Mary MacLaughlinProfessor
Ph.D., Civil (Geotechnical) Engineering, UC Berkeley, 1997
M.S., Civil (Geotechnical) Engineering, UC Berkeley, 1989
B.S., Geological Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1988


Rock Mechanics


Introduction to Geological Engineering; Engineering Geology; Advanced Engineering Geology; Slope Stability Analysis & Design; Finite Element Method in Geomechanics

Student Opportunities



tel: 406-496-4655
fax: 406-496-4260

Honors and Awards

U.S. Council on Undergraduate Research Geosciences Division Undergraduate Research Mentor Award (2014)

Montana Tech Faculty Merit Award (2014)

Montana Tech Distinguished Researcher Award (2006)

Rose and Anna Busch Faculty Achievement Award, Montana Tech (2002, 2005, 2008)

Recent Publications

Smith, S.E., MacLaughlin, M.M., Adams, S.L., Wartman, J., Applegate, K., Gibson, M., Arnold, L., and Keefer, D. (2014).  Interface Properties of Synthetic Rock Specimens: Experimental and Numerical Investigation, ASTM Geotechnical Testing Journal 37:5 20 pp.

Adams, S.L., MacLaughlin, M.M., Berry, K.G., McCormick, M.L., and Berry, S.M. (2014). Three-Dimensional Roughness Characterization of Rock Joints using Laser Scanning and Wind Diagrams, Proceedings of the 48th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, Minneapolis, MN, Paper 14-7454 (10 pp). 

Gage, J.R., Fratta, D., Turner, A.L., MacLaughlin, M.M., and Wang, H.F. (2013). Validation and implementation of a new method for monitoring in situ strain and temperature in rock masses using fiber-optically instrumented rock strain and temperature strips, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences 61(July):244-255.

Hudyma, N., Bathini, R.K., Harris, A. and MacLaughlin, M.M. (2012). Mapping surface vesicles of basalt specimens using laser scanning, Proceedings of the 2012 GeoCongress, Oakland, CA.

MacLaughlin, M., Berry, K.G., and Hudyma, N. (2011). Unconfined compressive strength of 4-inch plaster cubes containing large voids, Journal of the Nevada Water Resources Association 6(1):406-416.

Jespersen, C., MacLaughlin, M., and Hudyma, N. (2010). Strength, deformation modulus and failure modes of cubic analog specimens representing macroporous rock, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences 47:1349-56.

Recent Funded Grants

MacLaughlin, M.M. and Wang, H.F., Demonstration of the Ability of Distributed Fiber Optic Sensing Technologies to Enhance Mine Safety through Distributed Monitoring of Ground Deformation, Temperature, & Dynamic Events, CDC – NIOSH Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, $314,331 (2014-2017).

MacLaughlin, M.M. and Smith, L.N., and Smith, D.S., MRI: Acquisition of a Shake Table for Research on Seismic Stability of Rock Masses, NSF, $314,012 (2014-2017).

Wartman, J. (originally @ Drexel University, now @ University of Washington) and MacLaughlin, M.M., NEESR-CR: Seismically Induced Rock-Slope Failure: Mechanisms and Prediction, NSF, $934,112 total with $304,451 to Montana Tech (2010-2014).

Wang, H., MacLaughlin, M.M., and Murdoch, L., Collaborative Research: Fiber-Optic Strain Monitoring of Rock Masses in Large Underground Facilities, NSF, $877,914 total with $145,332 to Montana Tech (2009-2013).