Prof. Giovanni Grasselli received 2024 Ontario Professional Engineers Award

Professor Grasselli has been awarded the Entrepreneurship Medal for applying new technologies or innovative approaches that have enabled new companies to get started

Professor Giovanni Grasselli

Professor Giovanni Grasselli is among six U of T Engineering community members who have been honoured by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) and Professional Engineers Ontario with Ontario Professional Engineers Awards. 

“These outstanding engineers demonstrate the range of contributions that our faculty and alumni are making across multiple fields, from founding new companies and managing significant Canadian organizations, to serving in leadership roles in the profession and in the community,” says U of T Engineering Dean Christopher Yip 

“On behalf of the faculty, my heartfelt congratulations on these well-deserved recognitions.”  

Grasselli holds the NSERC/Energi Simulation Industrial Research Chair in Fundamental Rock Physics and Rock Mechanics. Throughout his career, he has made exceptional contributions to the field of rock mechanics through his innovative work on the Finite-Discrete Element Method (FDEM) and the commercialization of this method through the start-up Geomechanica Inc. Grasselli’s leading research has significantly advanced our understanding of and capabilities in simulating complex rock mechanics problems. This work, combined with his entrepreneurship skills, culminated in the development of Irazu, a state-of-the-art FDEM commercial software for the analysis of deformations, fracturing and stability in rock masses.  

Irazu has changed the way engineers and researchers predict rock behaviour under various stress conditions, offering unparalleled accuracy. It has significantly impacted the rock mechanics field, enhancing safety and efficiency in engineering projects worldwide, and continues to be the sole FDEM GPU commercial software available on the international market. 

Under Grasselli’s leadership, Geomechanica Inc. has become a beacon of innovation. It is now a leading firm both in the development of numerical models — which have been used in the design of deep underground nuclear waste disposal facilities — and in laboratory testing, with services contracted by mining operations around the world. 

A full list of Ontario Professional Engineers Award is posted by Engineering News