Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

School of Mining & Geosciences


Prof. Fidelis Suorineni
Brief biography

Dr. Suorineni has enviable knowledge in the broad spectrum of mining and geosciences, and has played leadership roles within this spectrum in Ghana, Canada and Australia. Prior to joining NU, Dr Suorineni worked at UNSW Sydney as Professor and Inaugural Chair of Mine Geotechnical Engineering in the School of Mining Engineering, Senior Research Engineer and Adjunct Professor with term appointments at Laurentian University, Sudbury, Canada and as Senior Lecturer in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi School of Mines, Tarkwa (Now University of Mines and Technology (UMaT)). Dr. Suorineni obtained his B.Sc. from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana; M.Sc. from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Britain and Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Dr. Suorineni is a globally recognised award winning academic with over 30 years’ experience in teaching, research and consulting in Africa, North America and Australasia.

In 2016 Dr. Suorineni was appointed International Member of the Technical Committee on Mining Engineering of China ENFI Engineering Co Ltd. He is also a Visiting Professor to Northeastern University in Shenyang, China. He has given several invited lectures and workshops around the world including, Poland, Turkey, Chile, South Korea, Ghana, China, Brazil and Kazakhstan. Dr. Suorineni has the rare distinction of winning the Douglas Hay Medal twice for best papers published in Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy (Section A): Mining Technology in 2012 and 2015. He was also co-Author of the best paper published at the 13th Congress of the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) in Montreal in 2015. Dr. Suorineni is a permanent member of the International Organizing Committee (IOC) of the World Mining Congress and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIMMM), London. He is also a member of SME, CIM, AusIMM and SOMP. Dr. Suorineni has published over 120 papers in journals and conference proceedings, and holds two IPs. He is a Reviewer for several high impact international journals and serves on two journal editorial boards.

  1. Shuai Xu, Suorineni, T.*, Long An and Yuan Hui Li., 2017. A Study of gravity flow principles of sublevel caving method in dipping narrow veins. Granular Matter (2017) 19:82, DOI 10.1007/s10035-017-0748-z.
  2. Qingyuan He, Suorineni, F.T.* and Joung Oh, 2017. Effect of discontinuity stress shadows on hydraulic fracture orientation. International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 91:179–194.
  3. Shuai Xu, Fidelis T. Suorineni*, Kunmeng Li, Yuanhui Li, 2016. Evaluation of the Strength and Ultrasonic Properties of Foam Cemented Paste Backfill for reduced Dynamic Loading Effects. International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment,
  4. He, Q., Suorineni, F.T.* and Oh, J. 2016. Review of Hydraulic Fracturing for Pre-conditioning in Cave Mining. Journal of Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, doi:10.1007/s00603-016-1075-0.
  5. He, Q., Suorineni, F.T.* and Oh, J. 2016. Strategies for creating prescribed hydraulic fractures for pre-conditioning in cave mining. Rock Mech Rock Eng DOI 10.1007/s00603-016-1141-7.
  6. Tian-Hui Ma, Long Wang, Fidelis Suorineni and Chunan Tang 2016. Study on failure mechanism of mine pillars under shear loading. Shock and Vibration,
  7. Tibbett, J.D., Suorineni, F.T. and Hebblewhite, B.K. 2016. Preliminary results for investigating rockmass response to undercut blasting within a block cave mining system using VRSV. CIM Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 121 – 131.
  8. Papaioanou, A. and Suorineni, F.T. Development of a generalised dilution-based stability graph for open stope design. Transactions Institution of Mining and Metallurgy (Section A): Mining Technology, DOI:10.1080/14749009.2015.1.
  9. Suorineni, F.T. Reliability of predictive tools in geo-engineering – Causes of hit and Miss. Ghana Mining Journal, In print.
  10. Williams, K., Chalmers, D. and Suorineni, F.T. Assessing the suitability of recycled material as a timber substitute in drawpoint design. Mining Education Australia – Research Projects Review, pp. 73 – 82.
  11. Suorineni, F.T., Mgumbwa, J.J., Kaiser, P.K. and Thibodeau, D. 2014. Mining of orebodies under shear loading Part 2 – Failure modes and mechanisms. Transactions Institution of Mining and Metallurgy (Section A): Mining Technology, Vol. 123(4), pp. 240 – 249. (IOM3 2015 Douglas Hay Medal winning paper).
  12. Suorineni, F.T., Hebblewhite, B. and Saydam, S. 2014. Geomechanics challenges of contemporary deep mining: a suggested model for increasing future mining safety and productivity. The Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 114 pp. 1023 – 1032.
  13. Suorineni, F.T. Geomechanics challenges and its future direction – Food for thought. Ghana Mining Journal, Vol. 14, pp. 14-20.
  14. Suorineni, F.T. 2011. Factors influencing overbreak in the Barkers orebody, Kundana Gold mine: narrow vein case study. Paper by: P.C. Stewart, R. Trueman and I. Brunton, 2011: Mining Technology, vol. 120(2), pp. 80-89. Letter to the Editor, Transactions, Institution of Mining and Metallurgy (Section A): Mining Technology.
  15. Suorineni, F.T., Kaiser, P.K., Mgumbwa, J.J. and Thibodeau, D. 2011. Mining of orebodies under shear loading – Part 1: Case histories. Transactions Institution of Mining and Metallurgy (Section A): Mining Technology, vol. 120(3), pp. 137-147. (IOM3 2012 Douglas Hay Medal winning paper).
  16. Vasak, P. and Suorineni, F.T. Research to Reality: Extracting more value from mine data using virtual reality and scientific visualization techniques. PositionIT, The Geoinformatics, Surveying, GIS, GPS and Location-based Services Journal for Southern Africa, pp. 62 – 67.
  17. Suorineni, F.T. The stability graph after three decades in use – Experiences and the way forward. International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment, Vol. 24 (4), pp. 307-3392. (Among Top 10 Most downloaded and read paper in International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment in 2011).
  18. Suorineni, F.T., Chinassane D.R. and Kaiser P.K. 2009. A procedure for determining rock-type specific brittle Hoek-Brown parameter “s”. Rock Mech. Rock Eng.: 42:849–881.
  19. Suorineni, F.T., Kaiser P.K., Henning, J.H. Safe rapid drifting – Support selection. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology:23, pp. 682–699. (Top Hottest 25 articles in Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology in 2008).
  20. Cai, M., Kaiser P.K., Suorineni, F. and Su, K. 2007. A study on the dynamic behaviour of the Meuse/Haute-Marne argillite. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, Volume 32, Issues 8-14, 2007, Pages 907-916.
  21. Suorineni, F.T., Kaiser, P.K., Tannant, D.D. 2001. Likelihood statistic for interpretation of the stability graph for open stope design. Technical Note Int. J. Rock Mech. and Min. Sci., Vol. 38 (5), pp.735-744.
  22. Suorineni, F.T., Tannant, D.D., Kaiser, P.K., and Dusseault, M.B., 2001. Incorporation of a fault factor into the stability graph method: Kidd Mine case Studies. Mineral Resources Engineering, Vol. 10 (1), pp.3-37).
  23. Suorineni, F.T., Tannant, D.D., and Kaiser, P.K., 1999. Determination of fault-related sloughage in open stopes. J. Rock Mech. and Min. Sci., Vol. 36 (7), pp. 891-906.
  24. Suorineni, F.T., Tannant, D.D., and Kaiser, P.K., 1999. Fault factor for the stability graph method of open-stope design. Instn. Min. Metall., (Section A: Mining Industry), London, Vol. 108, p. A92-104.
  25. Kuma, J.S. and Suorineni, F.T., A suggested solution to the blind zone problem in shallow exploration surveys. Engineering Geology (43) 1, pp. 57-64.
Research Interests
  • Value added mining systems (including block caving and open stopes)
  • Current and emerging mining technologies (Including Big Data and Virtual/Augmented Reality applications, space technology)
  • Rockbursts and seismicity
  • Ground support
  • Rockmass characterization and material testing (including thin spray-on liners (TSL), rock tendon support elements and acoustic emission apllications)
Prof. Ali Mortazavi
Brief biography

