RDI2 Distinguished Seminar: "Computational Environment for Multiscale Multiphysics Subsurface Energy and Environmental Problems"

Speaker:  Dr. Mary Wheeler
Date: Monday, January 28th, 2013
Time: 2pm - 3:30pm
Location: Computing Research and Education (CoRE) Building, Room 701
*Refreshments will be served*


In this seminar, Dr. Wheeler will describe a computational framework for modeling multiscale multiphysics applications for subsurface applications in porous media. A major application is carbon sequestration in saline aquifers, Geologic sequestration is a proven means of permanent CO2 greenhouse gas storage, but it is difficult to design and manage such efforts. Predictive computational simulation may be the only means to account for the lack of complete characterization of the subsurface environment, the multiple scales of the various interacting processes, the large areal extent of saline aquifers, and the need for long time predictions ' Discretization, history matching, and parallel software implementation issues are discussed.

About Dr. Mary Wheeler

Mary Fanett Wheeler is a world-renowned expert in computational science. She has been a member of the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin since 1995 and holds the Ernest and Virginia Cockrell Chair in the departments of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. She is also director of the Center for Subsurface Modeling at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES). Before joining the faculty at UT Austin, Dr. Wheeler was the Noah Harding Professor in engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and was in fact the first tenured female associate and full professor.

Dr. 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. Dr. Wheeler has published more than 300 technical papers and edited seven books; she is currently an editor of seven technical journals.

It should be noted that Dr. Wheeler co-authored the first papers on modeling flow and transport in porous media using discontinuous Galerkin (DG )and/or mixed finite element methods, as well as co-authored two papers (one with Tom Russell and one with Alan Weiser) demonstrating the first proofs on convergence of cell-centered finite differences on non-uniform mesh.

Dr. 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 the State of 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.

Dr. Wheeler served has served on numerous committees for the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. For the past seven years she was the university lead in the Department of Defense User Productivity Enhancement and Technology Transfer Program (PET) in environmental quality modeling. Dr. Wheeler has served on the Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory and on the Advisory Committee for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. In 1998, Dr. 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, Dr. Wheeler was honored with the SIAM Geosciences Career Prize, selected a SIAM Fellow, and received her third IBM Faculty Award. That same year, she was awarded the Theodore von Kármán prize at the SIAM national meeting, recognizing her seminal research in numerical methods for partial differential equations, her leadership in the field of scientific computation and service to the scientific community, and for her pioneering work in the application of computational methods to the engineering sciences, most notably in geosciences. In 2010, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2011, she received a Humboldt award.