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Finding new solutions to energy problems demands talent, determination, and knowledge. I hope to discover the talent, inspire the determination, and nurture the acquisition of knowledge in young people.

The integration of knowledge from many disciplines is an appealing feature of petroleum engineering. For example, one of my research interests is multi-phase flow through porous material as described by relative permeabilities. Relative permeabilities are important ingredients of reservoir engineering calculations. The relative permeability of a phase indicates capacity for flow of that phase through the pore spaces of a rock, which are occupied in part by other phases. Relative permeabilities display a complex dependence on fluid saturation (fractional occupancy of pore spaces by each fluid phase), history of fluid saturations, interactions between liquid phases and the solid phases, and structure of the porous material. To understand or explore all of these relationships, students must integrate molecular concepts, fluid mechanics, surface chemistry and physics, numerical techniques, and electro-mechanical design. This research combines perspectives of chemistry, engineering, and geology in the setting of hydrocarbon production.

In all of my work, whether rock-fluid properties, liquid lifting in gas wells, composition gradients in hydrocarbon reservoirs, natural gas hydrates, or whatever else, I enjoy building practical solutions from fundamental concepts and helping students grow into productive engineers. I am thrilled by fresh insights and discovery.

The Book
Dr. Richard L. Christiansen 2003
Designed by: Dilek Yildiz