Michael A. Mooney

Grewcock chair professor of underground construction & Tunneling, Professor of Civil Engineering, Joint Appointment in Mechanical Engineering

Michael MooneyDr. Mooney is the founding Director of the university-wide Center for Underground and Director of the Underground Construction & Tunnel Engineering graduate degree program. Dr. Mooney’s research and teaching focuses on planning, analysis, design, construction, monitoring and rehabilitation of tunnels, underground civil structures, and other transportation/energy/utility infrastructure systems. Dr. Mooney is a licensed Professional Engineer and, in addition to teaching and research, provides technical expertise to project owners, designers, contractors and equipment suppliers, serving on project and agency expert panels and participating as an expert witness in project claims and ligitation.



Labs and Research Centers

More Information


  • 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
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Colorado #39682

Recent Publications

  • Mooney, M., Grasmick, J. and Gangrade, R. Methods to Visualize Big Data Integration to Improve Uncertainty and Reduce Risk in Subsurface Infrastructure Projects, accepted, to appear, 2023, Proc. Geocongress.

  • Mooney, M., Zheng, H. and Rizzi, B. Actual and Predicted Earth Pressure Balance Tunnel Boring Machine-Induced Ground Deformation in Washington DC Stiff Clays and Dense Sands, accepted, to appear, 2023, Proc. Geocongress.

  • Gangrade, R., Mooney, MA, and Trainor-Guitton, W. Quantification of Stratigraphic Transition Location Uncertainty for Tunneling Projects, ASCE J. Geotechnical & Geoenv. Engineering, 2022, 148(8), https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0002815.

  • Gangrade, R, Grasmick, J, Trainor-Guitton, W and Mooney, MA. Risk-based Methodology to Optimize Geotechnical Site Investigations in Tunnel Projects, ASCE J. Geotechnical & Geoenv. Engineering, 2022, 127 (104589), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2022.104589.

  • Wang, Q., Xie, X., Yu, H. and Mooney, MA. Predicting Slurry Pressure Balance with a Long Short-Term Memory Recurrent Neural Network in Difficult Ground Conditions. Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience, 2021, 6678355, https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/6678355.
  • Grasmick, J and Mooney, MA. A Probabilistic Geostatistics-Based Approach to Tunnel Boring Machine Cutter Tool Wear and Cutterhead Clogging Prediction, ASCE J. Geotechnical & Geoenv. Engineering, 2021, 147(12), https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0002701.

  • Epel, T, Mooney, MA, and Gutierrez, M. The Influence of Face and Shield Annulus Pressure on Tunnel Liner Load Development. Tunneling and Underground Space Technology, 2021, 117 (104096)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2021.104096.

  • Zheng, H, Bragard, C, Herranz-Calvo, C, Mooney, MA and Gutierrez, M. Observed Performance and Analysis of SEM Cavern Construction in Downtown Los Angeles. ASCE J. Geotechnical & Geoenv. Engineering, 2021, 147(11), https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0002639.

  • Nebbia, D, Mooney, M, Gangrade, R., Zheng, H, and Smith, J. NEBT Project: The Application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve TBM Operations, Proc. Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conf. 2021.

  • Mifkovic, M, Swidinsky, A. and Mooney MA. Imaging ahead of a Tunnel Boring Machine with DC Resistivity: A Laboratory and Numerical Study, Tunnels & Underground Space Technology, 2021, 108 (103703)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2020.103703.

  • Mokhtari, S, Navidi, W, and Mooney, MA. White Box Regression (Elastic Net) Modeling of Earth Pressure Balance Shield Machine Advance Rate, Automation in Construction, 2020, 115(103208), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2020.103208.

  • Grasmick, JG, Mooney, MA, Trainor-Guitton, W. and Walton, G. Global versus Local Simulation of Geotechnical Parameters for Tunnel Projects, ASCE J. Geotechnical & Geoenv. Engineering, 2020, 146(7); 04020048.

  • Yu, HJ, Mooney, MA. and Bezuijen, A. A Simplified Excavation Chamber Pressure Model for EPBM Tunneling, Tunnels & Underground Space Technology, 2020, 103 (103457), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2020.103457.

  • Sheil, B, Suryasentana, S, Mooney, M. and Hehua, Z. Machine Learning to Inform Tunnelling Operations: Recent Advances and Future Trends, Smart Infrastructure and Construction, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1680/jsmic.20.00011.

  • Nagrecha, K, Fisher, L, Mooney, MA, Rodriguez-Nikl, T., Mazari, M., Pourhomayoun, M. As-Encountered Prediction of Tunnel Boring Machine Performance Parameters using Recurrent Neural Networks, Transportation Research Record, 2020, 2674 (10), 241-249, https://doi.org/10.1177/0361198120934796.

  • Mokhtari, S and Mooney, MA, Predicting EPBM Advance Rate Performance using Support Vector Regression Modeling, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 2020, 104 (103520), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2020.103520.

  • Wu, Y., Nazem, A., Meng, F. and Mooney, MA. Experimental Study on the Stability of Foam-Conditioned Sand under Pressure in the EPB TBM Chamber, Tunnels & Underground Space Technology, 2020, 106 (103590)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2020.103590.

  • Gangrade, R, Grasmick, J and Mooney, MA Probabilistic Assessment of Void Risk and Grouting Volume for Tunneling Applications. Rock Mech Rock Eng (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00603-021-02528-6.

  • Mooney, M., Epel, T., Wilson, A., Zheng, H., Nitschke, A.G. Experimental Behavior of Large Diameter Segmental Lining Systems: A Review, Proc. North American Tunneling, Nashville, TN, June 7-10, 2020.

  • Mooney, M., Yu, H., Gangrade, R. EPB Shield TBM Automation using the Autonomous Vehicle Framework, Proc. North American Tunneling, Nashville, TN, June 7-10, 2020.

  • Grasmick, J., Maxwell, A., Mooney, M. and Gangrade R. (2020) Probabilistic Subsurface Modeling in Tunneling Applications: Suggestions for Use in Practice. Proc. ITA-AITES World Tunnels Congress, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 15-21, 2020.

  • Grasmick, J., Yu, H., Maxwell, A., Mooney, M., Ng, H.W., Klados, G., and Trevisin, P. Tunnel Process Control for Klang Valley Metro Phase 2 using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Proc. ITA-AITES World Tunnels Congress, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 15-21, 2020.

Awards and Honors

  • Tan Swan Beng Endowed Visiting Professor, Nanyang Technical University, Singapore (2019)

  • World Tunnels Congress Scientific Committee Chair (2016)

  • Grewcock Distinguished Chair in Underground Construction & Tunneling (2013-present).

  • CSM 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)