Prof. Ali Mortazavi received his B.Eng. in mining engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran in 1990, M.Sc. in Rock Mechanics from McGill University, Canada in 1994, and Ph.D. in Rock Blasting form Queen’s University, Canada in 2000. Prior to joining NU, Dr. Mortazavi worked at Amirkabir University of Technology as a Professor and also a research fellow with the Department of Mining & Materials Engineering, McGill University. He has supervised to completion over 48 Master's and PhD students and has published over 100 papers and reports in prestigious international journals and conferences and authored/co-authored two books entitled Rock Dynamics (AUT Publishing) and Constitutive Modeling of Geomaterials: Advances and New Applications (Springer). He also shares a patent titled Development, design, and construction of a true triaxial system for reservoir depletion simulation under real rock stress and fluid pressure fields. Dr. Mortazavi has over 20 years of experience in teaching, research, and managing industry projects in mining, geotechnical, and petroleum engineering applications in Canada and Iran. He is on the editorial board of Iran Journal of Mining Engineering and is a reviewer for many prestigious international journals.


Peer Reviewed ISI Journal Publications


  1. Atapour H., Mortazavi A., Development of a new true triaxial stress loading and pore pressure applying system for investigations of petroleum geomechanics applications, submitted to Geotechnical Testing Journal, ASTM International, Revised paper Under Review, 2019.
  2. Mortazavi A., Atapour H., An experimental study of stress changes induced by reservoir depletion under true triaxial stress loading conditions, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Elsevier Ltd, Accepted online, August 2018.
  3. Atapour H., Mortazavi A., The Influence of mean grain size on uniaxial compressive strength of weakly consolidated reservoir sandstones, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Elsevier Ltd, Accepted online, July 2018.
  4. Atapour H., Mortazavi A., The effect of grain size and cement content on index properties of weakly solidified artificial sandstones, Journal of Geophysics and Engineering, IOP Science, February, 2018.
  5. Karimi M., Mortazavi A., Ahmadi M., Applying an Optimized Proxy-Based Workflow for Fast History matching, Arabian Journal of Geosciences, Springer Ltd, 10:462, October, 2017.
  6. Moghadami M., Mortazavi A., Development of a risk-based methodology for rock slope analysis, International Journal of Civil Engineering, Springer Ltd, Published online July 3rd, 2017.
  7. Mortazavi A., Maadikhah A., An investigation of the effects of important grouting and rock parameters on the grouting process, Geomechanics & Geoengineering: An International Journal, Taylor & Francis, Vol. 3, 219-235, 2016.
  8. Mortazavi A., Saati V., Numerical investigation of Extra Large Flat Jack Testing of Bakhtiyari Dam Project, Geotechnical Testing Journal, ASTM International, Vol. 40, No. 3, 1-17, 2017.

  9. Mortazavi A., Nasab H., Analysis of the behaviour of large underground oil storage caverns in salt rock, International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, Sep. Issue, 1545-1561, John Wiley Ltd., 2016.

  10. Mortazavi A., Abbaslo Z., Ebrahimi L., Keshavarz A., Masoomi A., Geotechnical investigation and design of leaching heap No. 2, Meydook copper mine, Iran, Minerals Engineering, Elsevier Ltd., Vol. 79, 185-195, 2015.

  11. Hamidi F., Mortazavi A., A new three dimensional approach to numerically model hydraulic fracturing process, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Elsevier Ltd., No. 124, 451-467, 2014.

  12. Mortazavi A., Tabatabaee Alavi F., A numerical study of the behavior of fully grouted rockbolts under dynamic loading, Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Elsevier Ltd.,  Vol. 54 , pp. 66-72, 2013.

  13. Nasehi M.J., Mortazavi A., Investigation of the effects of in-situ stress regime and intact rock strength parameters on the hydraulic fracturing process, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Elsevier Ltd., Vol. 108, 211-221, 2013.

  14. Mortazavi A., Molladavoodi H., A numerical investigation of brittle rock damage mechanics in deep underground openings, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Elsevier Ltd., No. 90, 101-120, 2012.

  15. Molladavoodi H., Mortazavi A., A damage-based numerical analysis of brittle rocks failure mechanism, Finite Elements in Analysis and Design, Elsevier Ltd., No. 9, 991-1003, 2011.

Selected Conference Paper Publications


  1. Mortazavi A., Abbaslo Z., Ebrahimi L., Keshavarz A., Masoumi A., Geotechnical analysis and design of leaching heap No. 2, Meydook Copper Mine, The 13th International  ISRM Congress (Best paper award), 2015, May 10-13, Montreal, Canada
  2. Mortazavi A., Nasab H., A numerical investigation of the behaviour of large underground oil storage caverns in soft rocks, The 13th International  ISRM Congress, 2015, May 10-13, Montreal, Canada.
  3. Mortazavi A., Moghadami M., Development of a risk assessment model for underground openings, 23rd World Mining Congress, 2013, August 11-15, Montreal, Canada.
  4. Mortazavi A., Tabatabaee Alavi F., A study of the behaviour of fully grouted rockbolts subjected to dynamic loading in underground mining, Sixth International Seminar on Deep and High Stress Mining, 2012, March 28-30, Perth, Australia.
  5. Mortazavi A., Sharafisafa M., Numerical analysis of effect of Rock Bridge on blast-induced wave propagation in jointed media, Rock Fragmentation By Blasting Conference, Fragblast 10, 2012: November 24-29, New Delhi, India.
  6. Gharadash S., Mortazavi A., Determination of optimal face pressure in EPB shield tunneling in soft ground-A case study Mashhad Metro line 2, The 45th US Rock Mechanics Symposium and 5th US-Canada Rock Mechanics Symposium, 2011, June 25-29, San Francisco, USA.
  7. Hamidi F., Mortazavi A., Three Dimensional Modeling of Hydraulic Fracturing Process in Oil Reservoirs, 46th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, Chicago (ARMA), USA, 2011: June 23–27.
  8. Mortazavi A., Molladavodi H., Development of a damage-based constitutive model for brittle rocks, The 44th US Rock Mechanics Symposium and 5th US-Canada Rock Mechanics Symposium, 2010, June 27-30, Salt Lake City, USA.
  9. Mortazavi A., Asadipour M., Eslami M., Atashpanjeh A., Salajegheh P., Full-scale 3D slope stability analysis of Sarcheshmeh mine west wall, The 44th US Rock Mechanics Symposium and 5th US-Canada Rock Mechanics Symposium, 2010, June 27-30, Salt Lake City, USA.
  10. Bonakdar A., Mortazavi A, Implementation of joint roughness into discontinuum modeling of jointed rock masses, International Conference on Rock Joints and Jointed Rock Masses, 2009, January 7-8, Tucson, Arizona, USA.
  11. Mortazavi A., Fathi E., A numerical investigation of the effect of blasthole delay in rock fragmentation”, 9th International Symposium on Rock Fragmentation by Blasting-FRAGBLAST 9, Sep. 2009, Spain, Granada,.
  12. Mortazavi A., Modelling of crater blasting in jointed rock mass using discontinuous deformation analysis, 8th International Symposium on Rock Fragmentation by Blasting-FRAGBLAST 8, May 2006, Santiago, Chile.
  13. Grayeli R., Mortazavi A, Implementation of a quadratic triangular mesh into the DDA method, The 7th International Conference on Analysis of Discontinuous Deformations– ICADD-7, December 2005, Hawaii, USA.
Research Interests
  • Open Pit Mine Design
  • Rock Dynamics
  • Numerical modeling
  • Deep & Large underground structures
  • High slope analysis and design
  • Petroleum geomechanics
  • Rock fragmentation
Dr. Laurent Richard
Associate Professor
Brief biography

