Postdoctoral fellows and PhD Candidates

Postdoctoral Fellows

Gaute Linga, NJORD Centre for Studies of the Physics of the Earth, University of Oslo,

In my research, I study the complexity of fluid flow through porous media undergoing deformation due to e.g. fracturing and precipitation-dissolution processes. This is done by combining numerical simulations on the pore-scale and below with methods from statistical physics. The research includes development of models and numerical methods for simulation of two-phase flow coupled with solute transport and complicated boundary conditions, as well as carrying out computational studies which yield direct comparison to experiments, e.g. dynamic X-ray tomography data.

Supervisors: François Renard and Eirik Grude Flekkøy

Marcel Moura, Department of Physics, University of Oslo,

I work mostly on capillary flows in synthetic porous networks in 2D. We are interested in transient and steady state properties of slow two-phase flows in which a porous network saturated with a liquid is slowly invaded by another liquid or gaseous phase. We analyze the invasion dynamics using both images of the flow and pressure measurements. Image analysis routines are applied to obtain spatial and temporal information about the dynamics, from the pore-scale to the lab scale. Additional info can be found here.

Supervisors: Knut Jørgen Måløy/Eirik Grude Flekkøy/Renaud Toussaint

Fredrik Kvalheim Eriksen, Department of Physics, University of Oslo

My research is focused on deforming porous media and pattern formation during fluid flow. These processes primarily involve mechanical deformation and fracturing driven by high pore fluid overpressure, but I have also worked on slow transformation caused by reactive flow in fracture channels. The work is based on tabletop experiments, where we put porous media (real or synthetic) in flow cells and impose various flow conditions. To uncover characteristic dynamics of the systems, we usually analyze high speed camera footage, pressure recordings, and/or acoustic measurements. The current focus is to study the deformation and fracturing of elastic, disorderly bonded porous media due to one phase flow at constant overpressure. I often collaborate with researchers at the University of Strasbourg on deformable porous media and fracturing, and I also take part in other projects on fluid and granular flows with e.g. researchers in Poland and India. Supervisors: Knut Jørgen Måløy/Eirik Grude Flekkøy

Haili Long-Sanouiller, Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, NTNU

My research is about to characterize wettability of multiphase flow in porous media by using X-ray mCT technique. Historically, it has always been a challenge to make a proper characterization of wettability in traditional lab experiments. With the development of mCT, it is possible to study local in-situ wettability and contact angle of fluid-fluid interface curvatures based on processed mCT images. The results can be used as input to build models for wettability alteration based on local properties such as pore-size (radius), pore-volume, pore-wall curvature, mineralogy, clay content, etc. by analyzing a smaller set of samples to predict local wettability conditions for samples under similar conditions.

Supervisor: Ole Torsæter / Carl Fredrik Berg

Mathias Winkler, Department of Physics, NTNU

I am working on macro-scale modeling of immiscible two-phase flow in porous media. In this project we further develop and apply a new theoretical framework to describe such porous media flows. A second current research interest is the study of osmotic transport through nanopores, based on atomistic modeling.

Supervisor: Alex Hansen


Ashkan Jahanbani Ghahfarokhi, Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, NTNU

Currently, I am doing research on numerical simulation of water diversion by polymer gels for enhancing oil recovery. Important parameters in the simulation study and challenges involved were discussed. Guidelines for selecting the best reservoir candidate and conditions of gel application were suggested. I will also be involved in wettability alteration studies with the goal of determination and understanding the role of wettability in flow through porous media.

Supervisor: Ole Torsæter

Rasoul Khaledialidusti, Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, NTNU

An increase in CO2 viscosity which results in lower CO2 mobility could reduce problems with poor macroscopic sweep efficiency. The vision is to develop a new method for thickening of CO2 using nanoparticle and forming a CO2 based nanofluid which can improve volumetric sweep efficiency compared to conventional CO2-EOR method. The interaction of CO2 molecules with different nanoparticles will be solved by the quantum mechanics equations of the electronic structure that so called ab initio calculations. Further atomistic simulations of liquid CO2 interaction with nanoparticles will be made using Molecular Dynamics (MD) and Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD) methods. The results attained will be applied for reservoir-scale modeling to better understanding of the performance of the CO2 based nanofluid at larger-scale of a reservoir. Supervisors: Afrooz Barnoush/ Carl Fredrik Berg

Hamid Hosseinzade Khanamiri, Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, NTNU

