Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

School of Mining & Geosciences


Prof. Ali Mortazavi
  1. Trueman R, Meyer T G H and Stockwell M. Fluid drilling system. PCT/AU96/00783 now sealed as 76869/96. In Canada 2239734, China 96198876.2, Poland 182186, Russia 98112575, South Africa 96/10255, United Kingdom 2322889 and United States of America 10/237,255, WO97/21900.
  2. Trueman R, Meyer T G H and Stockwell M. Erectable arm assembly for use in boreholes. PCT/AU98/0042 now sealed as 77509/98. In Canada 2292639, China 98805857.X, Poland P337328, Russia 2000100345, South Africa 98/4906, United Kingdom 2342373 and United States of America 09/917,612, WO98/55727.
  3. Brown E T. Block Caving Geomechanics Second Edition, The International Caving Study 1997-2004. JKMRC Monograph Series in Mining and Mineral Processing 3. The University of Queensland. Chapter 3 and 5 contributions by R Trueman.
  4. Langosch U, Thomas R and Trueman R. Recent Developments in the Understanding of Longwall Geomechanics in Deep Weak Roof Types and Shallow Strong Roof Types. Aachen International Mining Symposia Aachen, Germany, 11-12 June, 2014.
  5. Trueman R, Thomas R and Hoyer D. Understanding the Causes of Roof Control Problems on a Longwall face from Shield Monitoring Data: a Case Study. Proceedings 30th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, Morgantown, WV, USA, July 26-28, 2011.
  6. Stewart P C, Trueman R and Brunton I. Factors Influencing Overbreak in the Barkers Orebody, Kundana Gold Mine: Narrow Vein Case Study. Trans Inst Materials, Minerals and Mining and the AusIMM (Mining Technology), Volume 120, No 2, 2011, pp 80-89.
  7. Trueman R, Lyman G and Cocker A. Longwall roof control through a fundamental understanding of shield-strata interaction. J. Rock Mech and Min Sci. 46 (2009) 371-380.
  8. Trueman R, Castro R and Halim A. A study of multiple draw zone interaction in block caving mines by means of a large 3D physical model. In J. Rock Mech and Min Sci. 45 (2008) 1044-1051.
  9. Castro R, Trueman R and Halim A. A study of isolated draw zones in block caving mines by means of a large 3D physical model. J. Rock Mech and Min Sci 44 (2007) 860-870.
  10. Stewart P, Trueman R & Lyman G. The development of a benchmark stoping width for longhole narrow-vein stoping. Trans Inst Min and Metall. (Sect A: Min Industr), Vol 117 No 3, 2007, pp 128-135.
  11. Stewart P and Trueman R. Quantifying the impact of stress relaxation on excavation design. Trans Inst Min and Metall. (Sect A: Min Industr). Vol 113, No 2: A107-117, 2004.
  12. Trueman R and Mawdesley C. Predicting cave initiation and propagation. Trans Canadian Inst Min Met Vol 96, No 1071: 54-59, (2003).
  13. Trueman R, Pierce M and Wattimena R. Quantifying Stresses and Support Requirements in the Undercut and Production Level Drifts of Caving Mines. J. Rock Mech and Min Sci 39 (2002) 617-632.
  14. Mawdesley C, Trueman R and Whiten W. Extending the Mathews’ stability graph for open stope design. Trans Instn Min Metall (Sect A: Min Industr). Vol 110: A27-39, 2001.
  15. Trueman R, Mikula P, Mawdesley C and Harries N. Experience in Australia with the application of the Mathews’ method for open stope design. Trans Canadian Inst Min Met Vol 93, No 1036, January 2000.
  16. Trueman R, Coulthard M A and Poulsen B. Estimating Unsupported Spans for Highwall Mining. Rock Mechanics — Tools and Techniques. Proc of the 2nd North American Rock Mechanics Symposium: NARMS 96, Montreal, 1985-1992, 1996.
  17. Duncan Fama M E, Trueman R & Craig M S. Two and three dimensional elasto-plastic analysis for coal pillar design and its application to highwall mining. J. Rock Mech and Min Sci & Geomech Abstr, Vol. 32, No. 3, 215-225, 1995.
  18. Thin I G, Pine R J. & Trueman R. Numerical Modelling as an Aid to the Determination of Stress Distribution in Longwall Coal Mining. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. & Geomech. Abstr., Vol 30, No 7, 1403-1409, 1993.
  19. Tyler D B & Trueman R. A Probabilistic Key Block Analysis for Support Design and the Effects of Mining Induced Stress on Key Block Stability: A Case Study. Trans Inst Min Met, Section A, Jan-Apr 1993, Vol 104.
Research Interests
  • All aspects of Metalliferous and Coal Mining Rock Mechanics.
  • Ultra-Short radius drilling
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. Brosse, E., Bachaud, P., Richard, L., Michel, A., Guichet, X., Rossi, T., Blanke, R., Gaucher, E.C., Parra, T. (2017) Quantification of carbon dioxide sourced by mineral reactions in ultradeep sedimentary basins. Marine and Petroleum Geology 81, 112-133.
  2. 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 Cosmochimica Acta 154, 201-211.
  3. Richard, L., Uteyev, R., Peters, H. (2014) Thermodynamic description of organic/inorganic interactions in TSR reservoirs. Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE-172254-MS.
  4. Richard, L., Gaona, X. (2011) Thermodynamic properties of organic iodine compounds. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 75, 7304-7350.
  5. Helgeson, H.C., Richard, L., McKenzie, W.F., Norton, D.L., Schmitt, A. (2009) A chemical and thermodynamic model of oil generation in hydrocarbon source rocks. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 73, 594-695.
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.
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)
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 Univesity 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 evelopment 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 Pourafhary 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
  • Heat Transfer