Laurent Richard received a Ph.D. in Geochemistry in 1993 from the University of Strasbourg, France. He subsequently was a post-doctoral researcher (1993-2002) at the University of California (Berkeley, USA), where he constituted an extensive thermodynamic database for organic compounds of geochemical interest, which was used to construct a thermodynamic model of petroleum generation from kerogen in sedimentary basins. He was appointed Maître de Conférences (2002-2009) at Université Henri Poincaré in Nancy (France), initiating research projects on the interactions between organic compounds, aqueous fluids and minerals in high-temperature geological processes, being helped in this task by a cohort of undergraduate and graduate students. He moved again, this time to Barcelona (Spain) where he worked as a consultant for an environmental company (2009-2011), then as an independent consultant for the oil industry (2012-2017), pursuing his work on the thermodynamics of organic compounds at high temperatures. He joined the School of Mining and Geosciences at Nazarbayev University in October 2017.

  1. Ménez, B., Pisapia, C., Andreani, M., Jamme, F., Vanbellingen, Q.P., Brunelle, A., Richard, L., Dumas, P., Réfrégiers, M. (2018) Abiotic synthesis of amino acids in the recesses of the oceanic lithosphere. Nature 564, 59-63.
  2. Gérard, E., De Goeyse, S., Hugoni, M., Agogué, H., Richard, L., Milesi, V., Guyot, F., Lecourt L., Borensztajn, S., Joseph, M.-B., Leclerc, T., Sarazin, G., Jezequel, D., Leboulanger, C., Ader, M. (2018) Key role of Alphaproteobacteria and Cyanobacteria in the formation of stromatolites of Lake Dziani Dzaha (Mayotte, Western Indian Ocean). Frontiers in Microbiology 9, paper 796.
  3. Brosse, É., Bachaud, P., Richard, L., Michel, A., Guichet, X., Rossi, T., Blancke, R., Gaucher, É.C., Parra, T. (2017) Quantification of carbon dioxide sourced by mineral reactions in ultradeep sedimentary basins. Marine and Petroleum Geology 81, 112-133.
  4. Milesi, V., Guyot, F., Brunet, F., Richard, L., Recham, N., Benedetti, M., Dairou, J., Prinzhofer, A. (2015) Formation of CO2, H2 and condensed carbon from siderite dissolution in the 200-300°C range and at 50 MPa. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 154, 201-211.
  5. Richard, L., Uteyev, R., Peters, H. (2014) Thermodynamic description of organic/inorganic interactions in TSR reservoirs. SPE Annual Caspian Technical Conference and Exhibition, 12-14 november 2014, Astana, Kazakhstan. Publication SPE-172254-MS.
  6. Al-Khirbash, S., Sehmi, K., Richard, L., Nasir, S., Al-Harthy, A. (2014) Rare earth element mobility during laterization of mafic rocks of the Oman ophiolite. Arabian Journal of Geosciences 7, 5443-5454.
  7. Grivé, M., García, D., Domènech, C., Richard, L., Rojo, I., Martínez, X., Rovira, M. (2013) A quantitative speciation model for the adsorption of organic pollutants on activated carbon. Water Science & Technology 68, 1370-1376.
  8. Richard, L., Gaona, X. (2011) Thermodynamic properties of organic iodine compounds. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75, 7304-7350.
  9. Helgeson, H.C., Richard, L., McKenzie, W.F., Norton, D., Schmitt, A. (2009) A chemical and thermodynamic model of oil generation in hydrocarbon source-rocks. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73, 594-695.
  10. Franiatte, M., Richard, L., Elie, M., Nguyen-Trung, C., LaRowe, D.E. (2008) Hydrothermal stability of adenine under controlled fugacities of N2, CO2, and H2. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 38, 139-148.
  11. Richard, L., Neuville, N., Sterpenich, J., Perfetti, E., Lacharpagne, J.-Cl. (2005) Thermodynamic analysis of organic/inorganic reactions involving sulfur: Implications for the sequestration of H2S in carbonate reservoirs. Oil & Gas Science and Technology 60, 265-275.
  12. Richard, L. (2001) Calculation of the standard molal thermodynamic properties as a function of temperature and pressure of some geochemically important organic sulfur compounds. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 65, 3827-3877.
  13. Richard, L., Helgeson, H.C. (2001) Thermodynamic calculation of the distribution of organic sulfur compounds in crude oil as a function of temperature, pressure, and H2S fugacity. Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Water-Rock Interaction, pp. 333-335 (3 pages). WRI-10, 10-15 june 2001, Villasimius, Italy.
  14. Richard, L. (2000) Sur l´origine des ions chlorure dans les eaux salines des massifs granitiques. Comptes-Rendus de l´Académie des Sciences, Série IIa, Sciences de la Terre et des Planètes 331, 783-788.
  15. Richard, L., Helgeson, H.C. (1998) Calculation of the thermodynamic properties at elevated temperatures and pressures of saturated and aromatic high molecular weight solid and liquid hydrocarbons in kerogen, bitumen, petroleum, and other organic matter of biogeochemical interest. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 62, 3591-3636.
  16. Helgeson, H.C., Owens, C.E., Knox, A.M., Richard, L. (1998) Calculation of the standard molal thermodynamic properties of crystalline, liquid, and gas organic molecules at high temperatures and pressures. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 62, 985-1081.   
  17. Richard, L., Helgeson, H.C. (1995) Calculation of the thermodynamic properties at elevated temperatures and pressures of high molecular weight organic compounds of geochemical interest. Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Water-Rock Interaction, pp. 263-267. WRI-8, 15-19 august 1995, Vladivostok, Russia.
Research Interests
  • Stability of hydrocarbons at high temperatures and pressures.
  • Organic carbon in metamorphic rocks.
  • Abiogenic synthesis of organic compounds in mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems.
  • Geochemistry of sulfur in petroleum systems.
Dr. Peyman Pourafshary
Associate Professor
Brief biography

Peyman Pourafshary received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in Petroleum Engineering in 2007. He has worked as an Associate Professor in Petroleum Engineering Department in School of Mining and Geosciences in Nazarbayev University since 2018. Prior to this position, Dr Pourafshary was an Assistant Professor in Tehran University in Iran for 6 years (2007-2013), and Sultan Qaboos University in Oman for 4 years (2013-2017).

Dr Pourafshary has been involved as the project manager and consultant in different research and industrial projects in US, Iran, and Oman in the field of reservoir engineering and production engineering. Most of these projects were related to the development of new, cheap, and effective methods to reduce the recovery cost and improve the oil production. Several research groups were formed, consisting of graduate students and industrial collaborators, under the supervision of Dr Pourafshary to work on topics in different methods of EOR, production engineering modeling and optimization, formation damage control, and stimulation fields. The goal of his research is to improve the performance of conventional/unconventional EOR methods and to devise new and cheap approaches for better oil recovery. Several experimental and modeling research activities have been completed to study new ideas for different secondary and tertiary recovery methods such as low salinity water flooding, ion management in water flooding, chemical EOR by nanofluids, and gas flooding scenarios such as carbonated water injection. Also, new approaches were investigated to control and remove different possibilities of formation damage in oil reservoirs to improve wells productivity and injectivity. Mechanisms such as fines migration, clays swelling, and asphaltene precipitation are targeted to be controlled during conventional operations such as water flooding, gas injection, and natural depletion in reservoirs. Another direction of his research is in the field of fast reservoir simulation. In addition to conventional grid-based simulation methods, new fast simulation approaches were developed to model primary/secondary/tertiary recovery stages. These methods were applied in joint research projects with industries for field applications such as water flooding modeling and reservoir characterization.

