Joshua A. White
Atmospheric, Earth, and Energy Division
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Geomechanical interactions play a central role in the performance of many subsurface systems—e.g. hydrocarbon reservoirs, CO2 storage systems, and geothermal plants. In numerous field cases, a poor understanding of coupling between fluid flow and solid mechanics has led to unexpected system behavior. Unfortunately, existing modeling tools often struggle to capture tightly-coupled processes, multiscale behavior, and other critical phenomena. Furthermore, new algorithmic approaches are needed to take efficient advantage of increasingly complicated HPC platforms. This talk will provide an overview of open research challenges in computational geomechanics. We will begin with a few motivating examples provided by recent CO2 storage and unconventional oil and gas projects. These applications set challenging requirements for the physics, discretization, and solution strategies embedded in reservoir simulators. We will then discuss recent progress addressing a few of these challenges and indicate areas where future work could have a significant impact.
Since 2012, Dr. Joshua White has been a research scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where he now serves as group leader of the subsurface transport group. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (2004) from Princeton University, and a Master of Science (2007) and a Ph.D. (2009) from Stanford University. He was a post-doctoral fellow at LLNL between 2009 and 2012. Dr. White works in the field of computational geomechanics with a special emphasis on integrating field monitoring techniques with large-scale simulation. His research is aimed to improve our understanding of complex geological systems, and to be applied for geologic carbon sequestration, unconventional energy production, and induced seismicity. Dr. White received the Directorate Gold Award of LLNL in 2014, the Outstanding Student Paper Award from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in 2008 and a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2006.