Visiting Academics

Professor Wayne Pennington

 Prof. Wayne Pennington from Michigan Tech, is visiting the Discipline of Exploration Geophysics, Curtin University as a Fullbright Senior Scholar until April 2019. He is collaborating with Prof. Boris Gurevich on research in changes to the subsurface due to production from or injection into a reservoir.

Pennington, a geophysicist, conducts research centered on the response of Earth materials to changes in physical conditions, such as stress, saturation, and temperature. The applications of this work are found in induced seismicity and oil and gas exploration and development.

He has worked in both academia and in industry and has conducted fieldwork at sites around the world. In the 1970s, he studied tectonic earthquakes in Latin America and Pakistan. In the 1980s, at the University of Texas at Austin, he studied the relationship of earthquakes to oil and gas production. Beginning in 1985, he worked at the research laboratory for Marathon Oil Company, studying and developing novel techniques to improve the identification of, and production from, oil and gas reservoirs.

Since 1994, he has been at Michigan Tech, teaching and conducting research into geophysical observations of oil and gas production.  He spent several years as the Chair of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, and became the Interim Dean of the College of Engineering in 2013, moving to the permanent position in 2014.  Retiring from active administration and teaching in 2018, he continues to be engaged in research projects involving oil and gas reservoir characterization and monitoring. He provides services including training and consulting to the industry and governmental agencies.

Pennington has served as the President of the American Geosciences Institute and as the First Vice President of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.  He was a Jefferson Science Fellow at the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development.  He has published dozens of peer-reviewed papers and coauthored one book with two of his students.

Dr Cheng-hao Cao

The CRGC welcomes Dr. Cao, a Visiting Postdoc from China. He received his PhD in Geodetection and Information Technology at the School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Hohai University and his research includes Non-linear pre-stack seismic inversion for multiple parameters based on information mergence and Public welfare program for monitoring of water pollution for Kui River in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.

Cheng-hao will be visiting Curtin until June this year, undertaking research under the Supervision of Prof. Boris Gurevich on “Squirt flow in the 3D complex porous medium” as well as “Transition between fluid flow with different scales”

Ms Wenhui Tan

Ms. Tan is a visiting Occupational Trainee from China, who holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Geological Engineering from the School of Earth Sciences and Engineering at Suzhou University. She is currently undertaking her PhD in Exploration Geophysics at Hohai University. Her research interest is in Brittleness characteristic of tight oil reservoirs, rock physics.

Wenhui will be at Curtin for a year, working under the supervision of Dr. Vassili Mikhaltsevitch to analyse the brittle characteristics of rocks to establish the relationships between rock brittleness and elastic properties for the basis of seismic inversion of rock brittleness.