Cheng Chen (cchen6)

Cheng Chen

Associate Professor and Nariman Farvardin Professor

Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science

Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering

Rocco Technology Center 308


  • PhD (2008) Northwestern University (Civil Engineering)
  • MS (2005) Northwestern University (Civil Engineering )
  • BS (2003) Tsinghua University (Engineering)


Single and multiphase flow in porous and fractured media

Multiscale numerical modeling of flow and transport in geologic formations

Granular geomechanics

Data analytics and machine learning

Applications to subsurface energy, water, and environmental systems, such as oil and gas recovery, geological carbon sequestration, geological disposal of nuclear waste, subsurface environmental remediation, subsurface hydrogen storage, geothermal energy recovery, and groundwater flow

General Information

Research Website:

Consulting Service

2016 - present
ORISE Faculty Research Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy - National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL), Morgantown, WV


2021 - present
Associate Professor and Nariman Farvardin Endowed Chair Professor (tenured), Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

Associate Professor (tenured) (8/2020-8/2021), Assistant Professor (8/2015-8/2020), Graduate Program Director (8/2019-8/2021), Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Project Leader (2013-2015), Reservoir Engineer (2012-2013), Halliburton Houston Technology Center, Houston, TX

Grants, Contracts and Funds

Dr. Chen’s research has been funded by National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DoD), and American Chemical Society (ACS). Some of the current and past research projects are:

Development of full understanding of mechanical-chemical coupling in bentonite THMC processes using experimental and deep learning methods (funded by DOE)

Fundamentals of particulate amendment transport and compaction in hydraulic fractures and the application to effective remediation in low-permeability clay (funded by DoD)

Development of a machine-learning-based, scale-bridging data assimilation framework with applications to geologic carbon sequestration (funded by DOE)

The role of a heterogeneous permeability field on miscible density-driven convection in porous media and the applications to geological carbon sequestration (funded by NSF)

Fundamentals of proppant compaction and embedment in hydraulic fractures (funded by ACS)

The role of temperature on non-Darcian flow in low-permeability porous media and the applications to geological disposal of high-level nuclear waste (funded by DOE)

The influences of heterogeneous surface wettability and varying dimensionless numbers (Capillary number, viscosity ratio, contact angle, etc.) on the multiphase flow properties in geologic formations (funded by DOE)

Enhanced oil recovery in shale-oil reservoirs using cyclic CO2 huff-and-puff

Effects of streambed heterogeneity and anisotropy on hyporheic exchange

Selected Publications

Full Publication List at Google Scholar:
My Google Scholar

Selected Journal Publications (updated in September 2022):
( s denotes student and postdoc authors; * denotes corresponding authors)

Zhou, X. s, J. McClure, C. Chen*, and H. Xiao* (2022), Neural network-based pore flow field prediction in porous media using super resolution, Physical Review Fluids, 7, 074302,

Guo, R. s, L. Dalton s, D. Crandall, J. McClure, H. Wang s, Z. Li s, and C. Chen* (2022), Role of heterogeneous surface wettability on dynamic immiscible displacement, capillary pressure, and relative permeability in a CO2-water-rock system, Advances in Water Resources, 165, 104226,

Wang, H. s, L. Dalton s, M. Fan s, R. Guo s, J. McClure, D. Crandall, and C. Chen* (2022), Deep-learning-based workflow for boundary and small target segmentation in digital rock images using UNet++ and IK-EBM, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 215, 110596,

Tang, K. s, Y. Wang, J. McClure, C. Chen, P. Mostaghimi, and R. Armstrong* (2022), Generalizable framework of unpaired domain transfer and deep learning for the processing of real-time synchrotron-based X-ray microcomputed tomography images of complex structures, Physical Review Applied, 17, 034048,

Li, Z s, Q. Zhao s, Y. Teng s, M. Fan s, N. Ripepi, X. Yin, and C. Chen* (2022), Experimental Investigation of Non-monotonic Fracture Conductivity Evolution in Energy Georeservoirs, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 211, 110103,

Guo, R. s, H. Sun s, Q. Zhao s, Z. Li s, Y. Liu, and C. Chen* (2021), A Novel Experimental Study on Density-driven Instability and Convective Dissolution in Porous Media, Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2021GL095619,

Fan, M. s, Y. Han, and C. Chen* (2021), Thermal-Mechanical Modeling of a Rock/Proppant System to Investigate the Role of Shale Creep on Proppant Embedment and Fracture Conductivity, Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 54(12), 6495-6510,

Li, Z. s, Y. Teng s, M. Fan s, N. Ripepi, and C. Chen* (2021), A Novel Multi-Physics Multi-Scale Multi-Porosity Shale Transport Model for Geomechanics/Flow Coupling in Steady and Transient States, SPE Journal, 27(01), 452-464, SPE-206726-PA.

