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Students & Early Career Professionals


Ali Tarokh

Ali Tarokh, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Ali Tarokh received his undergraduate degree in mining engineering at the University of Tehran, Iran, in 2009. He obtained his MSc in mineral engineering from New Mexico Tech in 2012 where he researched particle modeling of rock fracture, which was followed by work as a tunnel engineer at AECOM, New York. Dr. Tarokh completed his PhD in civil engineering at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2016. His research was concentrated on laboratory characterization of fluid-saturated rocks within the framework of Biot's theory of poroelasticity. Along with that, he has developed expertise in surface spalling and hydraulic fracturing testing, fracture and size effect, as well as true triaxial testing of rock. Dr. Tarokh is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and will work on laboratory assessment of CO2 interaction with the host and caprock as part of the Geomechanical Measurements Theme.

Amir Hossein Kohanpur

Amir Hossein Kohanpur, MS
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Amir Hossein Kohanpur is a PhD student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He started his PhD program in 2015, and his research focuses on pore-scale modeling of two-phase flow in porous media by network modeling methods and lattice Boltzmann methods with application to geological sequestration of carbon dioxide. He received his BS in mechanical engineering from Shiraz University, Iran, in 2011 and MS in mechanical engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 2013.

Charles Monson

Charles Monson, MS
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Charles Monson is an Assistant Project Coordinator in the Advanced Energy Technology Initiative section of the Illinois State Geological Survey. He has been with ISGS since 2010. His primary research deals with the sedimentology and stratigraphy of both clastic and carbonate rocks, and he has also done work on the economics of CO2 enhanced oil recovery in the Illinois Basin. Charles holds a B.S. (geoscience) and an M.S. (geoscience, paleontology emphasis) from the University of Iowa, and he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in geology at the University of Illinois.

Gianluca Blois

Gianluca Blois, PhD
University of Notre Dame

Gianluca Blois is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at University of Notre Dame. He received his PhD in Civil Engineering from Politecnico di Milano University, Italy, in 2007. After spending one year as Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Birmingham (UK), he moved to the Departments of Geology and Mechanical Engineering at the University Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been holding the Jackson Postdoctoral Fellowship. He is a member of the Carbon Dioxide Storage Division of the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) based at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. His research interests include a number of environmental problems with a focus on multiphase flow through porous media and bedform morphodynamics. A main aspect of his research involves the development and application of cutting-edge experimental fluid dynamics techniques that include microfluidics and large-scale facilities. He led in the pioneering development of two world-class Refractive Index Matching (RIM) facilities at the University of Illinois that were designed to investigate high-Reynolds numbers geophysical flow problems, such as bedforms interaction and turbulence penetration into permeable walls.

Gabriela Dávila

Gabriela Dávila, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Gabriela Davila is a post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her BS in chemical engineering from The University of Los Andes (Venezuela) and her MS and PhD in hydrogeology from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, during which time she worked as a PhD student in the Hydrogeology Group in Barcelona (Spain). Her PhD focused on the different ways in which CO2 could leak during geological storage and the chemical interactions between CO2, brine, marls (as caprock), and MgO (as alternative well cement) samples. She performed a large set of laboratory experiments under various temperature and pressure conditions using both crushed rock and fractured core samples to evaluate hydrodynamic and petrophysical rock property changes. She further interpreted the observed results and predicted similar processes in other conditions using reactive transport software (CrunchFlow). Currently, as part of the GSCO2, she will continue to experimentally study geological storage of CO2 through a novel combination of X-ray computed tomography (X-ray CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) to acquire real-time, dynamic distributions of CO2 and fluid flow, solid phase stress fields, and secondary mineral accumulation.

Hassan Dashtian

Hassan Dashtian, MS
University of Southern California

Hassan Dashtian is a PhD student in chemical engineering at the University of Southern California. He holds both a BS and MS in petroleum engineering with an emphasis on drilling and production from Petroleum University of Technology and Sharif University of Technology, respectively. Currently, he is working on nano- and pore-scale simulation of salt precipitation in porous media using high performance computation. Hassan’s other research interests include analysis of well log and seismic data and fluid flow and transport in porous media.

James Bittner

James Bittner, MS
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

James A. Bittner is a PhD student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his BS in civil engineering from Michigan Technological University and his MS in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research interests include nondestructive characterization of materials, ultrasonic imaging of heterogeneous material formations, and intelligent sensing aggregation. His PhD work focuses on multiscale dynamic behaviors of porous infrastructure materials.

Kavya Mendu

Kavya Mendu, MS
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Kavya Mendu is a second year graduate student in structural engineering under the supervision of Professor Ange-Therese Akono at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mendu’s research includes multiscale characterization of the fracture and mechanical properties of materials. She received her bachelor of technology (BTech) in civil engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Warangal, in 2015. Her GSCO2 research focuses on the study of mechanical and fracture properties of rock specimens from the Mt. Simon Sandstone to understand the effect of carbon storage on the reservoir geomechanics.

Laura Dalton

Laura Dalton, MS
National Energy Technology Laboratory

Laura Dalton is an engineer in training and post-graduate researcher at the US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia. She received a BA in graphic design from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 2012, a BS in civil engineering from West Virginia University (WVU) in 2015, and an MS in civil engineering with a focus in asphalt technology from WVU in 2016. Her current research interests include computed tomography analysis, Mt. Simon Sandstone and other GSCO2 storage reservoir properties, and wellbore integrity.

