- Professor - Heriot Watt University
The proper understanding of flow phenomena in the subsurface is key to many challenges of humanity in the 21st century: Secure and economic energy supply through fossil fuels, mitigating climate change through geological carbon storage and secure and economic supply of freshwater from groundwater sources. These applications have in common that the relevant physical processes take place on length-scales of micrometres and smaller and time-scales of fractions of seconds. Ultimately, however, we are interested in dynamics over ranges of kilometres and times of years, centuries and longer. In contrast to other fields, the non-linear nature of the processes and the lack of separation of scales has hampered the development of universally applicable models and theories. Further, the collection of data in the subsurface is cumbersome, expensive and never complete. Due to the limited access to data of the subsurface, the mentioned industries heavily rely on modelling and simulation.
The research focus of the Florian Doster's MuPhi Research Group addresses the efficient conceptual and mathematical representation of physical phenomena around flow in porous materials across different length and temporal scales. The Greek letters mu and phi represent math and physics but also associate with modelling and multi-scale and multi-physics as well as fractures, flow, phenomena, phases, processes for mu and phi respectively. We develop and apply tools to model and simulate flow phenomena and their interaction with other physical processes relevant to subsurface energy applications such as geological carbon storage and hydrocarbon production. It is funded through a variety of sources ranging from research councils to industry.