Dr Pourafshary have taught several undergraduate and graduate petroleum engineering courses in different universities worldwide. The following courses are presented by him at different levels.

Undergraduate Level:

  • Reservoir Engineering
  • Production Engineering and Stimulation
  • Fluid Flow in Porous Media
  • Introduction to Enhanced Oil Recovery

Graduate Level:

  • Transport Processes in Porous Media
  • Advanced Reservoir Engineering
  • Enhanced Oil Recovery Methods
  • Advanced Production Engineering
  • Well Stimulation
  • Production Enhancement


Recent publications



  1. Fouladi, M. M., Rostami, B., and Pourafshary, P., ”Effects of the Presence of Fines on the Performance of Low Salinity Waterflooding”, Special Topics & Reviews in Porous Media, 2019, 10(2), 155-169
  2. Sharifipour, M., Pourafshary, P., Nakhaee, A., “Model Development of Permeability Impairment due to Clay Swelling in Porous Media using Micromodels”, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2019, 175, 728-742
  3. Mansouri, M., and Pourafshary, P., “Effect of SiO2 nanoparticles on Fines Stabilization during Low Salinity Water Flooding”, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2019, 174, 637-648


  1. Bastami, A., Pourafshary, P., Shafiei., “A. Densities for Ternary System of CaCl2–H2O–CO2 at Elevated P-T: An Experimental and Modeling Approach” Energies, 2018, 11, 2840
  2. Al-Matroushi, M., Pourafshary, P., Al-Wahaibi, Y., & Mosavat, N., “Efficiency of nano-water/gas alternating injection technique to enhance oil recovery in an oil field”, International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, 2018, 19(2), 149-162.
  3. Al Abri, H., Pourafshary, P., Mosavat, N., Al Hadrami, H,” A Study of the Performance of the LSWA CO2 EOR Technique on Improvement of Oil Recovery in Sandstones” Petroleum, 2018, Available online.
  4. Al Nofli, Kh., Pourafshary, P., Mosavat, N., Shafiei, Al, “Effect of Initial Wettability on Performance of Smart Water Flooding in Carbonate Reservoirs—An Experimental Investigation with IOR Implications” Energies, 2018, 11(6), 1394
  5. Hourfar, F., Salahshoor, K., Zanbouri, H., Elkamel, A., Pourafshary, P., Moshiri, B.,
  6. A Systematic Approach for Modeling of Waterflooding Process in the Presence of Geological Uncertainties in Oil Reservoirs” Computers & Chemical Engineering, 2018, 111, 66-78
  7. Rostami, B., Pourafshary, P., Fathollahi, A., Yassin, M., Hassani, K., Khosravi, M., Mohammadifar, M., “A new approach to characterize the performance of heavy oil recovery due to various gas injection” International Journal of Multiphase Flow, 2018, 99, 273-283
  8. Motamedi, P., Bargozin, H., Pourafshary, P., “Management of implementation of nanotechnology in upstream oil industry: An analytic hierarchy process analysis” Journal of Energy Resources Technology, 2018, 140(5), 052908.
  9. Al Kharousi, B., Pourafshary, P., Mosavat, N., Al Wahaibi, Y., “Design and Performance of Smart Water Shock Injection (SWSI) in Carbonate Reservoirs” SPE Paper 192557 presented at SPE Annual Caspian Conference and Exhibition, 31 October - 2 November, 2018, Astana, Kazakhstan
  10. Assef, Y., Pourafshary, P., Pereira Almao, P., “ Effects Of Hysteresis And Miscibility On Cyclic Co2 Injection Performance In Unconventional Tight Oil Reservoir, A Bakken Case Study” presented at Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), 12 – 15 November, 2018, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  11. Fani, M., Pourafshary, P., Mosavat, N., “Optimizing Smart Water Slug Injection in Carbonates” SPE Paper 193014 presented at Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), 12 – 15 November, 2018, Abu Dhabi, UAE


  1. Hasannejad , R., Pourafshary, P., Vatani A. Sameni A., “Application of Silica Nanofluid to Control Initiation of Fines Migration,” Petroleum Exploration and Development, 2017, 44(5), 850-859
  2. Jalilian M, Pourafshary P, Sola B, Kamari M., “Optimization of Smart Water Chemical Composition for Carbonate Rocks Through Comparison of Active Cations Performance,” Journal of Energy Resources Technology, 2017, 139(6), 062904-062904-9
  3. Khiabani, N., Bahramian, P., Chen, P., Pourafshary, P., Goddard, W.A.,” Calcium Chloride Adsorption at Liquid-Liquid Interfaces:  A Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study,” Colloid and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 2017, 572, 70-80.
  4. Saboorian-Jooybari H, Pourafshary P., “ Potential Severity of Phase Trapping in Petroleum Reservoirs: An Analytical Approach to Prediction,” SPE Journal, 2017, 22 (03), 863-874
  5. Sharifipour, M., Pourafshary, P., Nakhaee, A., “Study of the effect of clay swelling on the oil recovery factor in porous media using a glass micromodel,” Applied Clay Science, 2017, 141, 125-131
  6. Moradi B., Pourafshary P., Jalali F., Mohammadi M., “Effects of Nanoparticles on Gas Production/Viscosity Reduction/Foam Formation During Nanofluid Alternating Gas Injection in Low And High Permeable Carbonate Reservoirs.” The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 2017, 95 (3), 479-490
Research Interests

Production Engineering and Production Optimization, Well Stimulation, Formation Damage, Experimental Studies and Modeling of Reservoir Performance and Enhanced Oil Recovery

Available PhD Topics

  1. Study of fines migration effect on the performance of low salinity water flooding in sandstones
  2. Hybrid chemical/low salinity water flooding EOR method in carbonate formations


For more information, please contact

Dr . Saffet Yagiz
Associate Professor
Brief biography

Dr. Yagiz is a geotechnical engineer with an MSc degree in Geological Engineering at the Missouri University of Science & Technology (MST) and a PhD degree in Mining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). He has been a researcher at the Earth Mechanics Institute (EMI) of CSM from 1998 to 2002 in the USA. After then, he has served for Pamukkale University in Turkey till joining to Nazarbayev University.

Dr. Yagiz has taught courses -engineering geology, applied geology for engineers, geotechnics, rock mechanics, mechanical excavation and tunneling- at both the bachelor’s and advanced levels. He has acted as a moderator in European Rock Mechanics Symposium-Eurock’2010. He is a member of scientific advisory board of 2nd International Fuzzy Systems Symposium (2011), 8th International Marble and Stone Congress (2012), Eurock’2013-Rock Mechanics for Resources, Energy and Environment, V. Global Stone Congress (2014) and more World Tunneling Congress (2017). Dr. Yagiz has authored over 60 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and proceedings and also a monograph, “Modified CSM Model for Predicting TBM Performance in Rock Mass”. He serves as an editorial board member for International Journal of Transportation Technologies; Journal of Earth & Environmental Sciences and also Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences. In mining and geotechnical engineering, he is known for the studies of developing the Modified CSM Model, TBM performance prediction formulas, and also proposing rock brittleness index and classification.