Graduate Level:

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


More than 60 scientific papers were published in high ranked Petroleum Engineering Journals such as SPE Journal, JPSE, and Transport Phenomena by Dr Pourafshary. For more details on publications and conference presentations please refer to

Recent publications
  1. Hourfar, F., Salahshoor, K., Zanbouri, H., Elkamel, A., Pourafshary, P., Moshiri, B.,
  2. “A Systematic Approach for Modeling of Waterflooding Process in the Presence of Geological Uncertainties in Oil Reservoirs” Computers & Chemical Engineering, 2018, Available Online.
  3. 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, 2017, Available Online.
  4. Motamedi, P., Bargozin, H., Pourafshary, P., “Management of implementation of nanotechnology in upstream oil industry: An analytic hierarchy process analysis
  5. Authors” Journal of Energy Resources Technology, 2017, Available Online.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Barnaji MJ., Pourafshary P., Rasaie MR., “ Visual Investigation of The Effects of Clay Minerals on Enhancement of Oil Recovery by Low Salinity Water Flooding,” Fuel, 2016, 184, 826-835
  13. Hourfar F., Moshiri B., Salahshoor K., Zaare-Mehrjerdi M., Pourafshary P., “ Adaptive Modeling of Waterflooding Process in Oil Reservoirs,” Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2016, 146, 702-713
  14. Bastami, A. and Pourafshary, P., ”Development of A New Model for Carbonate Matrix Acidizing to Consider The Effects of Spent Acid,” Journal of Energy Resources Technology, 2016, 138 (5), 052905, 2016
  15. Needaa AM, Pourafshary, P., Hamoud AH., Jamil AB., “Controlling Bentonite-Based Drilling Mud Properties Using Sepiolite Nanoparticles,” Petroleum Exploration and Development. 2016, 43, 4, 717-23
  16. Al-Rujaibi, O., Al-Wahaibi, Y., Pourafshary, P., Al-Hajri, R., & Mosavat, N.,”Simulation study of wettability alteration by deep eutectic solvent injection as an EOR agent for heavy oil reservoirs”, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2016, 144, 66-75
  17. Saboorian, H., Dejam, M., Chen, Z., and Pourafshary, P.,” Comprehensive Evaluation of Fracture Parameters by Dual Laterolog Data”, Journal of Applied Geophysics, 2016, 131, 214-221
  18. Taheri Shakib, J., Kanani, V., Pourafshary, P., and Hashemipour, H., “Nano Clays as additives for controlling filtration properties of water–bentonite suspensions,” Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2016, 138, 257-264
  19. Miresmaili, O., Pourafshary,P., and Jalali, F.,” Development of a Time-dependent Economic Method with Start Time Consideration to Optimize Gas Lift Allocation and Schedule,” International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, 2016, 13, 1, 41-59
  20. Bagrezaie, M. A., Pourafshary, P., ” Screening and Optimisation of Water/Foam/Gas Injection EOR Scenarios in a Fractured Reservoir,” International Journal of Petroleum Engineering, 2016, 2, 1, 1-19
Research Interests
Production Engineering and Production Optimization, Well Stimulation, Formation Damage, Experimental Studies and Modeling of Reservoir Performance and Enhanced Oil Recovery.
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 has 25 years of experience in the energy, metals & mining, oil & gas industries. He has over 10 years’ experience in teaching/lecturing on Mine Design (underground and open mining), Mine Production Planning and Scheduling, Blasting Operations, Mine Ventilation, Mine Dewatering, Mine Geotechnics, Mine Safety, Resources Estimate, and Technological Risk Assessment Methods in Mining. He has skills using and teaching on modern mining software. Dr Sabanov leading practical workshops for visiting mine sites, working on full spectrum of a project, laboratory and field testing, estimating and calculating various mining parameters for the drill-and-blast, the mine ventilation, the mine safety, the mechanical excavation, machine specification etc.

