Current Research Interests

Multiphase Flow in Porous Media

The development and solution, via numerical analysis, of the equations
governing the evolution of non-aqueous phase liquids in the subsurface is the
focus of this research. The objective is to develop mathematical models that
describe the flow, transport and transformation of non-aqueous phase
contaminants, such as trichloroethylene, that constitute a threat to
groundwater quality.

Least-cost Groundwater Remediation Design


The use of groundwater simulators in combination with linear and non-linear
programming algorithms to obtain the least-cost design of
groundwater-remediation systems is the focus of this research effort. Flow and
transport models of contaminated groundwater reservoirs are coupled to
operations-research programming algorithms. Objective functions (usually based
upon cost) are combined with design constraints to obtain the least-cost
remediation-design While pump-and-treat systems have been the focus to date,
other strategies are also considered. Of particular interest at this time is
the study of problems involving non-aqueous phase contaminants and bioremediation.

Least-cost Long-term Groundwater Quality Monitoring


The use of groundwater flow and transport models that exhibit random-field
based parameter distributions (for example hydraulic conductivity) in
combination with Kalman-Filter algorithms to formulate least-cost strategies
for the long-term monitoring of groundwater quality is the focus of this
research area. Using these computational tools it is possible to determine
where and when to sample groundwater in order to assure that statistical
objectives are met at minimal cost.

Latin-hypercube Sampling for Random-field Generation


The use of Latin-hypercube statistical sampling to generate correlated random
fields, such as hydraulic conductivity,that are subsequently used in
Monte-Carlo analysis of state variables such as hydraulic head or
concentration, is the main focus of this work. By using the Latin-hypercube
approach it is possible to obtain the target statistical accuracy needed in
Monte-Carlo analysis with less computational effort. The proposed approach is
being developed as a sub-problem associated with long-term monitoring.

Numerical Analysis


The development of new numerical techniques for the solution of
partial-differential equations, such as those that describe the evolution of
groundwater contaminants, is the focus of this research area. Finite-element
methods, especially those based upon collocation-like methods, are of primary
concern. The development of new and more efficient algebraic approaches for
the solution of the resulting discrete equations is also of interest. Current
efforts focus on the development of a single-degree of freedom strategy for
solving transport-like equations and non-linear flow equations arising out of
multiphase flow in porous media.

Assessment of Risk using Fuzzy Sets and Fuzzy Logic


The use of fuzzy knowledge-based systems to describe and evaluate risk,
especially health risk identified with exposure to toxic chemicals is the
focus of this research effort. Using the fuzzy approach expert opinion can be
used to formulate a risk-based model that can subsequently be used to
determine health risks associated with new levels of exposure or new exposure
pathways. The approach specifically avoids the need to explicitly use
questionable statistical data on dose-response relationships that have been
developed using animal studies and high-dose concentrations.

Intermediate Scale Groundwater Facility


The design and construction of an intermediate-scale model , and the design,
fabrication and installation of sophisticated instrumentation for monitoring
various state variables for the evaluation of various theoretical concepts, is
the goal of this research effort. Experiments designed to evaluate the
efficacy of computer generated optimal remediation and optimal monitoring
designs will be conducted in the facility. Concentration, pressure,
temperature and saturation variables will be monitored using state-of-the art
hardware and software.