Dr. Yagiz has been involved as a principal investigator or researcher in many research projects on topics related to rock mechanics, TBM tunneling and geotechnics. He is also a recognized reviewer of numerous mining, rock mechanics, engineering geology and geotechnical journals. He is a professional member of the International Association of Engineering Geology (IAEG) and Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM).

  1. Adoko AC, Gokceoglu C, Yagiz S. Bayesian prediction of TBM penetration rate in rock mass, Engineering Geology, DOI: (2017).
  2. Ghasemi E, Kalhori H, Bagherpour R, Yagiz S. Model tree approach for determining uniaxial compressive strength and Young’s modulus of carbonate rocks, Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment, DOI: 10.1007/s10064-016-0931-1 (2017).
  3. Armaghani DJ, Mohamad ET, Narayanasamy S, Narita N, Yagiz S. Development of hybrid intelligent models for predicting TBM penetration rate in hard rock condition, Tunneling and Underground Space Technology, 63, 29-43 (2017).
  4. Khandelwal M, Faradonbeh R, Monjezi M, Armaghani DJ, Majid MZBA, Yagiz S. Function development for appraising brittleness of intact rocks using genetic programming and non‑linear multiple regression models, Engineering with Computers, 33, 13-21 (2017).
  5. Yagiz S. New equations for predicting the field penetration index of tunnel boring machines in fractured rock mass, Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 10:2, 33, 1-13 (2017).
  6. Armaghani DJ, Amin MFM, Yagiz S, Faradonbeh R, Abdullah RA. Prediction of the uniaxial compressive strength of sandstone using various modelling techniques, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 85, 174-186 (2016).
  7. Armaghani DJ, Mohamad ET, Hajihassanic M, Yagiz S, Motaghedie H. Application of several non-linear prediction tools for estimating uniaxial compressive strength of granitic rocks and comparison of their performances, Engineering with Computers, 32, 189-206 (2016).
  8. Yagiz S, Karahan H. Application of various optimization techniques and comparison of their performances for predicting TBM penetration rate in rock mass, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 80, 308-315 (2015).
  9. Frough O, Torabi SR, Yagiz S. Application of RMR for estimating rock mass related TBM utilization and performance parameters, Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 48, 1305-1312 (2015).
  10. Mahdevari S, Shahriar K, Yagiz S, Shirazi MA. A support vector regression model for predicting tunnel boring machine penetration rates, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 72, 214-229 (2014).
  11. Ghasemi E, Yagiz S, Ataei M. Predicting penetration rate of hard rock tunnel boring machine using fuzzy logic, Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment, 73, 23-35 (2014).
  12. Yagiz S. Comment on “Point load test on meta-sedimentary rocks and correlation to UCS and BTS”, [RMRE, 46(4); 889-896], Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 46, 909-912 (2013).
  13. Sen S, Sezer EA, Gokceoglu C, Yagiz S. On sampling strategies for small and continuous data with the modeling of genetic programming and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system, Journal of Intelligent & Fuzzy Systems, 23, 297-303 (2012).
  14. Yagiz S. Comments on “Determination of strength parameters and quality assessment of Denizli travertines (SW Turkey)” [Eng Geol, 129–130 (2012) 38–47], Engineering Geology, 147–148, 149-150 (2012).
  15. Yagiz S, Sezer EA, Gokceoglu C. Artificial neural networks and nonlinear regression techniques to assess the influence of slake durability cycles on the prediction of uniaxial compressive strength and modulus of elasticity for carbonate rocks, International Journal of Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 36, 1636-1650 (2012).
Research Interests
  • Engineering geology & geotechnics
  • Rock engineering & TBM tunneling
  • Rock mass characterization & testing
Dr. Sergei Sabanov
Associate Professor
Brief biography

Dr Sabanov started his carrier working in the underground oil shale mines in Estonia before he received his mining engineering PhD diploma in 2018.  Dr Sabanov was executing multiple projects and teaching at a time, tracking technical progress, and reporting on both to the university and to the mining companies, and regulatory and technical review boards. Dr Sabanov industry experience with mine planning, scheduling and design, blasting operations, mine ventilation, mining risk management enabled him to understand detailed requirements of mining companies in mining specialists. Dr Sabanov was responsible for implementation of students’ theoretical knowledge to industrial practices, optimising study programmes to real life work of mining projects.

Working for mining department at Tallinn University of Technology Dr Sabanov executed several local and two transnational projects, such as: MIN-NOVATION - Mining and Mineral Processing Waste Management Innovation Network and EUExNet - European Explosives Network for Explosive education and Certification. Dr Sabanov supervised the interdisciplinary research group at Doctoral School of Energy and Geotechnology on the research topic ‘Sustainable mining: key challenges and opportunities to economic growth of mining waste management and innovative mining technology’.

Dr Sabanov is a chartered engineer at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, London with 27 years of experience in the mining industry. Working for SRK Consulting (UK) over 7 years Dr Sabanov supported a number of Business Improvement, Internal Investment Decision, Resources and Reserves Audit projects. For those he completed technical due diligence work, including Competent Person Reports (CPR) for stock exchange listings. His expertise lies in strategy planning, organisation, managing and working on technical studies (International and CIS standards). He has worked with projects in Russia, CIS countries, Europe and South America. Dr Sabanov is experienced in a wide range of commodities areas including oil shale, coal, gold and silver, copper, iron ore, diamonds, zinc, bauxite, potash and rare earth elements.

  1. Sabanov, S. (2018). Comparison of unconfined compressive strengths and acoustic emissions of Estonian oil shale and brittle rocks.  Oil Shale, vol. 35, issue 1. pp. pp. 26–38.

  2. Sabanov, S. (2018). Analysis of field test work results for the oil shale mine ventilation simulation Oil Shale, vol. 35, issue 4. pp. 356–364.

  3. Sabanov, S. (2018). Financial Risk Analysis of Optimized Ventilation System in the Gold Mine. Springer Nature 2018, book chapter: Proceedings of the 27th International Symposium on Mine Planning and Equipment Selection - MPES 2018.

  4. Sabanov, S., Karzhau, A., Aldamzharov, B., Tussupbekov, Y., Mukhamedyarova, Z., Alnazar, N. Risk Analysis methodology in use of automated ventilation control for underground mines. Gorno-Metallurgicheskaya Promyshlennost 2018 (GMP Journal in Russian).

  5. Valgma, I.; Reinsalu, E.; Sabanov, S.; Karu, V. (2010). Quality control of Oil Shale production in Estonian mines. Oil Shale, 27(3), 239 - 249.  

  6. Sabanov, S; Pastarus, J-R; Nikitin, O; Väli, E (2008). Risk Assessment of seismic impact on the roof and pillars stability in Estonian underground. Estonian Journal of Engineering, 14(4), 325 - 333.

  7. Pastarus, J.R.; Sabanov, S (2005). A method for securing working mining block stability in Estonian oil shale mines. Estonian Journal of Engineering, 11(1), pp. 59 – 68.

Research Interests
  1. Automated Mine Ventilation and Ventilation on Demand (VOD)
  2. Intelligent Mining: Automated process and autonomous equipment
  3. Oil Shale In-Situ Retorting
  4. Risk Analysis and Risk Management in mining
Dr. Amoussou Coffi Adoko
Assistant Professor
Brief biography

Dr. Adoko is an Assistant Professor at the School of Mining & Geosciences, Nazarbayev University. Previous to NU, he worked as a Lecturer in the Mining & Geological Engineering Department, Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BUIST) in Botswana. Before that, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he worked on several R&D projects in coal mining, tunneling and other rock engineering projects. He holds a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering from China University of Geosciences (CUG), Wuhan in 2012. He specializes in rock mechanics for mining engineering and tunneling applications. Over the past few years, he has achieved remarkable milestones in his career in terms of teaching, research and services to university. He taught several courses related to rock and mining engineering systems including rock mechanics, mine backfill, underground mine development, mine power and drainage, mine machinery, etc. He has supervised five Master’s students and several BSc students in Mining and Geological Engineering programs. Dr Adoko is strongly committed to quality research. He has published in high impact journals indexed in the Science Citation Index of Thomson Reuters including the International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences, Tunnelling & Underground Space Technology and Engineering Geology. He has a proven experience in sourcing research funding from industry as well as committee servicing.