My research has been about experimental study of two-phase flow in porous media on pore and Darcy scales. I use ordinary and synchrotron-based X-ray computed microtomography to study changes in fluid distribution in porous media. Processing the tomography images makes it possible to compute the volume, connectivity and other topological properties of the fluid phases in porous systems as large a few mili-meter. The purpose of these experiments is to improve our understanding of the microscopic topological changes of fluids. Next stage is to search for clues of how to upscale scale those changes to a larger scale (cm and above). I also simulate the mentioned experiments by Lattice-Boltzmann and pore network modelling methods in order to both interpret the experimental results and study the upscaling. Supervisor: Ole Torsæter

Subhadeep Roy, Department of Physics, NTNU

I am Subhadeep Roy. I have joined PoreLab on August 1, 2018 and will be working with Prof. Alex Hansen. My work focuses on modeling flow of fluid within porous materials. I will mainly start by observing a two-phase flow in a random network and later introduce complexity to the model in order to understand the behavior of porous medium. Also the second focus will be understanding failure events (dynamics, strength, predictability etc.) through the study of disordered systems. I have done my PhD. in Theoretical Physics (statistical mechanics and disordered systems) where we have closely observed how strength of disorder and range of interaction can effect the static and dynamic behavior of a disordered system which is guided by threshold activated dynamics. Also I have spent 1.5 years working at Tokyo University (Earthquake research institute, Dept. of Geophysics) where we have explored some basic laws of seismic events (Omori law, Gutenberg Law) through the time evolution of a disordered systems out of equilibrium.

James Matthew Campbell, Department of Physics, University of Oslo

James arrived in Oslo in September 2018, having previously worked at The University of Leeds and also Swansea University. He studies complex pattern formation in two- and three-phase flows involving granular media, with an experimental focus but also with a strong interest in computational pattern analysis. Particular projects include erosion-deposition processes in fluids flowing over granular beds, pneumatic fracturing of granular packings, and structures of granular labyrinths and other branching patterns. He works with Knut Jørgen Måløy and Eirik Flekkøy in Oslo, and Bjørnar Sandnes in Swansea.

Monem Ayaz, Department of Physics, University of Oslo

PhD Candidates

Marco Sauermoser, Department of Chemistry, NTNU

The flow field plate in a proton exchange membrane is a crucial part for its performance and has a big potential for optimization. During the course of this PhD project with the title “Energy efficient PEM fuel cells”, the aim is to achieve an increase in efficiency of said fuel cell by using the principle of uniform entropy production used in non-equilibrium thermodynamics. This can be achieved by using bio-inspired flow fields, which are based on e.g. lungs or leaves. Models will be created to find out the most efficient flow field plates and then tested against reference designs like serpentine pattern in a fuel cell test station.

Supervisors: Signe Kjelstrup/Bruno G. Pollet/Dag Dysthe

Olav Galteland, Department of Chemistry, NTNU

Fluid flow in porous media due to a pressure gradient is described by a Darcy-like law, which has shown to fail for small pore sizes and/or low pressure gradients. There is no description of the flow for other driving forces than the pressure gradient. Examples where fluid flow is important are found in many technological applications, such as membranes, fuel cells, sea water desalination, and oil and natural gas recovery. In this project non-equilibrium thermodynamics (NET) will be applied to give a coherent thermodynamic description of the flow, which will include other driving forces, such as a viscous, capillary, gravitational, osmotic, chemical, and thermal forces. Non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) simulations will be used to examine the NET theory. Supervisors: Signe Kjelstrup/Bjørn Hafskjold/Dick Bedeaux

Seunghan Song, Department of Physics, NTNU

I have been studying silicon alloy micro-core fibers in glass cladding. Using an in-situ optical imaging technique we have observed the flow of liquid alloy droplets through the silicon matrix. My project goal is to understand the phenomena of liquid-solid flows under temperature gradient in semiconductor alloy core fibers through experiments. Our research topic is not only interesting for a deeper understanding of solid-liquid flows but can also be a guide to developing precise micro-structures in semiconductor core fibers for optical and optoelectronic applications.

Supervisors: Ursula Gibson/Alex Hansen

Jonas Tøgersen Kjellstadli, Department of Physics, NTNU

My research aims to gain a deeper understanding of fracture phenomena by studying fiber bundle models. The equal load sharing (ELS) model is deceptively subtle for its simple mathematical formulation, but is still analytically tractable. The local load sharing (LLS) model is much more complex and requires simulations to study, but offers an abundance of brand new effects to investigate in recompense. I mainly focus on the history-independent LLS model in two and higher dimensions, a model that has received little attention in fracture research so far. Supervisor: Alex Hansen.

