Team

Principal Investigator

Peter K. Kang


Postdoctoral Researchers

Michael Chen

I completed my PhD in 2019 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I studied biogeochemical soil and groundwater processes at the pore scale. My work included the development of a novel microfluidic device that can be analyzed with an x-ray fluorescence microprobe in-situ to study metal contaminant transport as well as the study of a biogeochemical process where semi-conductive hematite can link metal reducing bacterial metabolism to chromium reduction. I am generally interested in understanding how biogeochemical processes impact the transport of nutrients and contaminants at the pore scale. I will be joining Professor Kang’s group in Jan 2020, and I will be studying mixing corrosion, a coupled flow and geochemical process relevant to early karstification, using microfluidic devices.

JunSong Kim

I am a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Minnesota. I earned my Ph.D. in 2018 from Seoul National University, where I conducted numerical modeling and field experiments for understanding and predicting the dynamics of harmful algal bloom in regulated rivers. Currently, I am conducting PIV experiments at SAFL and also performing direct numerical simulations to understand mass transfer and mixing mechanisms at fluid-porous media interfaces.

SangHyun Lee

I am a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Minnesota. I received my Ph.D. from Seoul National University in 2017 and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Korea Institute of Sciecnce and Technology (KIST) before joining U of MN in 2018. I combine both experimental (microfluidics) and numerical modeling (COMSOL Multi-physics) studies to advance our fundamental understanding of the interplay between biological, physical, and chemical processes taking place in porous and fractured media. Especially, I am interested in the effects of surface roughness on flow fields and its subsequent consequences on mixing, reaction and biofilm formation. I am currently conducting microfluidic experiments to understand how the interplay between fracture roughness and flow rate controls mixing and reaction kinetics at fracture intersections. 

Seonkyoo Yoon

I am a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I received my Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2016. My PhD thesis was on developing computationally efficient subsurface flow models and inverse modeling methods to characterize hydrogeological parameters. My research centers on model-data fusion, combining process-based models with data-driven methods, to improve predictive capability and understanding of hydrogeological systems. I am currently working on inverse problems for subsurface characterization and anomalous transport in fractured media.


Graduate Students

Hongfan Cao

I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Minnesota. I obtained my M.S. degree in 2019 from Hohai University. During M.S. study, I combined numerical modeling and laboratory sand tank experiments to study the impact of compressed air injection into saline aquifers for mitigating seawater intrusion. I am broadly interested in flow and reactive transport in porous and fractured media. Recently I am studying fluid, tracer, and electric current flow in heterogeneous media. I am also conducting visual sand tank experiments at SAFL, and I combine PIV and LIF techniques to visualize coupled flow processes in porous media.

WoongHee Lee

I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Minnesota. I obtained my M.S. degree jointly from Korea University and Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in 2017. My M.S. thesis (co-advised by Prof. Kang) was on pore-sale modeling of forward osmosis processes which led to two journal publications. I also conducted field-scale reactive transport modeling of a river bank filtration site as a research assistant at KIST for a year after obtaining my M.S. degree. My research interest is in combining reactive transport modeling and microfluidics experiments to improve our fundamental understanding of mixing and reactive transport in fractured media. I am also involved in a NSF project where I collaborate with geobiologists and geochemists to understand the mechanisms by which microbial activity interacts with physical and geochemical components of the subsurface to create feedbacks for habitability in permanently anoxic, fractured-rock systems.


Undergraduate Students

Thomas Egan

I’m a Junior at U.C. Berkeley studying Geology. I’m originally from Minnesota, and this summer I am home at the University of Minnesota working under Prof. Kang in computer vision, segmenting X-ray images of rocks to build a 3D model of their interior. My work will also contribute to the interdisciplinary Soudan Mine deep biosphere NSF project, aimed at understanding anoxic microbial life in deep Archean rocks. I’m especially interested in seismology and hydrology, as well as environmental and geotechnical engineering.