  1. Zhang, H., Adoko, A. C., Meng, Z., Wang, H. & Jiao, Y. Mechanism of the Mudstone Tunnel Failures Induced by Expansive Clay Minerals. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering. 2016: 1-13, doi: 10.1007/s10706-016-0102-y.
  2. Adoko A C, Jiao Y-Y, Wu L, Wang H, Wang Z-H. Predicting tunnel convergence using Multivariate Adaptive Regression Spline and Artificial Neural Network. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology. 2013;38:368-76.
  3. Jiao Y-Y, Zhang H-Q, Adoko A C, Tang H-M, Zhang X-L, Tian H-N. Simulating the process of reservoir-impoundment-induced landslide using the extended DDA method. Engineering Geology. 2014;182: 37-48.
  4. Adoko A C, Gokceoglu C, Wu L, Zuo Q- Knowledge-based and data-driven fuzzy modeling for rockburst prediction. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences. 2013;61:86-95.
  5. Huang G-H, Jiao Y-Y, Zhang X-L, Adoko A C, Li S-C. Generating Irregular Models for 3D Spherical-Particle-Based Numerical Methods. Journal of Applied Mathematics. 2013;2013:7.
  6. Jiao Y-Y, Song L, Wang X-Z, Adoko A C. Improvement of the U-shaped steel sets for supporting the roadways in loose thick coal seam. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences. 2013;60:19-25.
  7. Jiao Y-Y, Wang Z-H, Wang X-Z, Adoko A C, Yang Z-X. Stability assessment of an ancient landslide crossed by two coal mine tunnels. Engineering Geology. 2013;159:36-44.
  8. Adoko A C, Wu L. Estimation of the convergence of high speed railway tunnel in weak rock using an Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference Systems (ANFIS) approach. Journal of rock mechanics and geotechnical engineering. 2012;4:11-8.
  9. Zuo Q, Wu L, Adoko A C, Lu Z. Analysis of surrounding rock mass deformation characteristics: Case study of BaoZhen Tunnel, Hubei China. Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering. 2012;17 N:2002-13.
  10. Adoko A C, Zuo Q-J, Wu L. A Fuzzy Model for High-Speed Railway Tunnel Convergence Prediction in Weak Rock. Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering. 2011;16:1275-95.
  11. Adoko A C, Wu L. Fuzzy Inference Systems-Based Approaches in Geotechnical Engineering: A Review. Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering. 2011;16:543-1558.
  12. Adoko, A.C., H. Wang, Y-Y Jiao and I.T. Seitshiro. Developing the Ground Index (GI) for Rock Collapse Assessment in Tunneling. In the 50th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium, Texas, USA, 26-29 June 2016, Paper 16-575
  13. Adoko, A.C. and Y.-Y. Jiao. Predicting Tunnel Convergence in Weak Rocks: Multivariate Adaptive Regression Spline and Rough Set Theory Approaches. In The 8th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS8. Sapporo, Japan, October 14-16, 2014, Paper TUS6-1.
Research Interests
  • Fundamental Rock Mechanics
  • Underground excavation stability analysis and supporting systems
  • Open pit slope stability
  • Rock burst
  • Tunneling
  • Data analysis, uncertainty modelling, optimization techniques and artificial intelligence applications in rock engineering problems
  • Acoustic Emission applications in rock engineering problems
  • 3D-Printing Techniques in rock testing
Dr. Ali Shafiei
Assistant Professor
Brief biography

Dr. Ali Shafiei is currently an Assistant Professor of Petroleum Engineering in the School of Mining and Geosciences, Nazarbayev University. He obtained his PhD (March 2013) in “Thermal Heavy Oil Recovery and Petroleum Reservoir Geomechanics” from the University of Waterloo in Canada. He also holds a BSc in Applied Earth Sciences from the Bu-Ali Sina University in Iran. Dr. Shafiei has worked in different countries and various positions prior to joining the Nazarbayev University in September 2017. Dr. Shafiei is a specialist in reservoir characterization and formation evaluation, heavy oil recovery from complex reservoir systems, Enhanced Oil Recovery, and petroleum geomechanics aspects of energy exploitation from conventional and unconventional energy resources (ground subsidence, hydraulic fracturing, fracture characterization, geological geomechanical assessment of oilfields, and industrial and municipal waste disposal through deep injection into sedimentary basins).

Dr. Shafiei has over a decade of Canadian and international research, graduate supervision, teaching, training, and consulting/industry experience in the petroleum Exploration & Production (E&P) industry. He was a scientific adviser to the Alberta Department of Energy (Alberta, Canada) in 2014 served as a member of the Innovative Energy Technology Program (IETP 2014) to review progress reports on various full scale field trials that the Alberta DoE was involved with various oil and gas companies in Canada on heavy oil recovery and geological CO2 sequestration. He has also delivered keynote speeches in conferences, the most recent one being a keynote talk on “Thermal Enhanced Oil Recovery from Carbonate Reservoirs” in InterPore 2017. Dr. Shafiei is also a long time active member of the SPE, AAPG, and EAGE. In 2018, Dr. Shafiei became an official short course instructor for the EAGE with his short course entitled: “Introduction to Heavy Oil: Genesis, Properties, Distribution, Recovery Technologies, and Upgrading”.

  1. Bastami, A., Pourafshary, P. and Shafiei, A. 2018. Densities for the Ternary System of CaCl2-H2O-CO2 at Elevated P-T: An Experimental and Modelling Approach with Well Stimulation Implications. Energies, 11(10), 1-19,

  2. Sabbagh, F., Mirzaei-Paiaman, A., Ostadhassan, M., Shafiei, A., Rezaee, R., Saboorian-Jooybari, H. and Chen, Z. 2019. A Further Verification of FZI* and PSRTI: Newly Developed Petrophysical Rock Typing Indices. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 175,693–705, JPSE,

  3. Al-Nofli, K., Pourafshary, P., Mosavat, N. and Shafiei, A. 2018. Effect of Initial Wettability on Performance of Smart Water Flooding in Carbonate Reservoirs—An Experimental Investigation with IOR Implications. Energies, 11(6), 1394; doi: 10.3390/en11061394.

  4. Shafiei, A., Dusseault, M.B., Taleghani, M.N. and Kosari, E. 2018. Fracture characterization and in situ stresses inference in a fractured reservoir – An integrated geophysical-geological approach. Energies11(2), 312; doi:10.3390/en11020312.

  5. Shafiei, A., Ahmadi, M.A., Dusseault, M.B., Elkamel, A., Zendehboudi, S. and Chatzis, J. 2018. Energies. Performance prediction of steamflooding fractured carbonate reservoirs. Energies11(2), 292; doi:10.3390/en11020292.

  6. Shariatinia, Z., Haghighi, M., Shafiei, A., Feiznia, S. and Zendehboudi, S. 2015. PVTX characteristics of oil inclusions from Asmari formation in Kuh-e-Mond heavy oil field in Iran, International Journal of Earth Sciences, 104(3), 603-623.

  7. Shafiei, A., Ahmadi, M.A., Zaheri, S.H., Baghban, A., Amirfakhrian, A. and Soleimani, R. 2014. Estimating hydrogen sulfide solubility in ionic liquids using a machine learning approach. Journal of Supercritical Fluids95, 525–534.

