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Senior/Key Personnel


Senior/Key Personnel are any individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of the EFRC in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they receive salaries or compensation under the grant. This definition includes, but is not limited to, the EFRC Director and the Principal Investigators. Senior/Key Personnel typically have doctoral or other professional degrees.

Ange-Therese Akono

Ange-Therese Akono, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Ange-Therese Akono is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also an affiliate faculty in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering and a faculty fellow at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Akono holds a PhD (2013) and an MSc (2011) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States), along with an MSc (2009) from the École Polytechnique (France). Dr. Akono’s honors include the ASCE New Faces of Civil Engineering Professionals Award (UIUC, 2016), the ASCE nomination for the DiscoverE New Faces of Engineering Award (UIUC, 2016), the Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education Collins Fellowship (UIUC, 2015), and the MIT Energy Initiative Fellowship (MIT, 2009). Dr. Akono’s laboratory investigates fracture and failure mechanisms in complex materials systems from the molecular level up to the macroscopic scale. This research is articulated over three main thrusts: environment-friendly and high-performance structural materials, natural and nano-engineered biomaterials, and geological materials such as shale or rock. Dr. Akono’s areas of expertise include nano-mechanics, fracture analysis, nanotechnology, advanced experimental testing and multiscale modeling.

Calvin Barnes

Calvin Barnes, PhD
Texas Tech University

Dr. Calvin G. Barnes holds an MS and PhD from the University of Oregon (1978, 1982) and a BS from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1975). He has taught at Texas Tech University since 1982, where he is Professor of Geology. Other work experiences include Texaco Corp., Anaconda, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Dr. Barnes’ primary research area is study of magmatic processes, with a focus on plutonic rocks. This research also involves study of crustal melting and relationships between high-temperature processes and tectonics. His geographic research areas include California, Oregon, northeastern Nevada, far west Texas and adjacent New Mexico, north-central Norway, and southern Finland. In recent years, many of Dr. Barnes’ research projects have utilized in situ analysis of trace element compositions of, and zoning patterns in, rock-forming minerals, to provide detailed information on petrologic processes that are obscured in bulk-rock analyses.

Melanie Barnes

Melanie Barnes, PhD
Texas Tech University

Dr. Barnes is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Geosciences at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and Director of the GeoAnalytical Laboratory. Dr. Barnes’ research experience includes studies on the character of the buried Precambrian crystalline rock in eastern New Mexico and West Texas and the nature of the granite-rhyolite province throughout the mid-continent. Her GSCO2 research focuses on characterizing the surface of the Precambrian basement and the nature of weathered surfaces and deposits.

Robert Bauer

Robert Bauer, MS
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Robert Bauer is an Engineering Geologist at the Illinois State Geological Survey, a Division of the PrairieResearch Institute at the University of Illinois. He has 38 years of experience with coal mine subsidence, landslides,soil and bedrock behavior during earthquakes, and underground excavation. He is a Licensed Professional Geologist.

Alexey Bezryadin

Alexey Bezryadin, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Alexey Bezryadin is a tenured faculty member of the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the Department in August of 2000 and now holds the rank of professor. His research findings have been published in a monograph titled Superconductivity in nanowires and over seventy research articles in high-impact journals, such as Physical Review B, Physical Review Letters, Science, Nature, and others. He received both the National Science Foundation CAREER award and Alfred Sloan Research Fellowship in 2002. He received the Xerox award in 2004 and was recognized as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2014 for his work on nanometer-scale conductors. During the last 19 years, Dr. Bezryadin has been actively engaged in research funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Office of Naval Research. His areas of expertise include high-precision electric transport measurements, nanometer-scale electronic system and devices, low-temperature experiments, and magnetic and microwave measurements.