Dr Sabanov has executed multiple projects and teaching at a time, tracking technical progress, and reporting on both to the University and to the mining company, and regulatory and technical review boards. The projects included researchers, undergraduate and graduate students, mining engineers and geologists. The work encompassed projects in mine design, operations, production planning and mining method selection for underground and open mining projects, sustainable development of mining, pollution prevention, and environmentally friendly mining technology development. Dr Sabanov industry experience enabled him to understand detailed requirements of local mining companies in mining specialists, and helped the University design applicable study programmes. Dr Sabanov was responsible for implementation of students’ theoretical knowledge to industrial practices, optimising study programmes to real life work of mining projects. Sergei helped students to reach out to mining companies to obtain practical experience in projects as part of their studies.

For the last 6 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, financial analysis, risk assessment etc. His expertise lies in strategy planning, organisation, managing and working on technical studies (International and CIS standards). He also provided project finance advisory services to investors developing projects in the metals, mining, energy and oil & gas sectors. Dr Sabanov has built a solid client base and served as a company representative on multiple concurrent commissions. He has worked with projects in Russia, Kazakhstan and the CIS, Europe and South America. Dr Sabanov is experienced in a wide range of commodities areas including oil shale, coal, gold and silver, iron ore, diamonds, zinc, bauxite, potash and rare earth elements. Also he is highly experienced in the area of sustainable mining of oil shale in Estonia and globally, including conventional (drill-and-blast, selective mining) and unconventional (in-situ retorting) mining. He has authored over 70 technical publications in peer-reviewed conferences proceedings and in Scientific Citation Index magazines mostly in the field of mining engineering and risk assessment & management.