Mahsa Rahromostaqim

Mahsa Rahromostaqim
University of Southern CaliforniaWright State University

Biography coming soon.

Mary Tkach

Mary Tkach, BS
National Energy Technology Laboratory

Mary Tkach graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in geology and planetary sciences in 2016. Her research interests include carbon dioxide capture and sequestration as well as the effects of coal-mine water on gas well cements. Currently, she works as a post-graduate intern at the National Energy Technology Laboratory through the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education. Her current works involves using scanning electron microscopy to analyze cements that have been exposed to coal-mine water as well as Marcellus and Utica shales that have been exposed to dry supercritical CO2.

Nadège Langet

Nadège Langet, PhD
NORSAR

Nadège Langet holds an MS degree in geophysics and a PhD in seismology from the University of Strasbourg (France), where she worked on automating the detection, location, and characterization of seismic events with an application to volcano seismology. She is currently a postdoc at NORSAR and will be working on the characterization and classification of seismic events using machine learning methods with the aim of linking them to the physical processes that generate them.

Katie Jo Pevehouse

Katie Jo Pevehouse, BS
Texas Tech University

Katie Jo Pevehouse is a first-year master’s student in geosciences at Texas Tech University, after attaining her BS in geosciences from Texas Tech in 2017. Her research focuses on weathering profiles and geochemistry analysis. She is advised by Dr. Dustin Sweet.

Pooyan Kabir

Pooyan Kabir, MS
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Pooyan Kabir is a PkhD student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He started his PhD program in 2014, and his research focuses on multiscale characterization and modeling of geological materials. He received his BS in civil engineering from University of Tehran, Iran, in 2012 and MS in civil engineering from Texas A&M University in 2014.

Ruisong Zhou

Ruisong Zhou, MS
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Ruisong Zhou is a PhD student in the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has broad research interests in the fundamental understanding of geological sequestration of carbon dioxide, reservoir geomechanics, and modeling of flow in porous media. His PhD research focuses on conducting field work and examining core and well logs to develop geologic models and integrate geologic data into reservoir models. He has a BS degree in petroleum geology from Northeast Petroleum University, an MS degree in petroleum geology from China University of Petroleum, Beijing, and an MS in petroleum engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Sahar Bakhshian

Sahar Bakhshian, MS
University of Southern California

Sahar Bakhshian is a PhD student in chemical engineering underthe supervision of Professor Muhammad Sahimi at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include modeling and simulation of porous materials, fluid flow, and other transport phenomena in porous media. She received her BS in chemical engineering from Isfahan University of Technology and her MS degree in environmental engineering from Sharif University of Technology. Currently, Sahar is working on simulation of deformation of porous media and packed beds using numerical methods, lattice Boltzmann,
and molecular simulation.

Samantha Fuchs

Samantha Fuchs
University of Texas, Austin

Samantha Fuchs is a first-year graduate student in environmental engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on the effect of porous media wettability for carbon sequestration. She is advised by Dr. Charles Werth. She graduated with a bachelor of science in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015.

Setare Hajarolasvadi

Setare Hajarolasvadi
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Setare Hajarolasvadi is a first year PhD candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed her bachelor's degree at Sharif University of Technology, Iran, and her master’s degree at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses structural engineering, specifically earthquake engineering and fracture mechanics.

Xiao Ma

Xiao Ma, MS
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Xiao Ma is currently a PhD student in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the supervision of Dr. Ahmed Elbanna. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Jilin University, China, and an MS in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on modeling solid amorphous material and earthquake mechanics.

Yaofa Li

Yaofa Li, PhD
University of Notre Dame

Dr. Yaofa Li is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Microfluidics Laboratory for Energy and the Environment directed by Dr. Kenneth Christensen at the University of Notre Dame. He received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2015 on thermo/soluto-capillary flows and microscale evaporative cooling. Dr. Li joined Dr. Christensen’s group and the GSCO2 in July 2015, following his graduation. His GSCO2 research efforts focus on experimentally studying geological sequestration of CO2, specifically, characterizing pore-scale flow interactions between liquid CO2 and water at reservoir conditions using fluorescent microscopy and the micro-PIV technique.

Yu Chen

Yu Chen, PhD
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Yu Chen is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his BS in theoretical and applied mechanics in 2006 and PhD in fluid mechanics in 2012, both from Peking University. He visited the University of Southern California and Los Alamos National Laboratory as a visiting PhD student for two years during his graduate study. Before joining the University of Illinois, he worked at Tsinghua University as a postdoctoral research associate. His research interests include direct numerical simulation of multiphase/multicomponent flow in porous media, particle-resolved direct numerical simulation, the lattice Boltzmann method, and high performance parallel computing.

Zhuofan Shi

Zhuofan Shi, MS
University of Southern California

Zhuofan Shi is currently a PhD student in chemical engineering under the supervision of Professors Kristian Jessen and Theodore Tsotsis at the University of Southern California. His research focuses on underground gas storage and sorption phenomena in porous media. He received his BS degree in chemical engineering from Hunan University and his MS degree in chemical engineering from the University of Southern California. His GSCO2 research focuses on experimental study of mass transfer and sorption phenomena in CO2/brine systems.



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