Principal Investigator

Peter K. Kang

Postdoctoral Researchers

Michael Chen

I am a postdoctoral associate in Prof. Kang’s group, and I am studying mixing corrosion, a coupled flow and geochemical process relevant to early karstification, using microfluidic devices. 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.

Sang H. 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.
I am a postdoctoral associate in Kang Research Group. I hold a PhD from University of New South Wales. My research is mainly driven by my curiosity about the physical and chemical processes that control rock material behaviour in the subsurface, along with the direct relevance of this field to socially relevant issues, such as geological storage of CO2, contaminant transport and geo-energy production. My approach often employs pore-scale modelling combined with in-situ imaging (e.g. CT, SEM etc.) and data science methods to describe physio-chemical processes in complex systems across time and length scales. I’m currently investigating the coupling of fluid flow, mineral dissolution and precipitation in fractured media.

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.

PhD 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.

MS Students

Jana Kramer

I am a MS student in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Minnesota, studying hydrogeology. I am interested in groundwater contamination and remediation at the Minnesota Library Access Center (MLAC) site on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota. I have a J.D. from the University of Michigan and, before graduate school, practiced mass tort law and then worked for Thomson Reuters, compiling an indexing system for published legal cases. My undergraduate degree was in biology from Grinnell College.

Undergraduate Students

Izzy Keefe

Rachel Tripp

Visiting Students

Raghwendra N. Shandilya

I am a visiting scholar in Prof. Kang’s group, and a Ph.D. student in the Water Cycle Research Center at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), South Korea. I obtained my M.S. degree in Groundwater and Global Change – Impacts and Adaptation from IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Netherlands in 2017. During M.S. thesis, I worked on the hydrogeochemical evolution of the groundwater of a semi-arid volcanic island of Portugal. My current research work focuses on  well hydraulics and its application for groundwater resources management. Under the guidance of Prof. Kang, I will estimate the injection capacity of several aquifers in Minnesota for aquifer storage and recovery.


JunSong Kim (postdoc, 2018-2020)

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.

Derek Cole (Fall 2020)

Derek participated in the hydrogeologic characterization of a contaminated aquifer site.

Thomas Egan (summer intern, 2019)

I’m an undergraduate student at U.C. Berkeley studying Geology. I’m originally from Minnesota, and I am 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.