Reidun Cecilie Grønfur Aadland, Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, NTNU

GreenEOR (Green high performance systems for Enhanced Oil Recovery): This project will develop a novel series of high-performance and environmentally friendly systems for chemical EOR applications based on nanocellulose, alone or in combination with surfactants, demonstrated in laboratory scale. Nanocellulose is a group of nanoscaled particles produced from wood, and is thus an abundant and green resource. The main goal is to demonstrate EOR and understand mechanisms of nanocellulose used in EOR-fluids. This project is a collaboration with RISE PFI in Norway, which will provide the different nanocellulose samples to be used in the study. Supervisors: Ole Torsæter/Kristin Syverud

Morten Vassvik, Department of Physics, NTNU

My work focuses on modeling of two-phase flow in porous materials using network models. A porous material is incredibly complex structurally, but overall it can be characterized by a collection of “pores” connected via “throats”. A pore-network model uses this connectivity information to approximate the topology and local structure of the much more complex structure while still maintaining the essential part of it. What a network model loses is precision it gains in efficiency, making it possible to study much larger system in a shorter amount of time. My current work concerns itself with exploring the limits of the simplest kind of pore-network model – a single-pressure dynamic network model. Supervisors: Alex Hansen/Signe Kjelstrup

Le Xu, Department of Physics, University of Oslo

Experiments of flow in porous matrix is the focus of my research. Taking advantage of the plaster sample slightly dissolved by fresh water, we inject water into the plaster sample in the Hele-Shaw cell and study the reactive-infiltration instability, dissolution phase diagram and dispersion with dissolution patterns. Some theoretical calculations and simulation modelling are also applied and to be compared with experimental results.

Supervisors: Knut Jørgen Måløy/Eirik Grude Flekkøy/Renaud Toussaint


Alberto Luis Bila, Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, NTNU

My research is focused on investigating the enhanced oil recovery mechanisms using silica nanoparticles (nano-EOR). The project consists of screening different type of silica-based nanofluids using glass micromodels. Further, the best nanofluids are selected for further experimental core flooding tests using Berea sandstones rock. The main interest is to investigate the role nanoparticles in modifying the multiphase flow properties of a porous rock (wettability alteration, interfacial tension, relative permeability, etc.) and the contribution for the additional oil recovery after conventional water flooding. Supervisors: Ole Torsæter/Jan Åge Stensen

Bahador Najafiazar, Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, NTNU

HyGreGel (Hybrid Green Gel): This project will develop competence and technology within in-depth gel placement for water diversion. New hybrid nanogel systems will be developed based on “green” technology. The gel systems will be based on novel multifunctional hybrid polymers prepared at SINTEF Materials and Chemistry (FunzioNano™) and polyelectrolyte complexes developed at Kansas University. Testing infrastructures at NTNU IPT, NTNU NanoLab and SINTEF Petroleum Research will be used in the experimental work. Supervisors: Ole Torsæter/Torleif Holt/Jan Åge Stensen

Kristian Stølevik Olsen, Department of Physics, University of Oslo

Patterns that emerge on macroscopic scales due to stochastic laws on smaller scales are ubiquitous in Nature. The formation and properties of these spatial structures are of great interdisciplinary interest as they appear throughout the sciences, from biology to pure mathematics. Using tools like the renormalization group and random field models I study various aspects of these spatial structures. In particular, I study geometry-induced anomalous diffusion, where the spatial geometry in which the particles diffuse require microscopic laws that do not belong to the familiar Gaussian universality class.

Magnus Aashammer Gjennestad, Department of Physics, NTNU

My research is focused on how thermodynamics and approaches inspired by thermodynamic theory can be used to study two-phase flow in porous media. This involves e.g. extracting information from steady-state pore network model simulations to establish constitutive relations for two-phase flow, developing numerical solution methods to enable the use of such relations in continuum-scale simulations and studying thermodynamic equilibrium and stability of fluid configurations in porous media.

Supervisors: Alex Hansen and Signe Kjelstrup

Mohammad Hossein Golestan, Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, NTNU

Pore-scale imaging and modeling has matured to a routine service in the oil and gas industry, specially during Enhanced Oil recovery (EOR) investigations. One of the EOR methods is Low Salinity Waterflooding (LSW) which is a combination of different mechanisms, including wettability alteration and osmotic pressure differences. Osmosis is a recently discovered mechanisms, where oil droplets acts as semi-permeable membranes for water. Transport of water over the semi-permeable membrane expands inaccessible higher saline water and induces pressure differences. the saline water expansion can relocate oil and open new water pathways. Such relocation can lead to a microscopic diversion mechanism, thereby increasing the oil recovery. the aim of my PhD studies is to use Lattice Boltzmann simulation method to assess the effect of osmosis during LSW.

