PROGRAM PERSONNEL

flemingsPeter Flemings
Co-Director of UT GeoFluids Consortium pflemings(at)jsg.utexas.edu

Dr. Flemings studies stratigraphy and flow in porous media. He uses seismic, well, and core data to characterize subsurface systems, he uses theoretical modeling to study stratigraphic and hydrodynamic evolution, and he uses laboratory analysis to study geomechanical properties of low permeability rocks. Dr. Flemings is a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences, and a Research Scientist at both the Bureau of Economic Geology and the Institute for Geophysics.

jack germaineJohn Germaine
Co-Director of UT GeoFluids Consortium
jgermain(at)mit.edu

John “Jack” Germaine is a Senior Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a world leader in experimental methods in geotechnical analysis. In recent years Jack has worked on small-strain nonlinearity of normally consolidated clay and has explored factors affecting the initial stiffness of cohesive soils.

luoGang Luo
Research Associate
gangluo(at)mail.utexas.edu

Gang Luo earned his Ph.D. in geosciences from University of Missouri-Columbia, in 2009, his M.S. and B.S. in geophysics and geology from Peking University, P.R. China. His primary research interest is computational geodynamics and finite element modeling on stress within and around salt, fluid flow, fault interactions, earthquake stress triggering, crustal/lithospheric stress and strain evolution during earthquake cycles.

 

NikolinakouMaria-Katarina Nikolinakou
Research Associate
mariakat(at)mail.utexas.edu

Maria is a Civil/Geotechnical Engineer. She earned her ScD from MIT in 2008, her MSc from MIT and her Diploma from NTUA, Greece. She specializes in theoretical soil mechanics and the constitutive modeling of earth materials. She is interested in understanding the stress state within and around salt bodies. Before joining the Bureau, Maria worked as a postdoc for Shell in the Depleted Drilling Group.

athma bhandariAthma Ram Bhandari
Postdoctoral Fellow
athma.bhandari(at)beg.utexas.edu

Athma joined UT GeoFluids as a postdoctoral fellow in April 2012. He earned his Ph.D. from University of Southampton, and M. Eng degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Tokyo. Athma's main research interests lie in experimental geomechanics, more specifically, laboratory study of deformation and flow in geomaterials (soils and rocks). During his PhD, he developed a novel digital image-based deformation measurement system for triaxial tests and used it to study the initiation and evolution of failures in a naturally locked sand. He examines the underlying mechanics of observed macro-scale behavior of geomaterials.

kehua youKehua You
Postdoctoral Fellow
khyouml(at)gmail.com

Kehua joined UT GeoFluids as a postdoctoral fellow in June 2013. She earned her Ph.D. in geology from Texas A&M University in 2013, and her B.S. in environmental sciences from University of Science and Technology of China in 2008. She specializes in theoretical and computational hydrogeology, contaminant hydrology and reservoir simulation. Her primary research interest lies in fluid flow and transport in subsurface environment.

 

Peter PolitoPeter Polito
Laboratory Manager
peter.polito(at)jsg.utexas.edu

Peter is responsible for all UT GeoFluid laboratory facilities at UT’s Pickle Research Campus.  He is responsible for all laboratory activities, safety, purchasing, managing of personnel and equipment, and is the UTGeoFluids official brewer. His background is in fluvial geomorphology where he used experimentally derived mechanical properties of rock to constrain bedrock channel evolution and morphology. Peter received a BS in geology and MS in applied geosciences from San Francisco State University in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

tessa greenTessa Green
Project Manager
tessa.green(at)jsg.utexas.edu

Tessa joined UT GeoFluids in November of 2010. She is responsible for project management and marketing activities of the UT GeoFluids Consortium. She is the webmaster, logistic person, and all around answer lady. In addition Tessa is responsible for coordinating the annual UTGeoFluids meeting and oversees financial management of the consortium.

loganJennifer Edwards
Administrative Associate

Jennifer is with the Bureau of Economic Geology. She assists UT GeoFluids with travel and administrative needs.

 

 

adamsAmy Lynn Adams
Graduate Student seeking PhD., MIT
aadams(at)mit.edu

Amy joined the MIT team in 2009 and is working on a thesis related to stress dependent permeability anisotropy behavior of clays. Her work involves laboratory experiments on resedimented Boston Blue Clay and includes flexible wall constant head tests as well as constant rate of strain (CRS) tests. Cubic specimens are used to allow multidirectional testing on a single specimen in the constant head device. Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Canada and gained interest in laboratory testing and material behavior through co-op work placements with a geotechnical engineering firm.

MIT Thesis: Laboratory evaluation of the constant rate of strain and constant head techniques for measurement of the hydraulic conductivity of fine grained soils

caseyBrendan Casey
Graduate Student seeking PhD, MIT
bcasey(at)mit.edu

Brendan is a PhD student studying geotechnical engineering at MIT. He completed a BEng in Civil and Environmental Engineering at University College Cork, Ireland, in 2009 and joined the UT Geofluids group in early 2010. Brendan’s research focuses on high stress one-dimensional consolidation and undrained shear behavior of cohesive soil. He is also developing a new high pressure triaxial testing device with associated auxiliary equipment for testing conventional sized soil specimens in compression and extension modes of shear as well as having capabilities for one-dimensional consolidation.