  8. Shafiei, A. and Dusseault, M.B. 2014. Geomechanics of thermal oil production from carbonate reservoirs, Journal of Porous Media,17(4), 301–321.

  9. Zendehboudi, S., Shafiei, A., Bahadori, A., James, L.A., Elkamel, A. and Lohi, A. 2013. Asphaltene precipitation and deposition in oil reservoirs – Technical aspects, experimental and hybrid neural network predictive tools, Chemical Engineering Research & Design92 (5), 857–875.

  10. Shafiei, A., Zendehboudi, S., Dusseault, M.B. and Chatzis, I. 2013. Mathematical model for steamflooding in naturally fractured reservoirs, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research52 (23), 7993–8008.

  11. Shafiei, A., Dusseault, M.B., Zendehboudi, S. and Chatzis, I. 2013. A new screening tool for evaluation of steamflooding performance in naturally fractured carbonate heavy oil reservoirs, Fuel108, 502–514.

  12. Shariatinia, Z., Feiznia, S., Shafiei, A., Haghighi, M., Mousavi-Dehghani, A., Memariani, M. and Farhadian, N., 2013. Multiple hydrocarbon charging events in Kuh-e-Mond oil field, Coastal Fars: Evidence from biomarkers in oil inclusions, Geofluids13(4), 594–609.

  13. Shafiei, A. and Dusseault, M.B. 2013. Geomechanics of thermal viscous oil production in sandstones, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering103, 121–139.

  14. Ahmadi, M.A., Zendehboudi, S., Shafiei, A. and James, L. 2012. A nonionic surfactant for enhanced oil recovery from carbonates: Adsorption kinetics and equilibrium. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research51(29), 9894–9905.

  15. Zendehboudi, S., Shafiei, A., Chatzis, I. and Dusseault, M.B. 2012. Numerical simulation and experimental investigation of gravity drainage in porous media. Journal of Porous Media15(3), 211‒232.

  16. Dusseault, M.B. and Shafiei, A. 2011. Oil Sands. Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Chem. Eng., Wiley, 52 pages.

Research Interests
  1. Enhanced Oil Recovery (i.e., nano-EOR, thermal EOR)

  2. Improved Oil Recovery (i.e., Low Salinity Water flooding)

  3. Heavy Oil Recovery (all aspects)

  4. Asphaltene Precipitation Mitigation

  5. Characterization of Petroleum Reservoirs

  6. Advanced Well Logging and Formation Evaluation

  7. Petroleum Reservoir Geomechanics (i.e., pore pressure production, wellbore geomechanics, hydraulic fracturing, ground subsidence assessment)

  8. Petroleum Geoscience (interested in basin analysis, petroleum systems, and origin of petroleum, reservoir quality assessment)

  9. Application of new technologies in Exploration & Production (E&P) activities (i.e., AI, Big Data Analytics, smart oilfields)


  1. Introduction to Natural Resources Extraction

  2. Reservoir Rock Properties (Petrophysics)

  3. Well Logging and Formation Evaluation

  4. Reservoir Engineering

  5. Drilling Engineering

  6. Petroleum Geology

  7. Reservoir Characterization

  8. Formation Damage

  9. Reservoir Geomechanics

  10. Heavy Oil Resources and Recovery

  11. Research Methods for Grad Students

Dr. Nasser Madani
Assistant Professor
Brief biography

Dr. Madani received a PhD in Mining Engineering from Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at Nazarbayev University, where he teaches and conducts research on Geostatistics (linear, non-linear and multivariate), stochastic modeling of heterogeneous and homogeneous geological domains such as mineralized zones in ore deposits and facies in petroleum reservoirs integrating with geophysical attributes, mineral resource estimation, mining dilution, risk assessment for resource classification and sampling quality control. Prior to this position, Dr. Madani was an Assistant Researcher at Advanced Mining Technology Center (AMTC), Universidad de Chile, from 2013 to 2016, involving modeling and evaluation of ore bodies and afterwards, did a postdoc at Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI), Geosciences Modeling Division in Iran during 2016 and early 2017 for uncertainty quantification of facies boundaries, where there exist a complex contact relationship among the Geo-domains. He has consulted to the mining/petroleum companies and research projects in geostatistical modeling together with providing a practical knowledge for interpreting data from sampling process, experiments and industrial tests. The consultancies present some new technologies for better modeling of deposits/reservoirs, particularly in stochastic modeling of geological layouts and more valuable understanding of data quality in sampling procedure. In addition, Dr. Madani is especially interested in developing and accelerating the geostatistical algorithms via programming in mathematical scripting languages such as MATLAB. He presented several papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences and has received IAMG Research Grants linked to Mathematical Geosciences Students Awards Journal in 2014.


Recent peer-reviewed publications:


  1. Abildin, Y., Madani, N., Topal, E. (2019). “A Hybrid Approach for Joint Simulation of Geometallurgical Variables with Inequality Constraint”. Minerals 9(1), 24.
  2. Madani, N., Maleki, M., Emery, X. (2018). “Nonparametric Geostatistical Simulation of Subsurface Facies: Tools for Validating the Reproduction of, and Uncertainty in, Facies Geometry”. Natural Resources Research, DOI: In press.
  3. Madani, N., Yagiz, S., Coffi Adoko, A. (2018). “Spatial Mapping of the Rock Quality Designation Using Multi-Gaussian Kriging Method”. Minerals 8(11), 530.
  4. Madani, N., Sadeghi, B. (2018). “Capturing Hidden Geochemical Anomalies in Scarce Data by Fractal Analysis and Stochastic Modeling”. Natural Resources Research, DOI: 10.1007/s11053-018-9421-4. In press.
  5. Madani, N., Naderi, A., Biranvand, B., Keshavarz, N. (2018). “Lithofacies uncertainty modeling in a siliciclastic reservoir setting by incorporating geological contacts and seismic information”. Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology, DOI: 10.1007/s13202-018-0531-7. In press.
  6. Madani, N., Emery, X. (2018). “A comparison of search strategies to design the cokriging neighborhood for predicting coregionalized variables”. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, DOI: 10.1007/s00477-018-1578-1. In press.
  7. Eze, P.N., Madani, N., Adoko, A.C. (2018). “Multivariate Mapping of Heavy Metals Spatial Contamination in a Cu–Ni Exploration Field (Botswana) Using Turning Bands Co-simulation Algorithm”. Natural Resources Researches. Vol, 28 (1), P. 109-124. DOI: 10.1007/s11053-018-9378-3.
  8. Madani, N., Emery, X. (2017) “Plurigaussian simulation of geological domains by truncation of intrinsic random fields of order k”. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment. Vol, 31, P. 893-913.
  9. Paravarzar, Sh., Emery, X., Madani, N. (2015) Comparing sequential Gaussian and turning bands algorithms for cosimulating grades in multi-element deposits”. Comptes Rendus Geoscience.Vol. 347, P. 84–93.
  10. Madani, N., Emery, X. (2014). “Simulation of geo-domains accounting for chronology and contact relationships: application to the Río Blanco copper deposit”. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment. Vol. 29, p. 2173-2191.
  11. Sadeghi, B., Madani, N., Carranza, E.J.M. (2015). Combination of geostatistical simulation and fractal modeling for mineral resource classification, Journal of Geochemical Exploration. Vol. 149, p. 59-73.
  12. Maleki, M. Madani, N. Emery, X. (2014). Capping and kriging grades with long-tailed distributions. Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Vol. 114 (3), p. 255- 263.
  13. Asghari, O. Madani, N. (2013). A new approach for the geological risk evaluation of coal resources through a geostatistical simulation, Arabian Journal of Geosciences (Springer). Vol. 6, p. 929-943.
  14. Madani, N. Asghari, O. (2013). Fault Detection in 3-D by Sequential Gaussian Simulation of Rock Quality Designation (RQD), Case Study: Gazestan Phosphate Ore Deposit (Central Iran). Arabian Journal of Geosciences (Springer). Vol. 6, p. 3737-3747.
  15. Maleki, M., Madani, N. (2017). “Multivariate Geostatistical Analysis: an application to ore body evaluation”. Iranian Journal of Earth Sciences. Vol. 8, p. 173-184.


