Vertically Integrated Program: Energy Geotechnology

Undergraduate students (sophomores, juniors and seniors) participating in the VIP are mentored by graduate students and by each other, under the overall supervision of a Professor. Undergraduate students earn course credit that counts towards their degree. The grade is based on their participation in meetings, contribution to project and team management, and technical accomplishments. Each student maintains a design/lab notebook/portfolio in which he/she documents research activities, plans, ideas, reflections. The size and structure of a VIP team enable: (1) in the project from semester to semester and year to year, with returning students mentoring new students; (2) students participating from all disciplines required for success in the project and the time for them to learn how to work together. To learn more about the VIP, click here.

The goal of the VIP on Energy Geotechnology led by Dr. C. Arson is to predict soil and rock Thermo-Hydro-Chemo-Mechanical behavior during heat and fluid injection and extraction, design new geomaterials to optimize the fuel cycle, and recommend strategies for resource and waste management. The main topics studies are the following:

  • Modeling of multiscale fracture propagation and porous network formation
  • Salt rock damage and healing mechanics: microstructure-enriched models
  • Particle crushing: Discrete Element Method and continuum mechanics
  • To learn more: see the flyer and the presentation.