Research Team


Kathleen (Kate) Smits


Kate’s research group focuses on advancing the knowledge of shallow subsurface multiphase processes affected by heat and mass flux dynamics at the land/atmospheric interfaces at a wide range of physical scales. The basic aim of Kate’s research is to combine theoretical, numerical, and experimental approaches to address hydrological processes occurring near the earth’s surface as influenced by natural boundary conditions (e.g. humidity, temperature, radiation, wind, vegetation). The motivation of her research is to provide answers to questions of importance to many current and emerging water resources, hydrology, environmental and climate change-related problems.

Younki Cho

Postdoc, Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington


Younki’s research focuses on multiphase flow in porous media. The goal of his research is to elucidate the fundamental flow and transport behavior of subsurface fluids by theory, simulation, and experiments.

Linda Jaramillo

Shanru Tian


Ph.D., Climatology, University of Delaware
Postdoc, Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington (Present)

Shanru’s current research is to quantify methane emission from NG pipelines and understand the potential soil atmosphere processes affecting methane’s transport in the soil and exchange with the atmosphere by combining the experiments with coupled modeling techniques. He has multiple discipline education experience including maritime administration (technology) and atmosphere sciences, and two years’ entrepreneurial experience in developing weather routing systems in Beijing Zhongguancun Fengtai Science Park. His long-term research focus is on climate and energy.

Navodi Jayarathne


B.S., Civil Engineering, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka (2017)
M.Phil., University of Peradeniya Sri Lanka  (2020)
Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Southern Methodist University (Present)

Navodi’s early research career was focused on masonry mortar and Sri Lankan peat. She got her path cleared to research soil physics-based gas migrations best suiting her interest in soils during her Peradeniya period. Her current research works are focused on gas diffusivity of different soils including urban soils, agricultural soils, arctic soils (permafrost layer), and manufactured aggregated porous media with implications on infrastructure safety, greenhouse gas emissions, and terrestrial & outer space crop cultivation under different collaborations.

Jui-Hsiang (Rayson) Lo

Richie Kolodziej

Juliana Roller
Past and Present Undergraduate Students

  • Ashley Nguyenminh, Civil Engineeing, 2021
  • Anson Belcher, Civil Engineirng, 2021
  • Hilton Duong, Civil Engineering, 2020
  • Kassandra Gamez, Civil Engineering, 2020-2021
  • Balaram Luitel, Civil Engineering, 2020 – 2021
  • Nathaniel Steadman, Civil Engineering, 2018 – 2020
  • Nicole Ndegwa, Civil Engineering, 2018 – 2020
  • Parth Thapa, Civil Engineering, 2019 – 2020
If interested in participating as an undergraduate student, email for information on undergraduate funding.


Past Team Members

Jose R. Velasquez

Rosalie O’Brien

Bo Gao

Zhen Li

Bridget Ulrich

Melissa Mitton

Melissa Schwartz

Nate Steadman