  1. Sabanov, S. Beare M. (2015) “Open pit scheduling features to improve project economy”. 23rd International Symposium MPES 2015 Proceedings “Smart Innovations in Mining”, Volume 87, pp. 1033-1041. 9-11 of November, 2015, “The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Johannesburg, South Africa.
  2. Sabanov, S (2014) Technical Due Diligence on Oil Shale Mining Projects. In 34th Oil Shale Symposium, USA, Colorado, October 13-17, 2014. Colorado School of Mines and Colorado Energy Research 2014. pp. 34.
  3. Sabanov, S (2013) “Mine design and process optimisation with modern software” at Saint-Petersburg international conference “INNOVATION DIRECTIONS IN EXTRACTIVE ENTERPRISES DESIGN”, 16-17 of May 2013.
  4. Sabanov, S (2012) “Oil shale beneficiation considerations”. 32th Oil Shale Symposium, USA, Colorado, October 15-19, 2012. Colorado School of Mines and Colorado Energy Research Institute. 2012. pp. 31.
  5. Sabanov, S. (2011). “Sustainability assessment methods for development of oil shale deposits”. The Reading Matrix Inc. Irvine, CA, USA. Proceedings of the Twenties International Symposium on Mine Planning and Equipment Selection (MPES 2011) pp. 711 – 718. Reading Matrix Inc USA.
  6. Valgma, I.; Reinsalu, E.; Sabanov, S.; Karu, V. (2010). “Quality control of Oil Shale production in Estonian mines”. Oil Shale Magazine, 27(3), pp. 239 – 249.
  7. Sabanov, S. (2009). “Risk assessment methodology in oil shale mining”. The Reading Matrix Inc. Irvine, CA, USA. Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Symposium on Mine Planning and Equipment Selection (MPES 2009) pp. 711 – 718.
  8. Sabanov, S.; Sokman, K. (2008). Technological and environmental assessment of a combination of different mining in Estonian oil shale industry. Oil Shale Magazine, 25(2S), pp. 163 – 173.
  9. Sabanov, S.; Tohver, T.; Väli, E.; Nikitin, O.; Pastarus, J.-R. (2008). “Geological aspects of risk management in oil shale mining”. Oil Shale Magazine, 25(2S), pp.145 – 152.
  10. 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), pp. 325 – 333.
  11. Sabanov, S.; Pastarus, J.-R.; Nikitin, O. (2008). “Risk assessment of feasibility of roadheaders in Estonian underground mining”. Oil Shale Magazine, 25(2S), pp. 153 – 162.
  12. Sabanov, S. (2008). “Risk assessment methods in Estonian oil shale industry”. Oil Shale Magazine, 3, pp 387 – 389.
  13. Pastarus, J-R.; Sabanov, S.; Tohver, T. (2007). Application of the risk assessment methods of railway transport in Estonian oil shale industry. Oil Shale Magazine, 24(1), pp. 35 – 44.
  14. Pastarus, J.; Sabanov, S.; Nikitin, O. (2006). Risk assessment of blasting works in Estonian oil shale mines. In: Mine planning and equipment selection 2006: 15th International Symposium on Mine Planning and Equipment Selection, Torino, Italy, 20-22 September 2006. (Toim.) M. Cardu, R. Ciccu, E. Lovera, E. Michelotti. Italy: FIORDO S.r.l. – Galliate (NO), 2006, 1273 – 1278.
  15. Pastarus, J.R.; Sabanov, S (2005). A method for securing working mining block stability in Estonian oil shale mines. Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Engineering, 11(1), pp. 59 – 68.
Research Interests
  • Risk Assessment and Risk Management Methodologies in Mining Projects
  • Sustainability Assessment Methods for Mining Industry
  • Oil Shale In-Situ Retorting
  • Acoustic Emission Methods in Estimation of In-situ Stress for Quantifying the Damage Levels of Underground Pillars
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 with a dissertation on: “Mathematical and Statistical Investigation of Steamflooding in Naturally Fractured Carbonate Heavy Oil Reservoirs”. The focus of his PhD research project was on developing mathematical and statistical tools to predict performance of steamflooding in naturally fractured heavy oil reservoirs as one of the very challenging classes of reservoirs in terms of reservoir behavior considering the complex production mechanisms involved and the interaction between the rock matrix and the fracture network. 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 as Assistant Professor, Research Associate, Postdoctoral Fellow, and Consultant of petroleum engineering and geomechanics 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.

Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) where Dr. Shafiei spent most of his graduate and postdoctoral studies is the technology hub and home to innovation and several high tech firms in Canada. Waterloo is known as the “Silicon Valley” of Canada. The University of Waterloo is home to Velocity, one of the largest free startup incubators in the world. In harmony with the spirit of Waterloo, Dr. Shafiei found his startup company in May 2010. The company primarily offers consulting services in the upstream petroleum industry. It also offers workshops and short courses in 10+ technical topics ranging from 1 day to several days in duration to professionals working in the oil and gas industry. Until now, hundreds of professionals in over 10 different countries in 3 different continents have benefited from these training programs. In Fall 2016, the company launched its “soft skills” short courses and workshops program, a new initiative aiming at addressing need for professional training in academic matters enabling early career young scientists, graduate students, researchers, and professionals to effectively write and publish scholarly publications and prepare technical reports.

