Wheeler receives SPE’s highest honor

ICES Professor Mary Wheeler has been named a Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Honorary Member, the organization’s highest honor.

Wheeler, professor of petroleum and geosystems engineering, and professor or aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics, garners the prestigious title which is limited to 0.1 percent of the SPE total membership. This elite group represents individuals who have given outstanding service to SPE or have demonstrated distinguished scientific or engineering achievements in the fields within the technical scope of SPE.

Wheeler’s work impacts energy production through enhanced oil and gas extraction; air quality with carbon sequestration in saline aquifers; and water quality with environmental remediation in groundwater.

She has been a member of the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin since 1995, holds the Ernest and Virginia Cockrell Chair and is a professor in the departments of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics, and petroleum and geosystems engineering. She is also director of the ICES Center for Subsurface Modeling. Before joining the faculty at UT Austin, Wheeler was the Noah Harding Professor in engineering at Rice University.

Wheeler’s research group employs computer simulations to model the behavior of fluids in geological formations. Her particular research interests include numerical solution of partial differential systems with application to the modeling of subsurface flows and parallel computation.

Applications of her research include multiphase flow and geomechanics in reservoir engineering, contaminant transport in groundwater, sequestration of carbon in geological formations, and angiogenesis in biomedical engineering. Wheeler has published more than 250 technical papers and edited seven books; she is currently an editor of seven technical journals.

Wheeler is a member of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. She is a fellow of the International Association for Computational Mechanics, and is a certified professional engineer in Texas. She was co-organizer of the SIAM Activity Group in the Geosciences, and alongside Dr. Hans van Duijn, started the “Journal on Computational Geosciences.”

Currently Wheeler serves on the board of governors for Argonne National Laboratory and on the advisory committees for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and CASL. In addition she serves as associate director of CFSES, a DOE ERFC Center.

In 1998, Wheeler was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In 2006, she received an honorary doctorate from Technische Universiteit Eindhoven in the Netherlands. In 2008, she received an honorary doctorate from the Colorado School of Mines. In 2009, Wheeler was honored with the SIAM Geosciences Career Prize, election as a SIAM Fellow, and the SIAM Theodore von Kármán Prize. In 2010, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2011 she received a Humboldt award. In 2013 she received the John von Neumann Medal, the highest award bestowed by the Unites States Association for Computational Mechanics and became the first woman to receive the medal in its 23-year history.

Dr. Mary F. Wheeler

Dr. Mary F. Wheeler

2018 CSM Industrial Affiliates Meeting

Thank you to all attendees, presenters, and participants in the CSM Industrial Affiliates Meeting on April 11-12, 2018 at The University of Texas at Austin. The presentations and posters are available for download below. If you have not received an email with the password for viewing, please contact CSM.

Dr. Wheeler Receives Career Research Excellence Award

Congratulations to Dr. Mary Wheeler for winning the 2016-17 University Co-op’s Career Research Excellence Award.  This award acknowledges a faculty member or staff researcher who has maintained superior research over many years.  Winners will be honored at the University Co-op Hamilton Awards banquet at the Blanton Museum on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.

The University Co-op Awards 2017

Numerical Simulation and Optimization of Gas Mobility Control Techniques During CO2 Sequestration in Cranfield

by Xueying Lu and Mohammad Lotfollahi

CO2 sequestration in subsurface often suffers from poor volumetric sweep efficiency due to low gas viscosity, low gas density, and formation heterogeneity. This study investigates CO2 mobility control techniques of Water Alternating Gas (WAG) and Surfactant (or Nanoparticle) Alternating Gas (SAG) to increase CO2 storage capacity in Cranfield via field-scale simulations and optimization. Continue reading

Adaptive Mesh Refinement with the Enhanced Velocity Method

by Benjamin Ganis

The enhanced velocity (EV) method is a useful way to directly construct a strongly flux-continuous velocity approximation between non-matching subdomain grids [2].  It is a straightforward method to implement based on a two-point flux approximation on Cartesian grids.  The EV method has recently been implemented in the IPARS simulator on a new type of discretization called semi-structured grids.  This enables powerful local mesh refinement capabilities, as well as dynamic adaptive mesh refinement (AMR). Continue reading

Connie Baxter Retires

Connie Baxter, Senior Administrative Associate and Assistant to the Director of the ICES Center for Subsurface Modeling (CSM), was hired in 1997 as an administrator where she remained for almost 20 years.  Baxter joined ICES’ predecessor, the Texas Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics, and received the 2016 ICES Staff Excellence Award “for contributions to innovation, productivity, and morale.”  She retired on April 30, 2017 and will be missed.

Michelle Belisle has been hired as the new Senior Administrative Associate and joined the team on September 18, 2017.

Dr. Wheeler and collaborators receive $1.5 million NSF Grant

January, 2016 – Center for Subsurface Modeling director Dr. Mary Wheeler, with her collaborators, received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The purpose of the grant is to develop computational techniques that more effectively use big data to predict and model the pathways of naturally-occurring ground fractures and how induced fractures interact with them. Continue reading