James Best

James Best, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Jim Best is the Jack and Richard Threet Chair in Sedimentary Geology, University of Illinois, where he holds appointments in the Departments of Geology, Geography and GIS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Mechanical Science and Engineering. Dr. Best’s research interests center around process sedimentology and geomorphology through the study of modern and ancient sedimentary environments and investigations of the coupling between fluid flow, sediment transport, and morphological development using laboratory, experimental, numerical, and field-based approaches. His work has ranged across scales, including study of turbulence modulation in fluid flows and the morphodynamics of bedform development; the dynamics and deposits of some of the World’s largest rivers (including the Jamuna, Parana, Mekong, Amazon, Mississippi, and Columbia Rivers) with an emphasis on multichannel braided rivers; study of sediment-laden density flows in the laboratory; contemporary glacial lakes and ancient deep-sea deposits; basin analysis of Carboniferous clastic sediments; and study of deltaic processes, form, and deposits. Dr. Best received his BSc from the University of Leeds, UK, and PhD from the University of London, UK, and has held previous positons at the universities of Hull and Leeds, UK, the latter as lecturer, Reader in Experimental Sedimentology and then personal chair in Process Sedimentology. Best has been awarded the Gordon Warwick prize from the British Geomorphological Research Group for outstanding contributions to geomorphological research and scholarship and has held fellowships awarded by the Royal Society of London, the Nuffield Foundation, and Leverhulme Trust. Dr. Best is currently a Faculty Fellow of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center and holds a Diamond Jubilee International Visiting Research Fellowship from the University of Southampton, UK.

Pierre Cerasi

Pierre Cerasi, PhD
SINTEF

Dr. Cerasi has been employed with SINTEF since 2000. His experience in geomechanics, as a leader and scientist, includes projects related to sand production, borehole stability in shales, geomechanics applied to carbon capture and storage (CCS), and formation damage. His work includes laboratory experiments, numerical simulations, and theoretical models. Dr. Cerasi received his PhD in biomechanics from the Paris University Denis Diderot in 1996.

Kenneth T. Christensen

Kenneth T. Christensen, PhD
University of Notre Dame

Kenneth T. Christensen is a Professor and the College of Engineering Collegiate Chair in Fluid Mechanics at the University of Notre Dame, with a joint appointment in the Departments of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering and Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences. He joined the Notre Dame faculty after 10 years on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He directs a research group that pursues experimental studies of turbulence, geophysical flows, and microfluidics and is a WPI Principal Investigator in the Carbon Dioxide Storage Division of the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) based at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. He also served as the Associate Director of the I2CNER Satellite Center at Illinois from 2011–2014. He is a Fellow of both the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and serves on the Editorial Boards of Experiments in Fluids and Measurement Science and Technology. Past recognition includes the AFOSR Young Investigator Award (2006), the NSF CAREER Award (2007), the Francois Frenkiel Award for Fluid Mechanics from APS-DFD (2011) and, most recently, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research (2012) from the College of Engineering at Illinois. Dr. Christensen received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in 1995, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech in 1996, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois in 2001.

David Dominic

David Dominic, PhD
Wright State University

David Dominic is a senior faculty member of the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at Wright State University, where he also serves as chair. Dr. Dominic has a PhD from West Virginia University where he focused on the sedimentology of fluvial sandstones. Preceding his academic pursuits, he worked in energy exploration for Chevron Corporation, where he was responsible for developing exploration prospects in the Gulf of Mexico. During his career at Wright State, he has been involved in numerous funded research projects with a particular focus on predicting the spatial distribution of porosity and permeability in subsurface reservoirs. In both his administrative and academic roles, he has supervised numerous staff and students. Dr. Dominic's knowledge and expertise will foster cooperation and coordination among members of the Geology theme members and between research themes.

Jennifer Druhan

Jennifer Druhan, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Jennifer Druhan is an assistant professor in the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She joined the faculty in 2015 after completing a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. She holds a PhD from the University of California Berkeley, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and an MS from the University of Arizona, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources. Dr. Druhan’s research centers on the relationship between physical structure and chemical reactivity in aquifers. She is a long-time associate of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and collaborates with Earth Science Division staff scientists in development and application of reactive transport software. She has extensive experience in both imaging and modeling techniques pertinent to geologic CO2 storage and was a member of the CO2 Capture Project (CCP) phase 3 at Stanford University.

Ahmed Elbanna

Ahmed Elbanna, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Ahmed Elbanna has been an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2013. He holds a PhD in civil engineering (2011) and an MS in applied mechanics (2006), both from the California Institute of Technology, and an MS in structural engineering (2005) and BS in civil engineering (2003) from Cairo University. He was a postdoc in the Physics of Complex Systems group at UCSB (2011–2012). His honors include the National Certificate of Excellence in Engineering (2003), George Housner Fellowship (2005), and National Center for Supercomputing Applications Fellowship (2015). At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Elbanna currently leads the Mechanics of Complex Systems Laboratory (MCSlab@UIUC). His research focuses on developing computational and analytical models for complex material behavior such as friction, adhesion, fracture, and viscoplasticity, and elucidating the implications of these phenomena, in lieu of other microstructural geometric features, on fracture toughness and optimality in multiscale systems.