MIT Thesis: The significance of specimen end restraint in high pressure triaxial testing of cohesive soil

CroninMichael Cronin
Graduate Student seeking M.S., UT Austin
mcronin(at)utexas.edu

Michael joined the UT GeoFluids consortium in fall 2011 after receiving a B.S. degree in Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering and a B.S. degree in Geosciences from the Pennsylvania State University in May 2011. Currently he is working on core-scale gas transport experiments and the numerical modeling of gas transport in fractured gas shales. His interests include geomechanics, reservoir engineering, unconventional resource plays, and rowing. Undergraduate internships include working as a hydrologist for the USGS (Summer 2009), as a production engineer at ConocoPhilips (Summer 2010), and as a reservoir engineer at Shell (Summer 2011).

kris darnellKris Darnell
Graduate Student seeking PhD, UT Austin
kristopher.darnell(at)gmail.com

Kris joined the UT GeoFluids consortium in the Spring of 2013 after completing his M.S. degree from the University of Chicago where he worked on topics in glaciology. He was a former member of the consortium as a research associate in 2010 and also a former student of UT-Austin where he completed his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering in 2008. His research interests lie at boundary between numerical and experimental approaches to fluid dynamics problems. He plans to pursue his PhD research on understanding the pore-scale evolution of a methane hydrate sedimentary system undergoing phase transition.

Amer DeiriehAmer Deirieh
Graduate Student seeking PhD, MIT
adirieh(at)mit.edu

Amer is a Ph.D candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT studying geotechnical engineering. His research is dedicated to the quantification of mudrock microfabric through image analysis of high resolution SEM micrographs. In particular, he is investigating micro-textural features causing permeability anisotropy of mudrocks.

brian fahyBrian Fahy
Graduate Student seeking SM, MIT
bfahy(at)mit.edu

Brian is a Masters student studying Geotechnical Engineering at MIT. He completed a BEng in Civil Engineering at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2007. He has spent 5 years working with a civil engineering contractor specialising in the construction of microtunnels and caissons and he joined the UTGeoFluids group in 2012.


gaoBaiyuan Gao
Graduate Student seeking PhD, UT Austin
gao.baiyuan(at)gmail.com

Baiyuan joined UT GeoFluids group in the fall of 2010 after earning her B.S. in resource exploration engineering from China University of Petroleum. Her research interests are pore pressure prediction, basin modeling and petroleum system. Baiyuan is currently working on pore pressure prediction within dipping reservoirs. She will systematically study the effects of reservoir relief, shale properties, and 3D geometry on reservoir pressure. She will also develop simple approaches to predict the in-situ reservoir pressure.

Ge

Chunwei Ge
Graduate Student seeking SM, MIT
gexxx063(at)mit.edu

Chunwei is a graduate student seeking SM at MIT. He graduated from University of Minnesota - Twin Cities with a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering December 2012. While at UMN, Chunwei, did UROP research on damage detection in sandstone by acoustic emission with Prof. Labuz.

After graduating from UMN, Chunwei worked for a central A/C install company in China. Chunwei joined the UT GeoFluids group in 2013 and will be doing some basic material characterization testing and researching on the possibility of resedimentation and semectite/illite transformation.

marjanovic

Jana Marjanovic
Graduate Student seeking PhD, MIT
janam(at)mit.edu

Jana is a Masters student majoring in Geotechnical Engineering. She graduated from MIT in 2010 with a B.S. degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering. She first became acquainted with the geotech field doing research in the soils lab under Dr. Germaine as an undergraduate. After deciding to continue her studies at MIT, she joined the UT GeoFluids group and is conducting her research in the use of Bender Elements to propagate waves through soil specimens and accurately determine the soil's properties under different confining stresses.

MIT Thesis: The study of shear and logitudinal velocity measurements of sands and cohesive soils

Dylan MeyerDylan Meyer
Graduate Student seeking PhD, UT Austin
meyerdw3(at)utexas.edu

Dylan joined the UT GeoFluids consortium in the fall of 2012 after graduating with high honors from Eckerd College with a B.S. degree in Marine Science (geophysics concentration) and a B.S. degree in Computer Science in May of that same year. His interest in geophysical research has been cultivated through numerous undergraduate internships including the Wood Hole Oceanographic Institute (Summer 2009), US Geological Survey (Summer 2010 and Summer 2012), and Incorporate Research Institutes for Seismology/Center for Earthquake Research and Information (Summer 2011).

Taylor NordquistTaylor Nordquist
Graduate Student seeking SM, MIT
tjnord(at)mit.edu

Taylor is a Masters student studying Geotechnical Engineering at MIT. While earning a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University, he spent summers doing lab & quality assurance testing for a small consulting firm in Utah, Applied Geotechnical Engineering Consultants. He joined the UT Geofluids group in 2013, and plans to work with permeability & resistivity anisotropy in resedimented clays.

