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Whether in collaboration with industry partners, other research centers, or as solo engagements, many of our faculty members perform necessary research that drives innovation and progress in petroleum engineering. Here are some of the significant research efforts in the department.


Crisman Institute for Petroleum Research

Director: Jeff Spath

The Crisman Institute is essentially a liaison among researchers and the industry centralizing departmental efforts to develop proposals and explore new avenues to fund projects. The Institute encompasses the existing centers, laboratories and research projects within the department but does not exert control over any of them. Instead, it provides opportunities for researchers to coordinate and collaborate, while still conducting their research independently.

Visit the Crisman Institute Website


Geomaterials for Geo-energy and Geo-environmental Sustainability (G3 Lab)

Director: Sara Abedi

This research group focuses on identifying the fundamental physical (electro-chemo-mechanical) properties of geomaterials as a basis for upscaling these properties to the macroscale level of engineering applications. Their goals are to use advanced experimentation and theoretical investigation to develop the scientific understanding and technical knowledge needed for the sustainable engineering of geological materials and energy resources.

Visit the G3 Lab Website


Heavy Oil, Oil Shales, Oil Sands, and Carbonate Analysis and Recovery Methods (HOCAM)

Director: Berna Hascakir

HOCAM is a research group focused on education and research for the recovery of unconventional oil resources with very low API gravity. Their main objective is to find environmentally friendly and economic production solutions for challenging reservoirs including heavy oil, oil shale, oil sand, and carbonate host-rock environments. Their ultimate goal is to educate and train engineers to find practical solutions for the recovery of these unconventional oil resources using thermal enhanced oil recovery (thermal-EOR) methods.

Visit the HOCAM Website


Killough Research Group

Director: John Killough

This research group investigates different aspects of reservoir simulation in various scales, from advanced high-performance computing methods in gigantic reservoirs to challenging micro-scale storage and flow mechanisms in ultra-low permeability shale and fractured carbonate reservoirs.

Visit the Killough Research Group Website


Model Calibration and Efficient Reservoir Imaging (MCERI)

Directors: Akhil Datta-Gupta and Michael King

The primary focus of this consortium is to develop theoretically sound but practical approaches to data assimilation and model calibration, or history matching, during reservoir modeling and forecasting. They build geologic models using dynamic data with the intent to reduce any time-consuming aspects of the workflow for both geoscientists and engineers.

Visit the MCERI Website


Modeling and Improved Oil Recovery from Fractured Reservoirs (MIOR-FR)

Director: David Schechter

Major focus areas of this group include experimental evaluation and modeling of improved oil recovery methods, such as carbon dioxide injection and chemical treatments, in conventional and unconventional liquid reservoirs. Studies within the group focus on characterizing pore scale rock or fluid interactions, measuring oil volumes from core flooding and imbibition studies, and modeling lab results to field scale while providing insights on strategies for maximizing output from assets.

Visit the MIOR-FR Website


Weijermars Research Group

Director: Ruud Weijermars

This research group conducts research on oil and gas field development optimization. They specialize in two primary fields:

  • Subsurface engineering, which focuses on technology applications for practical use in field development decisions, and
  • Business engineering, where they combine improvements in well and field development performance with external business drivers that may affect investment decisions about new business opportunities

Visit the Weijermars Research Group Website