Nicolas Espinoza

Nicolas Espinoza, PhD
University of Texas, Austin

Dr. Nicolas Espinoza is an assistant professor in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas-Austin. He is currently working in the Geomechanics Theme in the Center for the Frontier of Subsurface Energy Security (CFSES), an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC). Dr. Espinoza will collaborate with Drs. Charlie Werth and Ange-Therese Akono in the Geochemical Reactions Theme.

Scott M. Frailey

Scott M. Frailey, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Scott M. Frailey is the Director of the GSCO2 and the chair of the Executive Committee. He provides scientific and technical leadership, as well as maintaining the functionality of the Center in terms of communication, collaboration, personnel assignments and recruitment of staff and advisory committee members. Scott's specific research is in the area of reservoir characterization that includes core analyses, well log analyses, and pressure transient analyses to provide reservoir rock properties to geocellular models for use in multiphysics flow and transport modeling.

Naum I. Gershenzon

Naum I. Gershenzon, PhD
Wright State University

Naum I. Gershenzon is a Research Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Department of Physics at Wright State University (1993–present). He has his PhD in physics and mathematics from the Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. He has diverse scientific experience, including CO2 sequestration/petroleum reservoir modeling, Earth crust faults dynamics, tectono-electromagnetic phenomena, seismo-electromagnetic phenomena, theory of friction, mechano-electromagnetic phenomena in crystals, and electromagnetic phenomenon in magnetosphere-ionosphere plasma. He has authored 72 publications.

Bettina Goertz-Allmann

Bettina Goertz-Allmann, PhD
NORSAR

Bettina Goertz-Allmann is a senior research scientist in the microseismic monitoring group at NORSAR, Norway, since fall 2012. She earned her PhD in 2008 with a focus on earthquake source physics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. After earning her PhD, she spent several years at the Swiss Seismological Service at ETH Zurich, first as a postdoctoral researcher and later as a senior assistant. Her research interests are earthquake scaling relations, source parameter estimation, and earthquake rupture imaging. Her current research focuses on analysis of induced microseismicity in geothermal and CO2 storage environments.

Angela Goodman

Angela Goodman, PhD
National Energy Technology Laboratory

Dr. Angela Goodman is a Physical Scientist at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) whose research interests are focused on CO2 sequestration in geologic reservoirs with respect to storage capacity and injectivity; stochastic modeling of storage resource; CO2 capture from power plants using high surface area coordination polymers, metal organic frameworks, and zeolitic imidazolate frameworks; and characterization of gas, liquid, and solid interactions using infrared spectroscopy. She is currently the Technical Portfolio Lead for Carbon Storage focusing on Resource Assessments. Her resource assessment work directly addresses the Strategic Center for Coal’s program goal of predicting storage capacity to ±30% accuracy by further developing and refining CO2 storage methods for geologic formations. A suite of methodologies are being developed and evaluated to quantitatively assess storage resource for reservoirs, including saline formations, oil and gas reservoirs, unmineable coal seams, and organic-rich shale. Dr. Goodman earned her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at the University of Iowa in 2000, where her research focused on the chemical balance of the atmosphere. Dr. Goodman has been a research physical scientist with NETL since 2001.

William Harbert

William Harbert, PhD
National Energy Technology Laboratory

Dr. William Harbert is a professor of geophysics at the Department of Geology and Environmental Science at the University of Pittsburgh and an ORISE scientist working at the US Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). He earned his MS in exploration geophysics and PhD in geophysics from Stanford University. Dr. Harbert will contribute to petrophysical and geomechanical parameters, relationships, and models determined from core measurements at the NETL. He is a lifetime member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, a registered professional petroleum geophysicist, and member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Steve Marshak

Stephen Marshak, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Stephen Marshak is the Director of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment and a professor in the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Marshak specializes in structural geology and tectonics. He will be collaborating with GSCO2 researchers who are focusing on understanding how structural features, such as joints and faults, are related to the distribution of microseismicity and may affect basement topography and the distribution of facies. Dr. Marshak has carried out studies of continental-interior deformation for many years, most recently in the context of the EarthScope OIINK array project, which involved installing a seismometer array spanning the Ozark Plateau and the southern Illinois Basin. He has also been involved in producing digital maps displaying subsurface geologic features of the Illinois Basin and its margins.