Kim Roger Kristiansen, Department of Chemistry, NTNU

Low-temperature industrial waste heat is a largely untapped energy resource. Existing methods for converting low-temperature waste heat typically do not exceed 15 % of the Carnot limit. My research capitalizes on recent developments in research on thermal osmosis, which suggest that power production by thermo-osmotic pressure can greatly exceed current methods in efficiency. I aim to study the potential to use low-temperature waste heat in order to simultaneously purify water and produce mechanical power, by exploiting a thermal driving force for water transport through nanoporous membranes. My work combines theoretical insight through the theory of non-equilibrium thermodynamics and hydrodynamics, with experimental work for determining the empirical coefficients in the theory.

Astrid Fagertun Gunnarshaug, Department of Chemistry, NTNU

Lithium ion batteries are temperature sensitive. Charging and discharging of batteries give rise to thermal gradients within the battery cell. My research aims to gain a better understanding of these temperature gradients and contribute to more accurate temperature profiles by investigating local reversible heat effects in lithium ion batteries. Non-equilibrium thermodynamics allows us to measure local heat effects through the thermoelectric effect. This is found experimentally by measuring the response in electric potential of a symmetric cell with lithium ion battery materials exposed to a temperature gradient.  These measurements also has the advantage of at the same time contributing to the study of thermoelectric cells.

Supervisors: Signe Kjelstrup/Odne Burheim

Eivind Bering, Department of Physics, NTNU

Polymeric fibres made of proteins and of polysaccharides represent important structural motifs in biological systems. In living organisms, fibres are usually assembled in bundles, inter-linked to form gels, or incorporated into bio-minerals, giving origin to a variety of tissues such as muscles, cartilage and bones. By developing and validating computational tools to predict mechanical properties of macroscopic samples, our project aims to characterize bio- and bio-inspired fibrous materials by their stress-strain relations and by their creep evolution. In essence, our simulation-based approach represents the virtual version of a mechanical testing lab, in which a load is applied to a sample according to a well defined protocol to measure the sample response up to the breaking point. Supervisors: Alex Hansen/Astrid de Wijn.

Aylin Maria Dursun, Department of Physics, University of Oslo





Louison Thorens, Department of Physics, University of Oslo

I come from the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, in France, and I will do a PhD in collaboration between PoreLab and the Laboratoire de Physique in Lyon. I will work on the effect of tunable interactions inside deformable porous media, and to do so I will firstly revisit the different pattern formation experiments in PoreLab (labyrinth, aerofracture, capillary bulldozing) by using beads with magnetic properties.


Hao Gao, Department of Civil and environmental Engineering, NTNU

This is a joint research project between the PoreLab center of excellence and the Geotechnical research group, NTNU. The area of my research is Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical modelling of soil behavior during freezing and thawing processes. My work aims to develop a discontinuous computational model for the physical and thermodynamic processes in water saturated porous media during freezing and thawing.

Supervisors: Gustav Grimstad/ Seyed Ali Ghoreishian Amiri/ Elena Scibilia

Michael Rauter, Department of Chemistry, NTNU

The aim of my research is to understand the role of thermal driving forces for fluid transport in porous media. So far, most of the two-phase flows in porous media have been investigated at isothermal conditions. The fluid transport in porous media due to a temperature gradient is therefore still posing unsolved practical as well as theoretical problems. The understanding of this phenomena may open up a possibility for further generalizations of the description of the two-phase flow and could also provide valuable information for practical applications like sea water desalination, fuel cells or oil and natural gas recovery. The problem will be investigated with molecular dynamics simulations of one or more immiscible fluids in a porous membrane.

Salem Saeed Akarri, Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, NTNU

My research is about experimental study of two-phase flow in porous media on pore-scale, with a main objective of establishing a better understanding of wettability. I will use high resolution X-ray computed microtomography as well as glass micromodels, which have been state-of-the-art techniques to provide in-situ characterization of flow in porous media. The extracted information from the pore-scale experiments will be utilized to describe changes of non-wetting phase (i.e. oil) cluster-size distribution, topology, and contact with grain/solid surfaces, under different wettability conditions. During the project, collaboration with PoreLab researchers, postdoctoral fellows and PhD candidates as well as our local and international research partners will enhance the experimental work, enable simulation of the experimental results, and advance the understanding of flow in porous media.

Supervisors: Ole Torsæter/Knut Jørgen Måløy

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