Researcher

Professor Christoph Arns

My Expertise

Digital core analysis, High-dimensional NMR inverse Laplace spectroscopy, Permeability and dispersion, contaminant migration, Electrical conductivity, resistivity index, Transport properties from NMR, Elastic properties of disordered materials, Morphological characterisation and geostatistics on tomographic images

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Multiphysics flows (incl. multiphase and reacting flows), Petroleum and reservoir engineering, Statistical mechanics, physical combinatorics and mathematical aspects of condensed matter, Surface properties of condensed matter, Complex physical systems, Petroleum and Reservoir Engineering, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Complex Physical Systems, Composite Materials

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Biography

I obtained my PhD degree at UNSW in Petroleum Engineering in 2002 and hold a Dipl. Phys. from RWTH Aachen. From 2001-2008 I was a research fellow at the Australian National University in the Department of Applied Mathematics. I am a pioneer in the area of Digital Rock Physics (20 years) and specialize in the area of computational pore-scale physics based on tomographic images including the integration of digital and conventional core analysis....view more

I obtained my PhD degree at UNSW in Petroleum Engineering in 2002 and hold a Dipl. Phys. from RWTH Aachen. From 2001-2008 I was a research fellow at the Australian National University in the Department of Applied Mathematics. I am a pioneer in the area of Digital Rock Physics (20 years) and specialize in the area of computational pore-scale physics based on tomographic images including the integration of digital and conventional core analysis. My primary interest lies in the combination of 3D tomographic imaging technology and NMR spectral techniques for (petro-)physical applications with a particular focus on heterogeneity. This work was substantially supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through three successive ARC fellowships.

I was an integral part and founding member of a team commercialising digital core analysis through the ANU/UNSW spin-off Digital Core Pty Ltd, formed in 2009. This company merged to Lithicon and was sold in 2014 to FEI for $76m. It is now part of ThermoFisher. My main contribution is in the area of computational physics through the MPI-parallel software package morphy, which consists of a set of solvers operating on segmented tomographic images, including sophisticated NMR response modeling, electrical property calculations, permeability, elastic moduli, and morphological properties and geostatistics.

Professional I am active member of multiple societies, including Interpore where I was chair of council (2016-2019) and remain life-time member, the Society of Core Analysts (SCA), where I am Australasia Regional Director (2016-) and life-time member, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), where I am Associate Editor of Geophysics since 2017. Furthermore the Groupement Ampere (MRPM representative (2012-2018)), Society of Petrophysicists & Well Log Analysts (SPWLA), where I am currently member of the Awards Committee, and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).


My Grants

  • 2020-2022: Arns et al., A spatio-temporal partitioning approach to colloidal flows in porous media, ARC DP200103548, $448,000.
  • 2020-2022: Bedrikovetski, Arns, et al., Multiscale physics for enhanced oil recovery, ARC LP180100890, $524,000.
  • 2019-2021: Arns & Sheppard, X-ray imaging and magnetic resonance approach for enhanced oil recovery, ARC DP190103744, $455,000.
  • 2016-2018: Arns et al., Core-scale geodynamic rock-typing of reservoir rock, ARC DP160104995, $380,000.
  • 2016-2018: Waite et al., Development of innovative cement binders with low carbon footprint, ARC LP160101153, $450,000.
  • 2015: Ramm et al., 3D cryo-FIBEM imaging facility for biological and material sciences, ARC LE150100132, $860,000.
  • 2014: Price et al., ARC LE140100009, $1,064,000.
  • 2012-2016: C.H. Arns, High-temperature high-pressure NMR cross-correlations through experiment and consistent modeling, ARC FT120100216, $757,606.
  • 2012: Arns et al., Integrated 2MHz NMR high temperature triaxial flow cell apparatus, ARC LE120100162, $150,000.
  • 2011: Johns et al., Integrated Magnetic Resonance Gas and Oil  Analyser, ARC LE110100189, $190,000.
  • 2010: Amal et al., High performance analytical tools to strengthen clean energy research, ARC LE100100128, $300,000.
  • 2008-2010: Arns et al., Reactive flow through porous media, ARC DP0881112, $613,000.
  • 2008-2010: Arns et al., Rock Physics: A study of micromechanics of rocks and granulated materials, ARC DP0881458, $265,000.
  • 2005-2008: Arns & Calllaghan, Transport properties from Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, ARC DP0558185, $297,000.
  • 2004-2006: Knackstedt et al., Assessing bone quality and health: experimental imaging, structural characterisation, and mechanical modelling of bone in 3D, ARC DP0452646, $425,000.
  • 2006: Senden et al., An advanced computed tomography facility - high capacity and high resolution for dynamic studies in porous and granular materials, ARC LE0668019, $240,000.

My Qualifications

  • Dipl. Phys., RWTH Aachen, Germany (1996)
  • PhD Petroleum Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia (2002)

My Awards

  • 2019 InterPore Rosette
  • 2018 Best paper, Mathematical Geosciences
  • 2017 SPWLA Distinguished Technical Achievement Award
  • 2015 Premier's Prizes for Science & Engineering: Leadership in Innovation in NSW
  • 2014 UNSW Innovator of the Year Award
  • 2014 UNSW Innovation Impact Award
  • 2012 FESAus Distinguished Technical Achievement Award 
  • 2012-2016 ARC Future Fellowship (FT120100216)
  • 2012 Australian Museum Rio Tinto Eureka Prize for Commercialisation of Innovation
  • 2012 Best of Petrophysics Paper, 2011-2012
  • 2010 UNSW Inventor of the year award (category ICT)
  • 2008-2012 ARC Fellow (ARC Discovery DP0881112)
  • 2006-2007 Distinguished Speaker, SPWLA
  • 2005-2007 ARC Postdoctoral Fellow (ARC Discovery DP0558185)
  • 2005-2006 Distinguished Speaker, SPWLA
  • 2005 Best paper, 2004 SPWLA 45th annual conference, Nordwijk

My Research Activities

High-resolution micro-CT imaging enables the calculation of (petro-)physical properties of materials utilizing known micro-structure. This is the basis of digital core analysis. Example: small section of Leopard sandstone at 2.47um resolution.

For complex physical responses, a match to experiment may pose an inverse problem. Achieving such a match offers both classical interpretation approaches, but also new methods based on the extracted intrinsic parameters constrained by imaging. Example: NMR relaxation response.

Integrating digital core analysis, which operates at the pore scale, into industry workflows at larger scales requires the mapping of pore-scale features to continuum measures – here shown for the Minkowski measures.