As of today, Dr. Shafiei’s professional and academic experience has resulted in over 40 refereed journal papers, vetted conference proceedings, chapters in books and monographs in petroleum geosciences and engineering and reservoir geomechanics. His Scopus h-index is currently 8. The h-index is an author level metric measuring the productivity and citation impact of the publications of a scientist. It can be found on author’s profile on Scopus (Link below) which is an abstract and citation database launched in 2004 by the Elsevier. Scopus serves as an objective system for fair evaluation and validation system of peer-reviewed journals based on both transparent and fair criteria. For a complete list of his publications, you can check out his profiles on ResearchGate or Google Scholar or Scopus. Here is a list of sample publications:
  1. 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. Energies, 11(2), 312; doi:10.3390/en11020312.
  2. Shafiei, A., Ahmadi, M.A., Dusseault, M.B., Elkamel, A., Zendehboudi, S. and Chatzis, J. 2018. Energies. Performance prediction of steamflooding fractured carbonate reservoirs. Energies, 11(2), 292; doi:10.3390/en11020292.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Fluids, 95, 525–534.
  5. Shafiei, A. and Dusseault, M.B. 2014. Geomechanics of thermal oil production from carbonate reservoirs, Journal of Porous Media, 17(4), 301–321.
  6. 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 & Design, 92 (5), 857–875.
  7. Shafiei, A., Zendehboudi, S., Dusseault, M.B. and Chatzis, I. 2013. Mathematical model for steamflooding in naturally fractured reservoirs, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 52 (23), 7993–8008.
  8. 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, Fuel, 108, 502–514.
  9. 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, Geofluids, 13(4), 594–609.
  10. Shafiei, A. and Dusseault, M.B. 2013. Geomechanics of thermal viscous oil production in sandstones, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 103, 121–139.
  11. 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 Research, 51(29), 9894–9905.
  12. 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 Media, 15(3), 211‒232.
  13. Dusseault, M.B. and Shafiei, A. 2011. Oil Sands. Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Chem. Eng., Wiley, 52 pages.
Research Interests
Owing to his interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary academic and professional background and experiences, Dr. Shafiei’s main areas of research interests includes, but not limited to, the following major areas: Petroleum Reservoir Characterization: where data and techniques from Petrophysics (i.e., full site log, NMR, image logs), Geosciences, Rock Mechanics, Structural Geology, Geophysics, and Well-Logging are utilized to understand and characterize complex petroleum reservoir systems and build models which can be used to accurately assess and optimize hydrocarbon production potential from a target reservoir and predict the performance and behavior of the reservoir with high confidence and minimal time and cost. Core analysis including both RCAL and SCAL. The image in the left is a well log and the one in the right side is a 3D model of distribution of effective porosity in a reservoir.

Petroleum Reservoir Geomechanics: which is the application of Rock Mechanics and Geoscience in the upstream E&P activities involving changes in in situ earth stresses, injection/production of hot/cold fluids, fracturing of rocks, reactivation of faults, well bore stability, drilling and earth stresses, pore pressure prediction (PPP), thermal reservoir geomechanics, caprock integrity assessment, design of hydraulic fractures, drilling at great depth and harsh environments, induced seismicity, sanding and sand control, ground subsidence due to withdrawal of fluids, genesis and properties of natural fractures, mechanics of deep solid waste disposal, and geomechanical impacts of sequestration of carbon dioxide in sedimentary basins. The image in the left side is an InSAR (Interferometric synthetic-aperture radar) satellite image of a SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) operation in Alberta, Canada, showing the surface heave above the thermal operation as result of thermal geomechanics effects. The image in the right is a schematic view of thermally induced shearing in sandstone.

Heavy Oil Recovery: Viscous oil (i.e., heavy oil, extra heavy oil, and bitumen) can be defined as all oils with in situ viscosities > 100 centi-Poise. Technologies required to exploit heavy oil differ from conventional oil production practices due to low oil mobility under reservoir conditions, chemistry of the heavy oil (i.e., larger organic molecules and higher asphaltene content), and the recovery mechanisms involved. The world endowment of Viscous Oil is estimated at 7-11 Trillion barrels. Canada is the world leader in technology development for Viscous Oil production and it is the only nation in the world that more than 50% of its oil production comes from Viscous Oil resources mainly located at the borderland between the provinces of Alberta and the Saskatchewan. Viscous Oil is currently responsible for production of 7-10 Million barrels of the total daily world oil production. This figure is expected to grow in the decades to come as the world is running out of cheap conventional oil (the decline rate of conventional oil reservoirs is about 6-8% per annum). Dr. Shafiei’s research covers various topics in heavy oil recovery and characterization of heavy oil reservoirs (i.e., reservoir characterization and appropriate production technology selection for the Karazhanbas heavy oilfield in Kazakhstan), resource estimation, reservoir characterization, developing screening criteria, investigation of recovery mechanisms, recovery techniques, reservoir simulation tools development, and technological, economic, and environmental challenges related to the Viscous Oil industry. The images in the upper row from left to right show a very simplified and schematic plan view and profile view of vertical well steamflooding in a naturally fractured heavy oil reservoir, respectively. The image in the left side of the second row shows a simple numerical model developed to simulate reservoir performance due to steamflooding via using a vertical well. The image in right side the lower row is a conceptual model for thermal geomechanics effects during thermal heavy oil recovery from naturally fractured carbonate reservoirs.

