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Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar

Thursday, June 1, 2023
11:00am to 12:00pm
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Gates-Thomas 135
Predicting Transport, Mixing, and Reaction in Fractured Porous Media Across Scales
Peter Kang, McKnight Land-Grant Assistant Professor and Gibson Chair of Hydrogeology, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Minnesota,

Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar Series

Title: Predicting Transport, Mixing, and Reaction in Fractured Porous Media Across Scales

Abstract: Fluid flow and reactive transport in geologic fractures control many critical natural and engineered processes in the subsurface. For example, 99% of global unfrozen freshwater is stored in groundwater systems, and groundwater flow is often dominated by fracture flows. Also, engineered carbon mineralization is considered a key solution for climate change, and fractures serve as highways for the delivery of CO2 into mafic and ultramafic rocks, determining the efficiency of carbon mineralization. However, predicting transport processes in fractured porous media is challenging due to the multi-scale heterogeneity inherent to subsurface systems and the strong coupling between processes (i.e., coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical-biological-chemical processes).

In this talk, I will present how my research group uses cutting-edge methods such as high-performance computing, machine learning, and microfluidic experiments to advance our fundamental understanding and predictive capability of coupled processes in fractured porous media. In particular, pore-scale flow effects on transport, mixing, and biogeochemical processes will be highlighted, and a contaminated fractured aquifer site which I have been developing as a teaching and research-integrated site will be introduced.

Bio: I am a geoscientist whose research focuses on the physics of flow and reactive transport in porous and fractured media. Peter Kang and his group combine a range of methods (lab and field experiments, numerical simulations, and machine learning) to investigate reactive transport in porous media with applications in geologic carbon sequestration, enhanced geothermal systems, and groundwater management and remediation (

I joined the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor and the Gibson Chair of Hydrogeology in 2018. I was a researcher at Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) from 2015-2018, and was a postdoctoral associate in the Earth Resources Laboratory (ERL) at MIT before joining KIST. I received my MSc (2010) and PhD (2014) in Civil & Environmental Engineering at MIT, and obtained BSc of Civil, Urban & Geosystem engineering at Seoul National University in South Korea with summa cum laude in 2008.

NOTE: At this time, in-person Mechanical and Civil Engineering Lectures are open to all Caltech students/staff/faculty/visitors.

For more information, please contact Stacie Takase by phone at (626) 395-3389 or by email at [email protected] or visit