Kristian Jessen

Kristian Jessen, PhD
University of Southern California

Kristian Jessen is Associate Professor in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at University of Southern California. He holds B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark. Dr. Jessen is the co-founder of the consulting company Tie-Line technology ApS that specializes in pressure-volume-temperature (PVT) software for design and optimization of gas injection processes. He has authored and co-authored numerous technical papers in the area of modeling and simulation of enhanced oil and gas recovery by gas injection processes. His current research activities include CO2 storage in subsurface formations and characterization and modeling of mass transfer and sorption phenomena in the context of unconventional oil and gas resources.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson, PhD
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Dr. Pierre-Yves Le Bas obtained his MS in electronics and applied physics and doctorate in acoustics from the University of Le Havre, France. His work includes material characterization and nondestructive testing using nonlinear acoustics and time reversal as well as developing instrumentation for experiments in multiple domains, including acoustics and detonation science. He is involved in multiple collaborations with the oil and gas industry for rock formation characterization.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan, PhD
SINTEF

Dr. Michael Jordan is a Senior Research Scientist at SINTEF Petroleum Research in Trondheim, Norway. He received a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Göttingen, Germany, in 2003. His current research activities include CO2 monitoring, seismic tomography and inversion, the integration of various data types and joint inversion, the estimation of spatial uncertainties, and the derivation of petrophysical parameters.

Roman Makhnenko

Roman Makhnenko, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Roman Makhnenko received his undergraduate degree in mechanics and applied mathematics at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia, in 2007. He then obtained his MSc (2009) and PhD (2013) degrees in geological and civil engineering from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. From 2013 to 2016, Roman worked as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). Dr. Makhnenko has expertise in geomechanics and development of novel methods in laboratory characterization of fluid-saturated geomaterials under elevated temperatures and pressures with applications to deep CO2 storage, gas shales, and hydraulic fracturing. His current research is related to assessment of geological storage of CO2, including thermo-hydro-mechanical and petrophysical characterization of possible host rock (sandstones and limestones) and caprock (shales) in contact with high-pressure CO2.

Steve Marshak

Stephen Marshak, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Stephen Marshak is the Director of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment and a professor in the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Marshak specializes in structural geology and tectonics. He will be collaborating with GSCO2 researchers who are focusing on understanding how structural features, such as joints and faults, are related to the distribution of microseismicity and may affect basement topography and the distribution of facies. Dr. Marshak has carried out studies of continental-interior deformation for many years, most recently in the context of the EarthScope OIINK array project, which involved installing a seismometer array spanning the Ozark Plateau and the southern Illinois Basin. He has also been involved in producing digital maps displaying subsurface geologic features of the Illinois Basin and its margins.

Roland T. Okwen

Roland T. Okwen, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Roland T. Okwen is a reservoir engineer at the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a member of the ISGS, he has contributed to the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium’s Phase II pilot studies in the Illinois Basin and continues to assist in the development of performance curves to act as screening tools for carbon dioxide (CO2) enhanced oil recovery floods. He was the principal investigator (PI) of a project that quantified the CO2 storage efficiency of different depositional environments. Currently, he is the PI of a project titled “Brine Extraction and Treatment Strategies to Enhance Pressure Management and Control of CO2 Plumes in Deep Geologic Formations.” Before joining the ISGS, Dr. Okwen was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Schlumberger Cambridge Research Center in the United Kingdom. He earned his PhD in civil engineering from the University of South Florida (2009), MS in petroleum engineering from the Technical University of Denmark (2005), and BS in chemistry from the University of Buea (1997). His research interests are in geological sequestration of CO2, enhanced oil recovery, reservoir geomechanics, and unconventional resources.

Volker Oye

Volker Oye, PhD
NORSAR

Dr. Volker Oye graduated Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany in 2000 (Diploma thesis on true amplitude migration) and made a PhD at University of Oslo and NORSAR in 2004 on Observation and Analysis of Microearthquakes. In the following years Oye worked on induced and triggered microseismicity in various environments such as mines, hydrocarbon reservoirs, geothermal reservoirs, CO2 storage and also on lab-scale acoustic emissions. Since 2013 Oye is head of the Department on “Earthquakes and the Environment” at NORSAR.