EOR/IOR: Much of the oil is left in the oil reservoirs after primary stage of production in a reservoir’s life when the reservoir is depleted and has ran out of its natural energy (i.e., compaction drive, gas cap drive, water drive) to enable flow of the hydrocarbon into the production well at desired rates. Enhanced Oil Recovery, which nowadays is used alternatively along with Improved Oil Recovery (IOR was used to describe only waterflooding and gas injection as secondary oil recovery techniques in the past), constitutes all techniques and technologies developed to encourage flow of hydrocarbons in porous media and improve the hydrocarbon recovery efficiency. Most of the giant oilfields on earth are now in their secondary or tertiary stage of production life, which requires effective and efficient EOR/IOR plans to maintain or enhance the oil production and maximize the recovery factor. Dr. Shafiei’s focus of EOR/IOR research is on investigation of various aspects of both non-thermal and thermal techniques such as waterflooding and steam processes in sandstone reservoirs (clastic), fractured carbonates, and oil sands. Application of nanomaterials in EOR approaches to improve the efficiency of oil recovery.

Petroleum Geoscience: Petroleum geoscience plays a crucial role in shaping our understanding of the many elements (aka the petroleum system) contributing to the formation of sedimentary basins, a habitat for hydrocarbons, and generation of hydrocarbons from organic matter over geologic time. A proper understanding of the petroleum system (i.e., origin, genesis, properties, migration, and entrapment of the hydrocarbons plus evolution of porosity and permeability) can led to a more realistic assessment of a potential hydrocarbon play. Petroleum Geoscience studies can help with optimum development and management of hydrocarbon reservoirs in terms of resource estimation, rock and fluid properties characterization, identifying the geological elements controlling the oilfield (geometry), reservoir quality assessment, building whole earth models (static reservoir models), reservoir description, reservoir characterization, design of optimum drilling programs, optimum field development planning, and appropriate production technology and strategy selection. Dr. Shafiei is interested in various aspects of the petroleum system, petroleum geological studies, carbonate geology, origin of oil, and thermal and burial reconstruction of sedimentary basins (Basin Analysis and Modeling), and petroleum exploration techniques.

Artificial Intelligence in E&P: Owing to the highly complex nature of the geological systems in terms of the processes involved, properties and characteristics of the rock and fluid systems, and complexity of the fluid flow in such systems, there is always a great deal of uncertainty involved in characterisation of the rock and fluid properties and prediction of performance of different mechanisms involved in hydrocarbon production. Obtaining enough and representative samples of reservoir fluids and rocks is also very challenging, costly, and time consuming. So often, at the very early stages of reservoir characterization and development, data is scarce and generation of sufficient high quality data can be expensive and time intensive. Artificial Intelligence approaches can help lower the uncertainties associated with the nature of the materials from earth where a limited time and data is available. Dr. Shafiei conducts research on application of AI techniques for process understanding, developing quick reservoir ranking tools, and AI model optimization using various mathematical methods and novel algorithms. The image shows the architecture of a three layer artificial neural network model developed to predict cumulative steam to oil ratio (CSOR) and recovery factor (RF) in a steamflood project conducted in a naturally fractured heavy oil carbonate reservoir.

Other Research Interests: In addition to the above-mentioned areas, Dr. Shafiei also conducts research on various aspects of reservoir monitoring tools development and application, leaky hydrocarbon wells (i.e., environmental impacts, policy, and enhanced approaches for well cementation and well abandonment practices), petroleum economics, E&P technology management, future of oil, emerging technologies, and energy policy.

Teaching and Courses

Dr. Shafiei is a very passionate lecturer and comes from a family of teachers. He has a great interest in developing and teaching courses, psychology of learning and teaching process, and is interested in using innovations in teaching and evaluation methods. He holds a Certificate in University Teaching, awarded by the University Of Waterloo Center for Teaching Excellence in 2013 through completion of a series of workshops on various aspects of university teaching, course development, exam design, evaluation strategies and techniques, and technical and scientific proposal writing.

He has developed and taught 10+ undergraduate and graduate courses in various topics and disciplines (not including professional training short courses or workshops for the E&P industry) in various universities in the past 17 years. In addition, he has extensive experience in developing curriculum for Petroleum Engineering, equipping labs, and program accreditation process.

