilization of Mudslides on Wildfire-affected Slopes. 2020/2021, $74,688
  4. Hellman Fellowship Research Grant, 2020/2021, $50,000
  5. 2020 DFI Educational Trust Women in Deep Foundations Professional Development Grant. $1750
  6. NSF Travel Grant for NHERI@UTexas Stiffness-based Monitoring of Bio-mediated Ground Improvement Workshop, 2019, Portland OR, USA
  7. Itasca Education Partnership – PFC3D software leasing award, 2017-2019.
  8. NSF Travel Grant for NSF Workshop on Geotechnical Fundamentals in the Face of New World Challenges Application, 2016, Washington DC
  9. NSF CMMI 1563614 Standard Grant: Multi-Physics Models for Proppant Placement in Energy Georeservoirs, PI: Ingrid Tomac, Co-PI: Daniel M. Tartakovsky, 07/15/16 - 06/31/20, $354,435
  10. NSF REU supplement to CMMI 1563614, $8,000.00
  11. NSF Travel Grant for International Workshop on Education of Future Geotechnical Engineers in Response to Emerging Multi-scale Soil-Environment Problems, 2014, Cambridge, UK
  12. DFG, German Research Foundation: Gross-Triaxialpresse”., PI: Martin Sauter, Co-PI: Ingrid Tomac, 2016, Awarded to Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Wilhelmsplatz 1, 37073 Göttingen, Germany, 1,400,000.000 Euro

Technical Editor for International Journals

  1. Associate Editor (2020-Present), Computers and Geotechnics, Elsevier.
  2. Associate Editor (2020-Present), Geothermal Energy: Science-Society-Technology.
  3. Associate Editor (2018-Present), Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE.
  4. Editorial Board Member (2017-Present), Journal of Testing and Evaluation, ASTM.
  5. Editorial Board Member (2015-Present), Geotechnical Testing Journal, ASTM.
  6. Guest Editor: IS-Cambridge Special Issue in Computers and Geotechnics (2015).

Current Service on National and International Committees

  1. ARMA Future Leaders: Liaison between ARMA FL and ASTM; Committee Chair for selection of ARMA FL class of 2019
  2. ASTM International Committee D18 on Soils and Rocks, Subcommittee D18.12, Rock Mechanics, Member (2014-present). Technical Lead:
    • D4645-08 Standard Test Method for Determination of In-Situ Stress in Rock Using Hydraulic Fracturing Method
    • D4879-08 Standard Guide for Geotechnical Mapping of Large Underground Openings in Rock
    • D5079-08 Standard Practices for Preserving and Transporting Rock Core Samples
  3. GeoInstitute of the ASCE Rock Mechanics Committee, Member (2013-present)
  4. GeoInstitute of the ASCE Earth Retaining Structures Committee, Member (2014-present)
  5. International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) Technical Committee 308 on Energy Geotechnics, Member (2014-present) and Task Force Leader: Hydrocarbons (2017-present)
  6. International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) Technical Committee 105 on Geo-Mechanics from Micro to Macro, Member (2014-present)

Chair/Organizer for Sessions or Workshops at International Conferences

  1. 2nd International Conference on Energy Geotechnics, San Diego, CA, USA, 2020: Co-Chair
  2. 2019 EMI/G-I Mini-Symposia: Track Leader: Damage, bifurcation and fracture.
  3. American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA)
    •         Session Chair: Civil Track 5 on Slope Stability, ARMA 52 nd US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, Seattle, Washington, USA on 17-20 June 2018.
    •         Session Chair: Interdisciplinary Track 3 on Coupled Processes, ARMA 53rd US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, New York City, USA, 2019
  4. Croatian Chamber of Civil Engineers: Scientific Committee Member: "VARAŽDIN 2016: Geotechnical Aspects of Damages Caused by Natural Phenomena", the 7th conference of Croatian Geotechnical Society.
  5. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE): Session Chair. Thermal and Hydraulic Properties of Soils. Geotechnical Frontiers 2017. Orlando, FL.
  6. American Geophysical Union (AGU): Session Chair. Multiscale, Multiphysics Process in Fractured Rock and Modeling of Coupled Transport Phenomena in Fracture Networks II. AGU Fall Meeting 2016. San Francisco, CA.


  1. International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) 
  2. International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM)
  3. International Geothermal Association (IGA)
  4. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  5. ASTM International (Formerly American Society for Testing and Materials)
  6. Croatian Geotechnical Society (HGD)
  7. Croatian Chamber of Civil Engineers (HKIG)


  1. Website listing
  2. Google scholar listing
Office phone
Office address
SME Building, Room 445D 9500 Gilman Drive #0412 La Jolla, CA 92093-0412