My main research area is design of efficient numerical algorithms for compositional and thermal fluid flow processes in porous media. I’m especially interested in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) processes: the more oil recovery processes can be optimized, the better we’re off - both in terms of available resources as well as the environment.
In summer 2014, my colleagues Marco Thiele and Tony Kovscek and I embarked on a new project in thermal EOR for heavy oil. We will use lab experimentation and numerical code development to improve the predictability of In-Situ Combustion (ISC) processes. ISC has the potential to significantly reduce harmful environmental impact of heavy oil recovery, a resource on which we are more and more dependent. The numerical simulator will be based on streamline methods. For those in the know, this sounds quite funny as streamline methods are not supposed to work well in thermal setttings. The more the challenge.
I am / have been involved in various other research areas as well:
- Center of Excellence for Computational Approaches to Digital Stewardship
- CADS aims to develop efficient algorithms for information discovery in and retrieval from large digital libraries. We were sponsored by the Library of Congress and are now contributing whenever we can.
- Coastal ocean dynamics
- Stanford Yacht Research
- Computational Consulting (C2)
- A consulting service for the Stanford and broader community in the area of applied and computational mathematics. I started this in 1995 as a student at Stanford, and am delighted that it is running again. The CADS center exists mostly thanks to the excellent work by the C2 consultants (all Ph.D. students in ICME) in 2007.
- Analysis and numerical simulation of stress propagation in granular materials
- Design of stable, high order schemes for conservation laws
In 2007, I started producing www.smartenergyshow.com, a podcast blog that discusses energy issues and policies. Smart Energy is a non-profit venture whose mission is to provide scientifically accurate discussion and analysis of energy and water resources to the general public. It aims to better inform non-scientists about the issues at stake in policy and industry decisions. Informal and low-level conversations with leading scientists and engineers, business people and policy makers provide the audience with understandable, and realistic, opinions about the production and generation of resources, the policies governing those resources, and the environmental effects associated with current practices. You can find this show at smartenergyshow.wordpress.com
For other information on outreach in energy, see my Leopold page at http://leopoldleadership.stanford.edu/fellows/gerritsen