Pierre-Yves Le Bas

Pierre-Yves Le Bas, PhD
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Dr. Pierre-Yves Le Bas obtained his MS in electronics and applied physics and doctorate in acoustics from the University of Le Havre, France. His work includes material characterization and nondestructive testing using nonlinear acoustics and time reversal as well as developing instrumentation for experiments in multiple domains, including acoustics and detonation science. He is involved in multiple collaborations with the oil and gas industry for rock formation characterization.

John Popovics

John Popovics, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. John S. Popovics is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and also holds the title of CEE Excellence Scholar. His research findings have been published in four chapters in books and over 70 articles in peer-reviewed technical journals. He received the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 1999, the ASNT Fellowship Award in 2012, and the ASNT Faculty Award in 2014. He has been recognized as a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute and the American Society for Nondestructive Testing, and he is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Popovics has been actively engaged in research funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and The National Academy of Sciences and Engineering, among other agencies. His research program investigates testing, analysis, and novel measurements for infrastructure and geologic materials. His areas of expertise include wave propagation modeling and testing, material nondestructive testing and imaging, and innovative sensing technologies.

Robert W. Ritzi

Robert W. Ritzi, PhD
Wright State University

Robert W. Ritzi is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Wright State University (1989-present). He has degrees from Wittenberg University (B.A., 1981), Wright State University (M.S., 1983), and University of Arizona (Ph.D., 1989). Ritzi’s professional research has made contributions to understanding fundamental processes in subsurface fluid flow and mass transport. With over 15 years of support from the National Science Foundation, his funded research has totaled over $5 million dollars, and he has authored 143 publications. Ritzi’s courses earn high praises in student evaluations. He has been graduate advisor to 57 students including M.S. degree recipients, Ph.D. recipients, and Postdoctoral Scholars. Ritzi is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, past Chair of the Hydrogeology Division, and recipient of their George Burke Maxey Distinguished Service Award. His many professional affiliations also include membership to the American Geophysical Union and the Association of Ground Water Scientists and Engineers. He has served on the editorial boards of the principal journals in his profession. He recently completed 6 years of service in a governor’s appointment to the Ohio Geology Advisory Council, and serves on the City of Dayton Environmental Advisory Board. Ritzi was recognized in 2010 with the Wright State University Outstanding Alumni Award. His work on the GSCO2 EFRC project will involve quantifying and modeling relevant aspects of hierarchical reservoir architecture across a wide range of scales, and studying how they influence capillary trapping of CO2. He will also help coordinate the broader range of activities within the Geology: Characterization and Geocellular Modeling
task group.

Muhammad Sahimi

Muhammad Sahimi, PhD
University of Southern California

Muhammad Sahimi is Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and the NIOC Chair in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Tehran, Iran in 1977, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in 1984, both in chemical engineering. He has been involved with research on porous media and materials for 35 years. He has received several awards for his work, the latest of which the Honorary Membership Prize of the International Society for Porous Media (InterPore) in 2015, the highest award of the society.

Sergey Stanchits

Sergey Stanchits, PhD
Schlumberger

Sergey Stanchits received a PhD in physics and mathematics from Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1990. He has over 37 years of experience in Acoustic Emission application for research in Rock Mechanics laboratories in Russia, USA, and Germany. For 5 years, he worked for the US Geological Survey and then for the German Research Centre for Geosciences for over 10 years. Since 2010, he is the Head of Acoustic Technology in the Schlumberger Research Center, Fracture Dynamics and Performance Department, investigating hydraulic fracturing of rock by means of advanced Acoustic Emission technique.

Dustin Sweet

Dustin Sweet, PhD
Texas Tech University

Dr. Dustin E. Sweet holds a PhD (2009) in Geology from the University of Oklahoma and a MSc (2003) and a BSc (2000) in Geology from Boise State University. Upon completion of his PhD, Dr. Sweet worked as an exploration geologist at Chevron Energy Technology Company until he joined the faculty at Texas Tech University in the fall of 2011. During his time at Chevron, Dr. Sweet’s chief role was developing new plays and prospects in new venture opportunities, largely in West Africa. Dr. Sweet’s areas of expertise include process sedimentology, chemical weathering in soil profiles, and stratigraphy. He uses those skills to unravel climatic and tectonic history from the sedimentary record, predominantly within late Paleozoic basins in the United States and Quaternary strata on the Southern High Plains. He currently serves as leader of the Geology Theme for the Center for Geologic Storage of CO2, where he brings his sedimentologic and weathering skills to bear on understanding the character of the interval near the great unconformity in the mid-continent. He enjoys camping with his wife and three boys wherever late Paleozoic strata are exposed.

