Speaker: Zhong Zheng
Affiliation: University of Cambridge

UCLA Civil & Environmental Engineering Department


C&EE 200 Section 1 Seminar

Structural, Geotechnical and Civil Engineering Materials

Fluids and Energy Initiative: An Introduction and Invitation

Zhong Zheng, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Cambridge


In this talk, I will introduce several reduced-order modeling studies motivated by energy and environmental processes. I will demonstrate the key role of mechanics and dynamics at material interfaces, including fluid-fluid and fluid-solid interfaces, and explore strategies to control the interface evolution. (i) Concerning fluid-fluid interface: I will introduce recent studies on geological CO2 sequestration with a focus on the dynamic evolution of the CO2-brine interface. I will demonstrate how the viscosity ratio, capillary forces and pore-scale heterogeneity influence the selection of universal flow patterns and discuss its relevance to CO2 trapping and leakage performance in sequestration projects. I will also introduce recent efforts on using CO2 for enhancing oil recovery and show how we control the hydrodynamic instability at the CO2-oil interface and improve the sweeping efficiency. (ii) Concerning fluid-solid interface, I will introduce previous work on the dynamics of hydraulic fracturing using transparent solids with a focus on the propagation, interaction and network formation of the tensile fractures (e.g., water-hydrogel interface). I will also discuss the work’s relevance to natural resource recovery such as shale gas and geothermal energy, where hydraulic fracturing is widely employed to increase the permeability of the rock formations. I will close the talk by discussing the vision of a “Fluids and Energy Initiative” at UCLA and ideas for future exploration and collaboration.

Where: Rice Room (6764 Boelter Hall)

When: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM on Friday, March 9, 2018

Zhong Zheng is currently a Postdoctoral scholar at the BP Institute, University of Cambridge. Before that, Zhong was a Lecturer and Postdoctoral scholar at Princeton University, where he earned his PhD degree. Zhong’s research focuses on energy and environmental processes, where fluid flow, material deformation and rheology play a dominant role. The central idea is to use well-defined mathematical and experimental models to identify the important dynamic behaviors at different time and length scales, which then helps us address practical challenges in terms of material design, process control and performance prediction.

Date(s) - Mar 09, 2018
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


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