Academic Team

A world-class research team with an interdisciplinary multi-scaled approach

David Eaton

Geoscience, University of Calgary, Professor, NSERC/Chevron IRC in Microseismic System Dynamics and CREATE ReDeveLoP Chair

Dave received his BSc from Queen’s University in 1984 and his MSc and PhD from the University of Calgary in 1988 and 1992 respectively. Dr. Eaton completed post-doctoral research with Arco’s Research and Technical Services (Plano, Texas) and the Geological Survey of Canada (Ottawa). He rejoined the University of Calgary in 2007, following an 11-year academic career at the University of Western Ontario. Dave is presently Co-director of the Microseismic Industry Consortium, a novel, applied-research geophysical initiative, dedicated to the advancement of research, education and technological innovations in microseismic methods and their practical applications for resource development. In addition to microseismic monitoring and induced seismicity, his current research is also focused on intraplate earthquake swarms, and the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary beneath continents.

Research interests: seismology, tectonics, induced seismicity, passive seismic monitoring 

Robert Shcherbakov

Robert received his PhD from Cornell University (USA) in 2002. Prior to this, he was a researcher at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Dubna, Russia) studying self-organization in lattice models. He was also a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Computational Science and Engineering at the University of California, Davis. Currently he is a faculty member in the Department of Earth Sciences, Western University (London, Ontario). His research interests are concerned with understanding the physics and statistics of earthquake processes. He focuses in developing statistical approaches for earthquake forecasting using Bayesian methods. In addition, he is interested in various aspects of relaxation phenomena and particularly in the occurrence of aftershocks. He is currently involved in several projects related to the studies of induced and mining seismicity in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Research interests: statistical seismology, earthquake physics, earthquake hazard and forecasting, geomechanics.

Shengnan (Nancy) Chen

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, Associate Professor

Nancy received her BSc in 2003 from China University of Petroleum and her PhD in Petroleum Systems Engineering from the University of Regina in 2012. Dr. Chen’s group focuses on developing strategies to enhance the oil/gas recovery in the unconventional tight/shale reservoirs with massive hydraulic fractures. The group has developed novel numerical simulation and mathematical optimization techniques, demonstrated to increase oil recovery and lifespan of wells. Their work will help forecast the impacts of the complex fracture network on the well after-stimulation productivity during field operational process.

Research interests: hydraulic fracture, unconventional reservoir, fluid flow, productivity forecast, performance optimization.

Christopher Clarkson

Geoscience, University of Calgary, Professor and Assoc.Prof in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, 2017 ASTech Award Winner for Outstanding Achievement in Applied Technology & Innovation

Dr. Clarkson is an AITF Shell / Encana Chair in Unconventional Gas and Light Oil research. The focus of his work in industry was on exploration for and development of unconventional gas (UG) and light oil (ULO) reservoirs. Since joining the University of Calgary in 2009, the focus of his research has been on advanced reservoir characterization methods for UG-ULO, such as rate- and pressure-transient analysis, flowback analysis, and core analysis.  Chris is also interested in simulation of enhanced recovery processes in UG-ULO, and how these processes can be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Dr. Clarkson leads an industry-sponsored consortium called “Tight Oil Consortium”, focused on these research topics for unconventional light oil reservoirs in Western Canada. Chris holds a PhD in geological engineering from the University of British Columbia, and is the author of numerous articles in peer-reviewed scientific and engineering journals.  He was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer for the 2009/2010 lecture season, and is the 2016 recipient of the Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award (Canadian Region) from the SPE.

Research interests: unconventional reservoir characterization, pressure, flowback, recovery processes, greenhouse gas.

Maurice Dusseault

Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Professor

Maurice is a Professional Engineer in both Alberta and Ontario, and teacher of Geological Engineering at UW. He received his BSc in 1971 and his PhD in 1977 from the University of Alberta. Maurice is a well-known educator and consultant, holding  >90 international patents and ~ 550 full-text papers published in journals and conferences. Dr. Dusseault’s research is in deep underground engineering issues, including oil production, hydraulic fracturing, energy storage, geothermal energy, carbon sequestration, and deep injection disposal of granular solids and liquid wastes (including biosolids, oilfield wastes, and civil wastes). He is also interested in energy technologies that can be downscaled to community levels to provide robust and reliable heat and power, including natural gas approaches and heat geostorage. Maurice served as advisor to the Canadian Provinces of Alberta, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, on matters relating to energy development, hydraulic fracturing, energy geo-storage, wellbore integrity, technology and innovation. He also served as an advisor to the Alberta Government for many years, and to the US Bureau of Reclamation on the Paradox Valley brine disposal well. 

