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Research interests

I am the Director or Research for the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) and the Energi Simulation Chair in Fractured and Geothermal Reservoir. In the latter role, I head the Fractured and Geothermal Reservoir Group at the Institute of Geoenergy Engineering (IGE). I served as the Director for IGE from 2017 to 2020.

Together with the Fractured and Geothermal Reservoir Group, I conduct fundamental and applied research that integrates results from different fields (engineering, geology, physics, chemistry) and across multiple scales (pore, core, well, outcrop, reservoir, and basin) for a range of geoenergy applications, from hydrocarbon and geothermal energy production to CO2 and hydrogen storate.

By viewing fractured reservoirs as a system rather than its individual components where, we develop new technologies that allow us to

  1. Improve the characterisation and modelling of the multi-scale rock matrix;
  2. Improve the characterisation and modelling of the multi-scale fracture network;
  3. Improve the characterisation and modelling of the fracture-matrix interactions.

The overarching aim of our research is to enable value-based decision making when managing natural resources in fractured reservoirs by (i) designing meaningful models of reservoir systems faster, (ii) making better use of available data, and (iii) demonstrating that the new tools and workflows lead to better decision making.

To achieve these aims, we use a range of techniques, including but not limited to pore-scale modelling, X-Ray CT imaging, development of new model concepts and advancement of numerical techniques, outcrop-based flow studies of reservoir analogues, multi-stage upscaling, and field-scale applications. A strong emphasis of our research is to enable reproducible science through open access and open source releases of our work.

Biography

I joined the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering (previously Institute of Petroleum Engineering) in 2006 as a lecturer. I was promoted to senior lecturer in 2009 and as full professor in 2010. From 2017 to 2020 I served as the Director of the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering, and since 2019 I have served a the Director of Research for the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society at Heriot-Watt University. Before joining Heriot-Watt University, I was a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich.

I obtained my PhD degree in computational geosciences from the ETH Zurich in 2004 and hold an MSc degree in geosciences from Oregon State University. I was a visiting researcher at Aramco Services Company in Houston in 2015, at the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College in 2006, and was a visiting fellow at the Department of Mathematics at Australia National University in 2001.

I am serving on different technical and strategic committees of the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE). I am also a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), for which I have chaired panel discussions (e.g. 2013 RSCS or 2014 ADIPEC) and serve on technical conference committees (e.g. 2016 ATCE, 2011, 2013, and 2019 RSCS, or 2017 and 2019). I co-convened the 2012 joint AAPG-SPE-SEG Hedberg Research Conference on Fundamental Controls of Flow in Carbonates and the 2018 EAGE Workshop on Naturally Fractured Reservoirs. I served on the editorial board for Transport in Porous Media and am currently serving on the editorial board for Petroleum Geoscience. I am also a Board Member of the Scottish Energy Forum,

I received the Interpore Rosette for outstanding contributions to the society in 2015. In 2017 I received the EAGE Alfred Wegener Award for my group's groundbreaking research in carbonate reservoir modelling and simulation. I was elected as a Fellow of the Energy Institute in 2019, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2020, Scotland’s Academy for Sciences and Letters.

I have provided consultancy to the energy industry on some major technical issues, for example on the links between gas production and subsidence in the Wadden region, Netherlands. As an instructor of HOT Engineering, I also teach CPD courses to the energy industry on a regular basis. At Heriot-Watt University, I have been the Co-Director of the International Centre for Carbonate Reservoirs (funded by Petrobras and Shell) from 2012 to 2019 and, since 2021, I am the Co-Director of the Petronas Centre of Excellence in Subsurface Engineering and Energy Transition (PACESET). 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

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