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Modelling multiscale pore structure of reservoir rocks: the impacts of heterogeneity on multiphase flow and oil recovery from pore scale to higher scale

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Wu
    Dr L Akanji
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Most of the subsurface materials, such as reservoir rocks, soils and other porous media are highly heterogeneous and many of them contain a complex pore structure with a wide range of length scales. Meanwhile, quantifying heterogeneity of subsurface is an essential component of reservoir characterization process and environmental risk assessment, which is the key to run a three-dimensional geological and fluid flow simulation models. Hence, the creation of a multiscale model to quantitatively characterize such heterogeneous porous media and predict representative multi-phase flow properties is an important step to reduce the uncertainty from sample size scale to field scale. Multiscale pore scale models of the porous media are essential for such research. Apart from the basic understanding of the physics of flow processes, this has also enormous practical importance in terms of improving uncertain estimates of recovery efficiency on larger scales.

One of the main objectives of pore scale physics research is to predict macroscopic fluid flow properties from the underlying microstructure. For heterogeneous porous media materials (e.g., carbonates, soils, inhomogeneous sandstones, unconventional rocks etc.), a comprehensive description of the real pore structure may involve many decades of length-scales (e.g., from sub-micron to cm), which cannot be captured by a single-resolution microCT image. The proposed research is aimed at developing a comprehensive model to represent the real pore structure which may involve many decades of length-scales. The combination of in-house multiscale image modelling with multiscale pore network has the potential to provide an efficient way to accommodate such multi scale heterogeneity of the subsurface system.

The successful candidate should have, or expect to have, an Honours Degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or Computing Science

Essential Background: Basic programing and computing skill, fluid flow dynamics.

Knowledge of: Porous media, programing and mathematics, image processing or pore network modelling would be advantageous.

Funding Notes

This project is for self-funded students only. There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to pay Tuition Fees and living expenses, from their own resources, for the duration of study.



This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Engineering. Formal applications can be completed online: You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing.

NOTE CLEARLY THE NAME OF THE SUPERVISOR AND EXACT PROJECT TITLE YOU WISH TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ON THE APPLICATION FORM. Applicants are limited to applying for a maximum of 2 projects. Any further applications received will be automatically withdrawn.

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr K Wu ([email protected] ) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit ([email protected]).

How good is research at Aberdeen University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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