Here is a partial list of courses:
  • Introduction to Petroleum Engineering
  • Reservoir Fluid Properties
  • Adv/Reservoir Rock Properties (Petrophysics)
  • Adv/Reservoir Engineering
  • Adv/Petroleum Geology
  • Adv/Well Logging and Formation Evaluation
  • Adv/Reservoir Characterization
  • Adv/Formation Damage
  • Adv/Reservoir Geomechanics
  • Adv/Petroleum Economics
  • Heavy Oil Resources and Recovery
  • Fluid Flow through Porous Media
  • Reservoir Management
  • Research Methods for Grad Students
Service Work: Dr. Shafiei is a very active member of the scientific community. He is a Member of Editorial Board for many journals. He is currently Associate Editor of the Open Petroleum Engineering Journal. Dr. Shafiei also acts as a reviewer or referee for 37 international peer-reviewed journals including several top rank journals. He peer-reviews about 30-40 manuscripts per year. His verified record of editorial and peer-review activities is available publically through Publons. He has reviewed a record number of 60 manuscripts in the past 12 month (since November 2016) placing him as the overall second top reviewer among all of the NU faculty members registered on Publons. He is also among the top 1% of all of the reviewers regardless of discipline registered on Publons (175,000 active reviewers by November 2017). Graduate Studies Opportunities: A number of graduate research projects (both MSc and PhD levels) are available which fit the background of top students from various disciplines such as, but not limited to, Petroleum Engineering, Petroleum Geoscience, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Rock Mechanics/Mining Engineering.
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.


Peer-Reviewed Journals:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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, DOI: 10.1007/s11053-018-9378-3. In press.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. Afzal, P., Madani, N., Shahbeik, Sh., Yasrebi, AB. (2015). Multi-Gaussian kriging: a practice to enhance delineation of mineralized zones by Concentration-Volume fractal model in Dardevey iron ore deposit, SE Iran. Journal of Geochemical Exploration. Vol. 158, p. 10-21.
  8. Sojdehee, M., Rasa, I., Nezafati, N., Vosoughi Abedini, M., Madani, N., Zeinedini, E. (2014). Probabilistic modeling of mineralized zones in Daralu copper deposit (SE Iran) using sequential indicator simulation. Arabian Journal of Geosciences. Arab J Geosci. Vol. 8, p. 8449–8459.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Afzal, P. Alhoseini, S. Tokhmechi, B. Kaveh, D. Yasrebi, A. Madani, N. Wetherelt, A. (2014). Outlining of high quality coking coal by Concentration-Volume fractal model and Turning Bands Simulation in East-Parvadeh Coal Deposit, Central Iran. International Journal of Coal Geology. Vol. 127, p. 88-99.
  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. Barzegari, A. Madani, N. Asghari, O. (2013). Application of sequential Gaussian simulation to quantify the surface wave magnitude uncertainty within the faulted regions, Case Study: Talgah Bridge, SW of Iran. Arabian Journal of Geosciences (Springer). Vol. 7, p. 2991-3010.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Maleki, M., Madani, N. (2017). Multivariate Geostatistical Analysis: an application to ore body evaluation. Iranian Journal of Earth Sciences. Vol. 8, p. 173-184.
  17. Paravarzar, Sh. Madani, N. Maghsoudi, A. Afzal, P. (2014) Testing the Exactitude of Estimation Methods in the Presence of Outliers: An accounting for Robust Kriging. Iranian Journal of Earth Sciences. Vol. 6, p. 24-30.

Iranian Journal (Scientific & Research):

  1. Asghari, O. Madani, N. (2011). Coal resource estimation by geological uncertainty and analysis of fault presence effect (Parvadeh III region). Iranian Journal of Environmental Geology, University of Islamshahr, Islamshahr, Iran. Vol. 15, p. 1-16.