Recent International Conferences:

  1. Abildin, Y., Madani, N., Topal, E. (2018). “Forecast the mineral processing destinations based on spatial interpolation of geometallurgical variables”. In the proceeding of the Complex Orebodies Conference 2018. The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (eds.), Brisbane, Australia, p 2.
  2. Battalgazy, N., Madani, N. (2018). “Mineral Resource Assessment in Complex Deposits based on International Standards”. In the proceeding of the Complex Orebodies Conference 2018. The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (eds.), Brisbane, Australia, p 79.
  3. Madani, N. (2018). “3D Estimation of Variables with Complexity in Cross-Correlation Structures”. In the proceeding of the Complex Orebodies Conference 2018. The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (eds.), Brisbane, Australia, p 49.
  4. Madani, N., Emery, X. (2018). “Plurigaussian Simulation of Geological Domains in the Presence of Spatial Trends”. In the proceeding of the IAMG 2018, 19th Annual Conference of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences. Hron, K. Babek, O. Fiserova, E. van den Boogaart, R. (eds.), Olomouc, Czech Republic, p. 25.
  5. Madani, N., Emery, X. (2018). “Sequential co–simulation for resources modelling: How good is the reproduction of the joint spatial
correlation structure?
”. In the proceeding of the Geometallurgy Conference 2018, Back to the Future. The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (ed.), Cape Town, South Africa, 13 p.
  6. Madani, N., Yagiz, S., Adoko, A., Battalgazy, N. (2018). “Uncertainty quantification of rock quality designation at the Gazestan phosphate deposit”. In the proceeding of the Geometallurgy Conference 2018, Back to the Future. The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (ed.), Cape Town, South Africa, 14 p.
Research Interests
  • Geostatistics (Deterministic and Stochastic Techniques)
  • Probabilistic Modeling of Geological/Facies units
  • Ore Body Evaluation
  • Sampling, QA/AC
Dr. Muhammad Rehan Hashmet
Assistant Professor
Brief biography

Dr. Muhammad Rehan Hashmet is a Petroleum Engineering faculty member in School of Mining and Geoscience, Nazarbayev University since 2018. Prior to current position, Dr Rehan has worked as a Research and Teaching Associate in Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi for 4 years. Dr. Rehan received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Petroleum Engineering from Universiti Teknologi PERTONAS Malaysia in 2014. Dr. Rehan also holds M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan.

Dr. Rehan has over ten years of teaching experience in different universities worldwide at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has also supervised undergraduate and graduate students. The list of the courses presented by him are as follow:


  • Reservoir Engineering
  • Reservoir Fluid Properties
  • Reservoir Rock and Fluid Properties Lab and Tutorials
  • Enhanced oil Recovery
  • Petroleum Production Engineering
  • Introduction to Engineering Thermodynamics


  • Advanced Special Core Analysis

  • Shehzad Ahmed, Khaled A. Elraies, Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, Mohamad Sahban Alnarabiji “Empirical Modeling of the Viscosity of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Foam Fracturing Fluid under Different Downhole Conditions”, Energies, 11(3): 782, 2018.
  • Ali M. AlSumaiti, Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, Waleed S. AlAmeri, Evans Anto-Darkwah, “CO2 Foam Flooding in High Temperature High Salinity Carbonate Reservoirs”, Energy and Fuels, 32(2), pp 1416-1422, 2018.
  • Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, Ali M. AlSumaiti, Waleed S. AlAmeri, Yemna Qaiser, “Laboratory Investigation and Simulation Modeling of Polymer Flooding in High Temperature High Salinity Carbonate Reservoirs”, Energy and Fuels, 31(12), pp 13454-13465, 2017.
  • Shehzad Ahmed, Khaled A. Elraies, Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, Alvinda Hanamertani “Viscosity Models for Polymer Free CO2 Foam Fracturing Fluid with the Effect of Surfactant Concentration, Salinity and Shear Rate”, Energies, 10(12): 1970, 2017.
  • Shehzad Ahmed, Khaled A. Elraies, Isa M. Tan, Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, “Experimental Investigation of Associative Polymer Performance for CO2 Foam Enhanced Oil Recovery”. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 157: 971-979. 2017.
  • Shehzad Ahmed, Khaled A. Elraies, Jalal Forooozesh, Siti R. B. M. Shafian, Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, Ivy C. C. Hsia, Abdullah Almansour, "Experimental Investigation of Immiscible Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Foam Rheology for Improved Oil Recovery," Journal of Earth Science, 28(5): pp. 835-841, 2017.
  • Evans Anto-Darkwah, Muhammed Rehan Hashmet, and Ali M. Alsumaiti, “Laboratory Investigation of Static Bulk-Foam Tests in the Absence and Presence of Crude Oil”, International Journal of Chemical Engineering and Applications, Vol. 8, Issue 2, pages 112-116, 2017.
  • Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, Mustafa Onur, Isa M. Tan, “Empirical Correlations for Viscosity of Polyacrylamide Solutions with the Effects of Salinity and Hardness”, Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology, Vol. 35, Issue 4, Pages 510 – 517, Year 2014.
  • Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, Mustafa Onur, Isa M. Tan, “Empirical Correlations for Viscosity of Polyacrylamide Solutions with the Effects of Temperature and Shear Rate: II”, Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology, Vol. 35, Issue 12, Pages 1685 – 1690, Year 2014.
  • Muhammad Sagir, Isa M. Tan, Muhammad Mushtaq, Lukman Ismail, Muhammad Nadeem, Muhammad Rizwan Azam, Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, “A Novel Surfactant for the Reduction of CO2/Brine Interfacial Tension”, Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology, Vol. 35, Issue 3, Pages 463 – 470, Year 2014.
  • Muhammad Mushtaq, Isa M. Tan, Lukman Ismail, Muhammad Nadeem, Muhammad Sagir, Rizwan Azam, Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, “Influence of PZC (Point of Zero Charge) on the Static Absorbance of Anionic Surfactants on a Malaysian Sandstone”, Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology, Vol. 35, Issue 3, Pages 343 – 349, Year 2014.
  • Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, Mustafa Onur, Isa M. Tan, “Empirical Correlations for Viscosity of Polyacrylamide Solutions with the Effects of Concentration, Molecular Weight and Degree of Hydrolysis of Polymer” Journal of Applied Sciences.

    Research Interests

    During the tenure at Petroleum Institute, Dr. Rehan was involved in numerous research activities related to special core analysis and chemical enhanced oil recovery including Surfactant Polymer flooding and CO2 foam flooding for light oil, high temperature, high salinity carbonate reservoirs. Dr. Rehan has also worked as a team lead to establish state of the art EOR lab having coreflooding rig coupled with medical CT in ADNOC research and Innovation center (ADRIC), Petroleum Institute in collaboration with Statoil. In addition to this, he was also team lead to establish the SCAL lab with linear X-ray coreflooding system. All of his research focused on the designing and implementation of different IOR/EOR techniques for industrial application.

    The focus of his research comprises of Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery, CO2 Foam Flooding, Reservoir Engineering, Nonlinear Parameter Optimization and image analysis for insitu saturation monitoring.