Research interests:  hydraulic fracturing, geothermal energy and storage, carbon sequestration

Giovanni Grasselli

Civil Engineering, University of Toronto, Professor, Foundation CMG Research Chair - Fundamental Petroleum Rock Physics and Rock Mechanics

Giovanni received his MSc in Civil Engineering in 1995 from the University of Parma (Parma, Italy) and his PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland) in 2001. He received the prestigious ISRM Rocha Medal (2004) for best thesis worldwide in rock mechanics and also supervised two Rocha Medal winners (2015 and 2017). Dr. Grasseli’s research focuses on hybrid finite-discrete element (FDEM) numerical technology, experimental visualization techniques and geomechanics principles applied to the study of hydraulic fracturing.  Through the start-up company, Geomechanica Inc., the FDEM technology is currently commercialized and translated to engineering practice.

Research interests: finite-discrete element, geomechanics, hydraulic fracturing

Bernhard Mayer

Geoscience, University of Calgary, Professor

Bernhard received his BSc, MS and PhD (1993) in Isotope Geochemistry from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany).

Dr. Mayer employs chemical and isotopic techniques to trace water, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur-containing compounds in surface and subsurface environments. His research applies innovative scientific approaches with the goal to reduce environmental impacts of anthropogenic activities including fossil fuel production. Bernhard served as a member of the National Scientific Review Panel on Harnessing Science and Technology to Understand Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction, coordinated by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), and as assistant scientific director of Carbon Management Canada (CMC), which is a Networks of Centers of Excellence (NCE), Canada, hosted at the University of Calgary. Dr. Mayer has (co-)authored >145 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and 15 book chapters on a wide variety of geochemical topics, including: geologic CO2 sequestration, shale gas development, and water sources in the Athabasca oil sands region of northeastern Alberta. 

Research interests: geochemistry, tracers, stable isotopes, fugitive gases, fracturing fluids

Karlis Muehlenbachs

Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Professor

Karlis is a world-renowned stable isotope geochemist, receiving his BA in Chemistry from Washington University (St.Louis) and his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1971. His doctoral thesis on the Oxygen isotope geochemistry of mid-ocean rocks was the first comprehensive study of the interaction of sea water with the oceanic crust, and his post-doctoral discovery of the low 18O isotope anomaly in Icelandic basalts resulted in methods to measure diffusion rates. His work in organic isotope geochemistry during his Humboldt Fellowship at the German Geological Survey, in 1981, led to monitoring techniques used in the coal and petroleum industries. Lately, Dr. Muehlenbachs and his students have utilized the isotopic composition of natural gases to elucidate their varied origins from biogenic to over mature shale gas. His research group also pioneered isotopic fingerprinting of fugitive gases from energy wells in order to identify their source depth, thereby facilitating remediation. Karlis’ interests remain in using stable isotope analysis of natural gases to better understand the genesis and evolution of gas in tight reservoirs thus improving their production, but also to assist in minimizing gas migration from production facilities.   

Research interests: isotopes, natural gas migration

Jeffrey Priest

Civil Engineering, University of Calgary, Professor and CRC Tier II Chair in Geomechanics of Gas Hydrates

Jeff received his B.Eng and PhD from the University of Southampton (UK) in 2000 and 2004 respectively. Dr. Priest is a geotechnical engineer, with research broadly associated with understanding the geomechanical performance of soil and rocks through laboratory and field measurements. His research has primarily focused on the behavior of gas-hydrate-bearing soils and railway foundations. Since arriving at the University of Calgary, in 2013, Jeff has started to apply his expertise in the area of hydraulic fracturing to help address some of the challenges that exist, such as: linking observed microseismicity to the geomechanical response of shale rock during hydraulic fracturing.