Paul Sylvester

Paul Sylvester, PhD
Texas Tech University

Paul Sylvester is the Endowed Pevehouse Chair Professor of Geosciences at Texas Tech University. He has held research and teaching positions at NASA Johnson Space Center, The University of Chicago, Australian National University, and Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research interests are focused on mineral geochemistry and geochronology using microbeam instruments, particularly LA-ICP-MS. He holds a BSc degree from Purdue University and a PhD degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and Mineralogical Society of America; Editor-in-Chief of Minerals; and Joint-Editor-in Chief of Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research.

Theodore Tsotsis

Theodore Tsotsis, PhD
University of Southern California

Professor Tsotsis received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1978. He then joined the University of Southern California (USC), where he currently holds the title of the Robert E. Vivian Professor in Energy Resources in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. He also served as the Department’s inaugural Chair in 2005. Professor Tsotsis’ research interests are in the areas of transport, adsorption and reaction in complex porous media, reaction engineering, reactor design, and membrane separations. He is the author of over 230 technical papers, several book chapters, six U. S. and one European patent, and one book. He has also edited two Technical Meeting Proceedings volumes. He has worked on a broad array of problems, ranging from the abstract and theoretical (symmetry breaking instabilities, reaction rate oscillations) to the practical and applied (petroleum upgrading, and membrane reactors and bioreactors). Professor Tsotsis was the co-founder and a member of the executive board of USC's NSF/IGERT Center in Environmental Engineering. He is a Fellow of the AIChE.

Albert J. Valocchi

Albert J. Valocchi, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Albert J. Valocchi is the Abel Bliss Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been on the faculty at Illinois since 1981. Valocchi’s research focuses upon computational modeling of pollutant fate and transport in porous media, with applications to groundwater contamination, geological sequestration of carbon dioxide, and impacts of model uncertainty on groundwater resources management. He received his B.S. in Environmental Systems Engineering from Cornell University in 1975 and did his graduate studies at Stanford University in the Department of Civil Engineering, receiving his M.S. in 1976 and Ph.D. in 1981. In 2009, he was recognized as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Charles J. Werth

Charles J. Werth, PhD
University of Texas, Austin

Dr. Charles J. Werth is a Professor and Bettie Margaret Smith Chair of Environmental Health Engineering in the Department of Civil, Architecture, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the UT faculty in August or 2014, after spending 17.5 years on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Werth's research and teaching focus on the fate and transport of pollutants in the environment, the development of innovative catalytic technologies for drinking water treatment, and the mitigation of environmental impacts associated with energy production and generation. Dr. Werth is a Wiley Research Fellow at the Department of Energy’s Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory, and a member of the USEPA's Science Advisory Board. Past recognition includes an Editors Choice Best Paper Award from Environmental Science and Technology (2nd in the category of Technology), recognition for the most cited paper in Journal of Contaminant Hydrology since 2008, a Humbolt Research Fellow Award, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and a BP Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Instruction. Dr. Werth received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. minor in Chemistry from Stanford University.

Steve Whittaker

Steve Whittaker, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Steve Whittaker is the Director of Energy Research & Development at the Illinois State Geological Survey, which is a part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois. He leads a team with wide-ranging research interests in efficiencies around subsurface resources, including carbon capture and storage. He was previously based in Perth, Australia, where he was Research Group Leader for Reservoir Dynamics with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), working on deploying carbon storage technology at the industrial scale in Australia and globally. Steve also serves as Chair of the TC265 committee developing ISO 27914, an international standard for geological storage of CO2. Previously, he was Principal Manager for Geologic Storage of CO2 at the Global CCS Institute in Canberra, Australia, and Chief Technology Manager at the Petroleum Technology Research Centre in Canada. In the latter position, he managed a program studying storage and monitoring of CO2 injected into a depleting oil field for enhanced oil recovery at Weyburn, Saskatchewan, which is among the world’s largest monitored CO2 injection sites. Steve is a geologist with a PhD from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and has worked in petroleum and carbon storage related fields for more than 20 years.



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