International Conference Papers:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Battalgazy, N., Madani, N. (2018). Probabilistic Domaining of Aluminum Areas in Iron Deposits. 25th World Mining Congress, Astana, Kazakhstan (WMC 2018), 10p.
  5. Abildin, Y., Madani, N. (2018). Geostatistical Modelling of Geometallurgical Variables through Turning Bands Approach. 25th World Mining Congress, Astana, Kazakhstan (WMC 2018), 10p.
  6. Magzumov, Z., Madani, N., Aldamzharov, B. (2018). Geostatistical Modelling of Gold Grades by Co-kriging-based Approach for Preserving the Outlying Values. 25th World Mining Congress, Astana, Kazakhstan (WMC 2018), 10p.
  7. Madani, N. Ortiz, J. (2017). Geostatistical Simulation of Cross-Correlated Variables: a Case Study through Cerro Matoso Nickel-Laterite Deposit. In the proceeding of the 26th International Symposium on Mine Planning and Equipment Selection (MPES 2017). Ghodrati, B. Kumar, U. Schunnesson, H. (eds.), Luela, Sweden, 6 p.
  8. Paravarz, Sh. Maghsudi, A. Maarefvand, P. Madani, N. Afzal, P. (2014). Weighted-Probabilistic Modeling by uncertainty assessment of geological units in Zarshuran ore deposit. In the proceeding of 1st National Symposium on the Application of Mathematics in the Earth sciences. Oveisi, B. Faghih, A. (eds.), Shiraz, Iran. P 32.
  9. Paravarz, Sh. Maghsudi, A. Maarefvand, P. Madani, N. Afzal, P. (2014). Gold deposit estimation in presence of Outliers by using Robust Kriging. In the proceeding of the 32th international Conference of Geology, Geological Survey of Iran. Mohammadi, B. (ed.), Tehran, Iran, 7 p.
  10. Madani, N. Emery, X. (2013). A comparison of three approaches to calculate the variogram of regionalized data. In Proceedings of the 3th International Seminar on Geology for the Mining Industry GEOMIN 2013. Ambrus, J. Beniscelli, J. Brunner, F. Cabello, J. Ibarra, F. (eds.), Gecamin Ltda, Santiago, Chile, 7 p.
  11. Madani, N. Asghari, O. (2011). RQD exploration by Sequential Gaussian Simulation Approach in Gazestan Ore Deposit. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Association for Mathematical Geology International Association of Mathematical Geosciences (IAMG). Marschallinger, R. Zobl, F. (eds.), Salzburg, Austria, p. 190-207.

Iranian Conference Papers:

  1. Paravarzar, Sh. Madani, N. (2014). The Implementation of Multivariate Simulation in Polymetal deposit exploration. In Proceedings of the 1th National Conference on Mining Science. Mining institution of Sari. Shahriar, K. Kave, D. Afzal, P. (eds), Mazandaran, Iran, 8 p.
  2. Paravarz, Sh. Maarefvand, P. Madani, N. Maghsudi, A. Afzal, P. (2013). Geostatistical simulation of Continuous Variables by Turning Band Algorithm (Case Study: Zarshouran Ore Deposit). In Proceedings of the 1th National Conference on Exploration engineering of Underground Resources. University of Shahrood. Arab-Amiri, A. Kamkar, A. (eds), Shahrood, Iran, 6 p.
  3. Kor, H. Madani, N. Khojam, Al. (2013). Approaches of incorporate the geological and grade uncertainty models in the mineral resources evaluation. In Proceedings of the 1th National Conference on Exploration engineering of Underground Resources. University of Shahrood. Arab-Amiri, A. Kamkar, A. (eds), Shahrood, Iran, 6 p.
  4. Paravarz, Sh. Madani, N. (2013). Probabilistic facies modeling using Geostatistical simulation. In Proceedings of the 9th Iranian Student Mining Engineering Conference, University of Birjand. Javashir Giv, M. Hossein pour, M. (eds), Birjand, Iran, 11p.
  5. Madani, N. Heidari, B. (2011). Evaluation of Core Drilling Machinery by Mathematical Programming (DEA). In the proceeding of the 1th National Conference in Copper Industries, May 2011, Tehran, Iran.
  6. Madani, N. Heidari, B. (2010). Optimization of core drilling operation by Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process (FAHP). In the proceeding of THE 29th SYMPOSIUM ON GEOSCIENCES, Tehran, Iran.
  7. Madani, N. Mahvi, M. Parvaresh, A. (2009). Coal spatial distribution estimation in parvadeh III Tabas and exploration grid analysis by geostatistical simulation. In Proceedings of The 14th Symposium of Geological Society of Iran and the 28th Symposium of Earth Sciences, Geological Survey of Iran, Urmia, Iran. 10 p.
  8. Madani, N. Mahvi, M. Parvaresh, A. (2009). Drilling Pattern Design in Parvadeh III Coal Ore Body: a Comparative Study between Russian Method and Geostatistical Simulation. In the proceeding of the 2th mine, Wheel of Industry, Islamic Azad University, South Tehran branch, Tehran, Iran.
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


Dr. Rehan has published more than 20 scientific papers in high ranked Petroleum Engineering Journals and conferences. Some of them are as follow:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.