Jessa Vatcher


Dr Jessa Vatcher, PhD, MBA, is a distinguished expert in the field of rock mechanics and numerical modelling, with a career marked by innovation, leadership, and a commitment to advancing the industry. With over a decade of experience, Jessa has honed her expertise in geomechanical engineering, becoming a pivotal figure in the mining, construction, and energy sectors. 

Jessa's academic journey began at Queen’s University in Canada, where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering, followed by a Master's degree in Mining Engineering, focusing on rock mechanics. Her passion for the subject led her to Luleå University of Technology in Sweden, where she earned a Licentiate degree and later a Doctorate. Her doctoral thesis, Listening to the Story of the Rock Mass, is a testament to her deep engagement with the intricacies of rock behavior, statistical analysis, and numerical modelling. Jessa’s penchant for learning continued with an MBA degree. 

Throughout her career, Jessa has been at the forefront of complex projects. Her projects are identifiable by an innovative twist, in the way in which the work was completed or in the analysis itself. During her time at Itasca Consultants AB, Jessa worked on countless projects in rock mechanics, most often with numerical modelling. These projects ranged from practical applications of numerical modelling, such as guiding mine sequencing from a stress management perspective, to more research-based projects, such as Bonded Block Modelling (BBM) to simulate spalling and the use of new statistical techniques to run and analyze models. Jessa has continued her career with Sweco Sverige AB as Group Manager Rock Engineering in Northern Sweden. Her love for numerical modelling remains strong as she branches out into broader challenges within rock engineering. 


Are we in the golden age of  numerical modelling? 

More to come.