Research interests: gas hydrates, Rock mechanics, Laboratory testing 

Mirko Van der Baan

Physics, University of Alberta, Professor and 2017 Honorary Lecturer (North America) for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists

Mirko received his MSc from the University of Utrecht (Netherlands) in 1996 and his PhD from the Joseph Fourier University (Grenoble, France) in 1999. He later became the Reader of Exploration Seismology at the University of Leeds (UK) and holds an HDR (Habilitation) from University Denis Diderot, Paris, France. Today, Dr. Van der Baan specializes in exploration seismology and is the Director of the Microseismic Industry Consortium, a collaborative venture with the University of Calgary, dedicated to research in microseismicity. He is also one of the founding members of the Integrated Petroleum Geosciences (IPG) professional MSc program at the University of Alberta. 

Research interests: exploration seismology, microseismicity

Jennifer Winter

Economics and School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, Assistant Professor and Scientific Director, Energy and Environmental Policy

Jennifer holds a BA, MA and PhD (2011) from the University of Calgary. She is actively engaged in increasing public understanding of energy and environmental policy issues. Recognition of her efforts include:  2014 Young Women in Energy Award, and being named one of Alberta Oil Magazine’s Top 35 Under 35 in 2016. Dr. Winter’s research is focused on the effects of government regulation and policy on energy development and the associated consequences and trade-offs. Current research projects are the prospects for Canadian LNG exports to Europe, social impacts of hydraulic fracturing, and comparing provincial emission-reduction policies. She also directs the Canadian Network for Energy Policy Research and Analysis. Currently, Jennifer serves on the Future Leaders Board of Directors, World Petroleum Council Canada, and is a member of Global Affairs Canada’s Environmental Assessment Advisory Group.

Research interests: emissions policy, energy policy, hydraulic fracturing 

Thomas O'Neill

Psychology, University of Calgary, Associate Professor and ReDeveLoP Collaborator

Tom received his BA in 2005 from the University of Calgary and his MSc (2007) and PhD (2011) from the University of Western Ontario. His dissertation was entitled, An Integrative Model of Conflict and Conflict Management in Organizational Work Teams. Dr. O’Neill is a leader in Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology. He is an NSERC Chair in Design Engineering in Energy Systems, with a mandate to develop, implement and evaluate cutting-edge team competency and team dynamics training in student engineering design teams in the Schulich School of Engineering. Tom is also the recipient of both an SSHRC grant in Leading Multicultural Global Virtual Teams, and a joint Canada Foundation for Innovation and Provincial Ministry of Innovationand Advanced Education Infrastructure and Technology grant to fund his Virtual Team Performance, Innovation and Collaboration Lab.

Writing Symbols Lodge

University of Calgary

In a collaborative effort, the Writing Symbols Lodge at the University of Calgary delivers a 4-day workshop in Indigenous Relations Training to all REDEVELOP students to gain a better understanding of the issues facing Canada’s Indigenous population today and how to effectively build relationships with those communities. Instructors include, among others: the Hon. Dr. Reg Crowshoe, Elder & Former Chief of the Piikani Nation, Arthur Cunningham of Round Table Consulting & Policy Advisor at TransCanada for 35 years, Kent Spiers, PhD Candidate, who has studied the Indigenous peoples in Northern Canada, Alaska and across the country, and Dr. David Lertzman, with expertise in Achuar people of the Ecuadorian Amazon and Cree people of Alberta’s northern Boreal forest, both areas being rich in petroleum resources and development.

Jordan Phillips

Geoscience, University of Calgary, Program Manager of REDEVELOP

Jordan has a BSc in Geophysics from the University of Alberta (2015), a diploma in GeoEnvironmental Geological Technology from NAIT (2017), and an MSc in Interdisciplinary Geophysics from the University of Alberta (2021). Her MSc thesis was titled Public Perception of Hydraulic Fracturing and the Oil and Gas Industry in Western Canada: What the Frack is Going On? Jordan was a REDEVELOP trainee in the program’s inaugural year, serving as the project manager of the Fugitive Gas Emissions team.

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