An Introduction to Dr Bahareh Nojabaei; GERC Affiliated Assistant Professor

Hello everyone! I am Bahareh, originally from Iran, and now living in the US. I joined the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering at Virginia Tech as an Assistant Professor a few months ago, in August 2016, after being a lecturer at the University of Wyoming for one year. I received my PhD in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from Penn State back in 2015 and I have an MSc and a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, thermal fluidic sciences, from Iran University of Science and Technology and Tehran Polytechnic University, respectively.

You probably cannot recognize, but that’s me seating in the middle! The photo is taken at the War Memorial Chapel at Virginia Tech campus

At Penn State, I studied the effect of large gas-oil capillary pressure, owing to confinement, on two-phase fluid properties, saturation pressures, and oil and gas production in shale nanopores. The results of my PhD research showed that to have an accurate estimate of reserves and to predict future production of shale reservoirs, capillary pressure effect should be included in Thermodynamics and multiphase fluid flow calculations. I developed a compositionally-extended black oil multiphase flow simulation model during my PhD and I am using this code as a base to investigate different complexities of shale nano-porous media during primary recovery, enhanced oil recovery and CO2 sequestration in shales.

My PhD research at Penn State

I have enjoyed all of the positions I have served in so far. It is nice to meet and know people from all around the world, learn about their joys and concerns, try to help them in anyway and enjoy the company of fabulous global friends. At the University of Wyoming I taught five different classes including petroleum engineering computing, reservoir engineering, and multicomponent thermodynamics. I enjoy teaching and I very much liked all of the classes I taught.

Classes I taught at the University of Wyoming

After being a Penn State Nittany Lion and a Wyoming Cowgirl, I now consider myself a Virginia Tech Hokie! I am also an affiliated assistant professor with GERC at the University of Nottingham. My research interests lie in the field of Thermodynamics and transport of multicomponent multiphase fluids in porous media from molecular scale to pore scale and reservoir field scale.

I recently had a visit over to the University of Nottingham to initiate some research collaborations with the colleagues at GERC. I was fortunate to have access to the facilities at NMRC (Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre) through the EPS Partnered Access Fund. The objective of the proposed research project is to determine spatial distribution of trapped fluids within the nanopore network of shale samples, as well as to characterize the pore network geometry. We were able to visualize the organic pores within Marcellus shale sample and now we are trying to learn more about the fluid distribution in shale nanopores.

We looked for organic pores in Marcellus shale samples using FIB-SEM


My UK visit was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed it a lot. I visited London for the first time, I was so amazed with this beautiful city that I walked around for 12 hours on a nice Saturday. I came back to Nottingham the following Sunday and visited Robin hood Palace (and of course took a picture with Robin Hood Statue!)

My London and Nottingham visit

During the last day of my visit we had a traditional afternoon tea at the Hemsley. Me being a big fan of old British TV series (Yes, I am talking about Downton Abbey!) you can imagine how I loved the idea of having a traditional afternoon tea as my final farewell get together. I am very thankful to my GERC friends, Matt, Max, Bagus, Lindsay, Veerle, Aleks and Donald, for their hospitality and for making my travel a memorable experience.

Traditional afternoon tea at the Hemsley

*You can keep up to date with GERC activities on our social media channels*