Jason Sanford
Graduate Student seeking MS, UT Austin
jsanford(at)ig.utexas.edu

Jason is an M.S. candidate in the Jackson School of Geosciences. To date, his research has focused on the geologic record of the Chicxulub asteroid impact in the Gulf of Mexico basin and its implications for catastrophic impacts and associated geologic processes. With the Geofluids group, Jason will investigate geopressure evolution and its role in natural hydraulic fracturing in the Panoche Giant Injection Complex, Panoche Hills, California.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Jason received his Bachelor's degree in Geology and Spanish from Middlebury College, in Middlebury, Vermont. Before joining the UT community, he worked for a year as an associate geologist at a small, independent petroleum exploration company in Midland, Texas.

 

bettsWilliam Betts. M.S.

William studied consolidation and deformation of mudstones in the Nankai Trough area of offshore Japan. He joined Halliburton after graduation in 2014.

donnie brooksDonnie Brooks, B.S. Auburn Univ.; M. Eng. Univ. of Michigan

Donnie provided engineering support in the UT GeoFluids lab from 2011 to 2013. He is currently managing the Rock Mechanics Laboratory in the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas.

day-stirratRuarri Day-Stirrat

Ruarri is interested in mudstone diagenesis, fabric anisotropy and physical properties. He joined Shell following his work with UT GeoFluids

horanAiden Horan, S.M., MIT

Aiden studied Geotechnical Engineering at MIT. He studied the effect of salt concentration on the compressibility of soils such as Gulf of Mexico mudrock and Boston Blue Clay. This work helped develop a geomechanical model for mudrocks that will better allow us to predict compaction behavior, pore pressure, and borehole stability at geologic stresses.

MIT Thesis: The mechanical Behavior of Normally Consolidated Soils as a function of Pore Fluid Salinity

johnsonSean Michael Johnson, S.M., MIT

Sean Johnson studied geotechnical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology His research interest included Wave Propagation through Bender Element agitation using Ticino Sand.

MIT Thesis: Modeling a bender element test using Abaqus Finite Element Program

michael merrellMichael Merrell, M.S., UT Austin

Michael's research focused on characterizing the pressure and stress at the Mad Dog field that lies directly below an allochthonous salt sheet along the Sigsbee Escarpment in deepwater Gulf of Mexico. He used logging data, direct pressure measurements, and drilling records to understand how the reservoir is segmented and how to predict pore pressure across the field. Upon completion of his M.S., he joined Conocophillips in Houston, TX.

UT Thesis: Pressure and Stress at Mad Dog Field, Gulf of Mexico
Highlights Slide Deck

Heather Nelson

Heather served as the database manager from 1998-2008 and helped the original Penn State GeoFluids team transition to the University of Texas. Although she didn't move with the team to Austin, she still occasionally consults when a major software upgrade is required.

Julia SchneiderJulia Schneider Reece, PhD

Julia's research focused on compression and flow behavior of mudrocks. As a PhD student and postdoctoral fellow in the UT GeoFluids group, she studied the effect of mineralogy and particle size on porosity, compressibility, permeability, and microstructure under geologic stresses. She used various mudrocks such as the Boston Blue Clay, Gulf of Mexico mudrock, and Nankai mudrock. Her work has implications in e.g. pore pressure predictions, seal capacity, and tight gas shales. Julia earned her Ph.D. in Geosciences from The University of Texas in 2011. Upon completion of her postdoctoral fellow position at UT in February 2013, she joined the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University as a postdoctoral researcher.

UT Thesis: Compression and permeability behavior of natural mudstones

sawyerDerek Sawyer, PhD

Derek studied sedimentation, deformation, and fluid flow on continental margins. Upon completion of his PhD, Derek, joined the Operations Geology group of ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas.

UT Thesis: Failure Mechanics, Transport Behavior, and Morphology of Submarine Landslides

smithAndrew Smith, M.S.

Andrew's work focused on the process of venting and associated hydrate formation at deepwater vents in the Gulf of Mexico. After completing his MS, he joined the marine geology and geophysics research group at the University of Tromsø in Norway as a Fulbright scholar.

UT Thesis: Observations and Models of Venting at Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Vents
Highlights Slide Deck

strongHilary Strong, M.S.

Hilary's thesis focused on consolidation characteristics of mass transport complexes in the Ursa Region. Upon completion of her MS, she joined ExxonMobil as an Operations Geologist.

UT Thesis: The Origin and Properties of Mass Transport Deposits Ursa Basin, Gulf of Mexico

you

Yao You,PhD

Yao's work focused on quantitative modeling of crustal fluids and geomorphology. He studied failure in sand caused by breaching in subaqueous and submarine environments, and modeled the pore pressure in Ursa Basin using soil properties measured by the UT GeoFluids group. After completing his PhD, Yao joined Hess.

UT PhD Thesis: Dynamics of dilative slope failure

 

 

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