Research Team

 

Kathleen (Kate) Smits
ksmits@smu.edu

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.

Linda Jaramillo Urrego
ljaramillourrego@smu.edu

B.S., Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia (2015)

MSc., Advanced Mineral Resources Development, Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria and Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany (2019)

MSc., Earth Resource Developing Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, USA (2022)

Ph.D. Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Southern Methodist University (Present)

Linda’s research seeks to establish guidance that can be translated into advancements in the environmental assessment of women in ASGM based on understanding the activities women engage in, their environmental and health impacts, and the challenges they face to improve working conditions in pro of sustainable mining. She has a multidisciplinary education, including anthropological knowledge she articulates with technical issues like her previous research on supply chains in informal ASGM and mining safety.

Navodi Jayarathne
navodij@mail.smu.edu

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

Postdoctoral Researcher, Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (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
raysonlo@colostate.edu

M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan University

Ph.D. Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University (Present)

Jui-Hsiang is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University. His area of research includes multi-phase flow in porous media, numerical modeling, vadose zone hydrology, and the interaction between surface and subsurface systems. His current research focuses on building a complete and practical network for the detection, quantification, and solutions for natural gas leakage from the pipelines.

Richard S. Kolodziej IV
richiek@mail.smu.edu

B.S., Environmental Economics, Colorado State University

M.S., Environmental Engineering, Southern Methodist University (Current)

Richard Kolodziej is a M.S. student in the Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University. His area of research in the past has been focused on the movement of subsurface Natural Gas (NG) and heavy hydrocarbons migration through porous media. His current research focuses on evaluating and advancing the current state of Leak Detection and Quantification and developing solutions for below ground NG pipeline leaks.

Venkata Rao Gundapuneni
venkataraog@smu.edu

Postdoctoral Researcher, Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (Present)

Ph.D., Remote Sensing and GIS, National Institute of Technology Warangal, 2017 – 2023

M.Tech, Remote Sensing and GIS, National Institute of Technology Warangal, 2015 – 2017

B. Tech, Civil Engineering, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Anantapur, 2010 – 2014

Venkat, a researcher with cross-disciplinary training in geospatial technologies, remote sensing, climate modeling, and water resources, initially concentrated his research efforts on numerical modeling, satellite data analysis, climate change, as well as hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, including flood forecasting. Currently, his primary focus lies in quantifying methane emissions from extensive datasets and comprehending the potential impact of these emissions on climate change through various collaborations.

Aaron Chapman
ajchapman@smu.edu

B.S. Civil Engineering, Southern Methodist University (Present)

Aaron is a junior at Southern Methodist University studying civil engineering. He is interested in the research aspect of engineering and is exploring the different areas of civil engineering.

Joelle Uribe
joelleu@smu.edu

B.S., Environmental Engineering, Texas Tech University

M.S., Environmental Engineering, Texas Tech University

Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Southern Methodist University (present)

Joelle is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Southern Methodist University. Her current research focuses on building a complete and practical networks for the detection, quantification, and solutions for belowground energy infrastructure to include natural gas, hydrogen, and CO2.

Sergio Escudero Restrepo
sescuderorestrepo@smu.edu

B.S., Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia (2004)

MSc., Sustainable Mining, Polytechnical University of Madrid, Spain (2016)
Project Management Specialist, Pontifical Bolivarian University, Colombia (2012)
Ph.D. Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Southern Methodist University (Present)
Sergio is a PhD student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Southern Methodist University. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in the mining industry. His current research focuses on developing a low-cost detection unit to continuous monitoring methane and hydrogen for leak detection and quantification. Measurement-informed estimates of emissions are critical to tracking progress toward global GHG emissions reduction goals.
Past and Present Undergraduate Students

  • Eugenia Mendez, Computer Science, 2023
  • 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 ksmits@smu.edu for information on undergraduate funding.

 

Past Team Members

Jose R. Velasquez

Rosalie O’Brien

Bo Gao

Zhen Li

Bridget Ulrich

Melissa Mitton

Michelle Schwartz

Nate Steadman

Younki Cho

Shanru Tian