Valley, Benoît

Benoît Valley obtained his first degree in 2002 at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) in geology under the direction of Prof. Martin Burkhard. His diploma thesis topic was 3D modeling and restoration of non-cylindrical folds in the Jura Fold and Thrust belt. From 2002 to 2007, he worked in the Engineering Geology group of ETH Zürich. His first project was related to the characterization and modeling of a shallow landslide in soil. In 2007, he completed his PhD study on the thematic of fracture network and stress characterisation in the deep seated granite of Soultz-sous-Forêts (European geothermal project).

From 2007 to 2012, he was working as a researcher and a consultant in the Geomechanics Research Center of MIRARCO as well as developing research programs within CEMI, the Center for Excellence in Mining Innovation. In 2013, he obtained a position of Senior Researcher at the Geological Institute of ETH Zürich. His research interests are at the interface of structural geology and geomechanics, with the main focus on stress and fracturing characterisation, the relation of stresses and structures and the strength of rock and rock masses. In 2014, Benoît Valley has been appointed Assistant Professor at the Center for Hydrogeology and Geothermics (CHYN) of the University of Neuchâtel.

Positions held

  • 2014 – Present: Assistant Professor, Center for Hydrogeology and Geothermics (CHYN), Laboratory of Geothermics, University of Neuchâtel

  • 2013 – 2014: Senior Scientist, Geological Institute, ETH Zürich

  • 2012 – Present: Adjunct Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Canada

  • 2008 – 2012: Research Scientist, CEMI - Center for Excellence in Mining Innovation, Sudbury, Canada

  • 2007 – 2012: Senior Geological Engineer, Geomechanics Research Center, MIRARCO, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Canada

  • 2004 – 2007: Assistant, Engineering Geology Group, Earth Science Department, ETH Zürich.

  • 2002 – 2004: Researcher, Engineering Geology Group, Earth Science Department, ETH Zürich

  • 2001 – 2002: Assistant, Geological Institute of the University of Neuchâtel for the Swiss Virtual, Campus project Objective Earth.


  • 2007 – Ph.D. in Geothermics, Geological Institute, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), Zürich, Switzerland

  • 2002 – Diploma in Earth Sciences (Geology), Centre for Geology (IGH), University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Selected Publications


  • Preisig, G., Eberhardt, E., Gishig, V., Roche, V., van der Baan, M., Valley, B., Kaiser, P. K., Duff, D. and Lowther R. 2014. Development of connected rock mass permeability through hydraulic fracture propagation and shearing accompanying fluid injection. Geofluids. doi: 10.1111/gfl.12097
  • Bahrani, N., Kaiser, P. K., Valley, B. 2014. Distinct Element Method Simulation of an Analogue for a Highly Interlocked, Non-persistently Jointed Rockmass. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences. 71 p. 117 – 130. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2014.07.005
  • Kaiser, P. K., B. Kim, R. P. Bewick, Valley, B. 2011. Rock mass strength at depth and implications for pillar design. Mining Technology  120 (3), 170-179. doi:10.1179/037178411X12942393517336
  • Dorbath, L., Evans, K., Cuenot, N., Valley, B., Charléty, J., Frogneux, M., 2010. The stress field at Soultz-sous-Forêts from focal mechanisms of induced seismic events: Cases of the wells GPK2 and GPK3. Comptes Rendus Geosciences. doi:10.1016/j.crte.2009.12.003
  • Dezayes, C., Genter, A., Valley, B., 2010. Structure of the low permeable naturally fractured geothermal reservoir at Soultz. Comptes Rendus Geosciences 342, 517–530. doi:10.1016/j.crte.2009.10.002
  • Valley, B., Evans, K., 2009. Stress orientation to 5 km depth in the basement below Basel (Switzerland) from borehole failure analysis. Swiss Journal of Geosciences 102 (3), 467–480. doi:10.1007/s00015-009-1335-z
  • Valley, B., Burkhard, M., Schnegg, P. A., 2004. Dépliage 3-d des anticlinaux bordant le synclinal fermé de la vallée des Ponts, Jura Central, Suisse. Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae V97 (2), 279–291. doi: 10.1007/s00015-004-1124-7


  • Valley, B., Ziegler, M. and Evans K. F. 2014. Constraining DFN characteristics for deep geothermal projects by considering the effects of fractures on stress variability. International Discrete Fracture Network Engineering  Conference. Vancouver. Canada
  • Valley, B., Evans, K. F. 2014. Preliminary assessment of the scaling relationships of in-situ stress orientation variations indicated by wellbore failure data. EUROCK 2014. Vigo, Spain.
  • Carter, T. G.., Valley, B. 2013. Application of Fault Stability Analysis Techniques for Design of Deep Engineering Projects. In: 47th U.S. rock mechanics and Geomechanics Symposium. San Francisco, USA.
  • Madjdabadi, B. M., Valley, B., Siczkar, L. Dusseault, M. B. and Kaiser, P. K. (2013). Laboratory-scale strain and temperature response of a distributed optical fiber sensor. In: 47th U.S. rock mechanics and Geomechanics Symposium. San Francisco, USA.
  • Valley, B., Kim, B.-H., Suorineni, F. T., Bahrani, N., Bewick, R. P., Kaiser, P. K., 2011. Influence of confinement dependent failure processes on rock mass strength at depth. In: ISRM 12th International Congress on Rock Mechanics.
  • Valley, B., Bewick, R. P., Hudson, R., 2011. Rock and rock mass characterization for deep mining using sonic data. In: 45th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium.
  • Valley, B., Evans, K. F., 2010. Stress heterogeneity in the granite of the Soultz EGS reservoir inferred from analysis of wellbore failure. In: Proceedings World Geothermal Congress 2010. 
  • Valley, B., Evans, K. F., 2007. Stress state at Soultz-sous-Forêts to 5 km depth from wellbore failure and hydraulic observations. In: 32nd workshop on geothermal reservoir engineering.


 Benoit Valley


Office: E212
Phone: +41 (0) 32 718 26 64




Centre for Hydrogeology and Geothermics (CHYN)
Emile-Argand 11
CH-2000 Neuchâtel