Chris Borstad

Current Position

I am currently a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. I am studying the role that fractures play in glaciological processes such as iceberg calving and ice shelf retreat and collapse.

More current information about my research and whereabouts can be found here

Ph.D., 2011, UBC Department of Civil Engineering

My PhD research involved the investigation of the quasi-brittle fracture and damage mechanics of dry snow slabs related to avalanches. I used a combination of field, laboratory, theoretical and numerical approaches in my work. I conducted three seasons of winter field work in the Columbia Mountains of British Columbia. In a cold laboratory, I fractured over 2000 natural snow samples under different environmental and loading conditions. I used this rich data set to develop and test fracture mechanical scaling relations and to calibrate numerical models of quasi-brittle tensile failure.

My dissertation can be downloaded here

Papers that I've written or collaborated on are listed on our Publications page.

M.A.Sc., 2005, UBC Department of Civil Engineering

My Master's research was on the runout dynamics and flowing speed of extreme avalanches. This research involved field surveying of the path profile and extreme runout position of avalanche paths in the Selkirk Range of the Columbia Mountains in British Columbia, Canada and the North Cascade Mountains in Washington, U.S.A. A framework was then established for computing the flowing speed of avalanches in the runout zone using existing runout distance and flowing speed data as constraints on the flow friction.

My thesis can be downloaded here

BS Physics, Minor in Mathematics, 2002

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado U.S.A.