Modeling and measurement of trace metal speciation, i.e., mercury, arsenic, and selenium, released from coal combustion or gasification processes; sorbent design for high-temperature mercury capture; catalytic membrane design for CO2/H2 separation; CO2 sequestration; coal-to-liquid catalyst design.
I conduct research on in situ stress, fault mechanics, and reservoir geomechanics with an emphasis on shale gas, tight gas and tight oil production, the feasibility of long-term geologic storage of CO2 and the occurrence of induced and triggered earthquakes. I was one of the principal investigators of the SAFOD project in which a scientific research well was successfully drilled through the San Andreas Fault at seismogenic depth. I am the author of a textbook entitled Reservoir Geomechanics published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press, now in its sixth printing. I served on the National Academy of Energy committee investigating the Deepwater Horizon accident and the Secretary of Energy’s committee on shale gas development and environmental protection. I currently serve on a Canadian Council of Academies panel investigating the same topic.