Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame

Kenneth Christensen


Kenneth Christensen

Office:  374 Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering

Phone:  574-631-2510


Department Website

Current Position
Professor and Assistant Dean of Faculty Development, College of Engineering
Professor and Collegiate Chair in Fluid Mechanics, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences

Ph.D., Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of New Mexico

Research Interests
My group pursues fundamental studies related to the fluid mechanics of geologic carbon sequestration, specifically the migration of injected liquid or supercritical CO2 through complex rock formations while displacing resident brine. Our interests include evaluating the pore-scale dynamics of this multi-phase flow, including the impact of wettability, reactivity, dissolution and mineralization over the residence time of the sequestered CO2. We collaborate with those that model and simulate such processes, particularly in upscaling such effects into reservoir-scale simulations for pre-injection site evaluation and post-injection migration predictions. I am also active in developing and assessing methods for monitoring CO2 at storage sites. I am a World Premier Institute (WPI) Principal Investigator in the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) based at Kyushu University, Japan where I co-lead the Carbon Storage Division. I am also involved more broadly in the public and economic policy aspects of this institute, particularly with regard to carbon sequestration. I am also a co-PI in the Center for Geologic Storage of CO2, a DOE EFRC based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Relevant Energy Publications

  • Kitamura, K., F. Jiang, A. J. Valocchi, S. Chiyonobu, T. Tsuji and K. T. Christensen, “The Study of Heterogeneous Two-Phase Flow around Small-Scale Heterogeneity in Porous Sandstone by Measured Elastic Wave Velocities and LBM Simulation,” Journal of Geophysical Research–Solid Earth 119, 7564-7577, 2014.
  • Kazemifar, F., G. Blois, D. C. Kyritsis and K. T. Christensen, “A Methodology for Velocity Field Measurement in Multiphase High-Pressure Flow of CO2 and Water in Micromodels,” Water Resources Research 51, 3017-3029, 2015.
  • Kazemifar, F., G. Blois, D. C. Kyritsis and K. T. Christensen, “Quantifying the Flow Dynamics of Supercritical CO2–Water Displacement in a 2D Porous Micro-Model using Fluorescent Microscopy and Microscopic PIV,” Advances in Water Resources, DOI: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2015.05.011, 2016.
  • Tsuji, T., F. Jiang and K. T. Christensen, “Influence of Reservoir Conditions on Multiphase Fluid Displacement Patterns in Natural Sandstone,” Advances in Water Resources, DOI: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2016.03.005, 2016.