Fan, M. s, Y. Han, X. Tan s, L. Fan s, E. S. Gilliland, N. Ripepi, and C. Chen* (2021), Experimental and Numerical Characterization of Lower Huron Shale as a Heterogeneous Material, Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 54(8), 4183-4200,

Fan, M. s, J. McClure*, R. Armstrong, M. Shabaninejad s, L. E. Dalton, D. Crandall, and C. Chen (2020), Influence of Clay Wettability Alteration on Relative Permeability, Geophysical Research Letters, 47, e2020GL088545,

Guo, R. s, L. E. Dalton s, M. Fan s, J. McClure, L. Zeng, D. Crandall, and C. Chen* (2020), The Role of the Spatial Heterogeneity and Correlation Length of Surface Wettability on Two-Phase Flow in a CO2-Water-Rock System, Advances in Water Resources, 146, 103763,

Fan, M. s, Z. Li s, Y. Han, Y. Teng s, and C. Chen* (2020), Experimental and Numerical Investigations of the Role of Proppant Embedment on Fracture Conductivity in Narrow Fractures, SPE Journal, 26(01), 324-341, SPE-204222-PA.

Fan, M.s, and C. Chen* (2020), Numerical Simulation of the Migration and Deposition of Fine Particles in a Proppant-Supported Fracture, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 194, 107484,

Fan, M. s, Y. Han, M. Gu, J. McClure, N. Ripepi, E. Westman, and C. Chen* (2020), Investigation of the Conductivity of a Proppant Mixture Using an Experiment/Simulation-integrated Approach, Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 78, 103234,

Li, Z. s, N. Ripepi, and C. Chen* (2020), Using Pressure Pulse Decay Experiments and a Novel Multi-Physics Shale Transport Model to Study the Role of Klinkenberg Effect and Effective Stress on the Apparent Permeability of Shales, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 189, 107010,

Alzahid, Y.* s, H. Aborushaid, M. Asali, J. McClure, C. Chen, P. Mostaghimi, Y. Wang, C. Sun, and R.T. Armstrong (2020), Real-time synchrotron-based X-ray computed microtomography during in situ emulsification, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 195, 107885,

Chen, C.* (2019), A continuum-scale two-parameter model for non-Darcian flow in low-permeability porous media, Hydrogeology Journal, 27, 2637-2643,

Fan, M.s, L. Dalton s, J. McClure, N. Ripepi, E. Westman, D. Crandall, and C. Chen* (2019), Comprehensive Study of the Interactions between the Critical Dimensionless Numbers Associated with Multiphase Flow in 3D Porous Media, Fuel, 252, 522-533,

Fan, M.s, J. McClure, Y. Han, N. Ripepi, E. Westman, M. Gu, and C. Chen* (2019), Using an Experiment/Simulation-integrated Approach to Investigate Fracture Conductivity Evolution and Non-Darcy Flow in a Proppant-Supported Hydraulic Fracture, SPE Journal, 24(4), 1912-1928, SPE-195588-PA.

Gao, H. s, J. Zhang s, C. Liu, J. Man, C. Chen, L. Wu, and L. Zeng* (2019), Efficient Bayesian inverse modeling of water infiltration in layered soils, Vadose Zone Journal, 18:190029, doi:10.2136/vzj2019.03.0029.

Zhou, H.s, X. Yu, C. Chen, S. Lu, L. Wu, and L. Zeng* (2019), Pore-scale lattice Boltzmann modeling of solute transport in saturated biochar amended soil aggregates, Journal of Hydrology, 577, 123933,

Dong, X.s, C. Chen, and G. Cao* (2018), Improving Molecular Sensitivity in X-ray Fluorescence Molecular Imaging (XFMI) of Iodine Distribution in Mouse-Sized Phantoms via Excitation Spectrum Optimization, IEEE Access, 6, 56966-56976, DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2018.2873500.

Ju, L.s, J. Zhang, C. Chen, L. Wu, and L. Zeng* (2018), Water flux characterization through hydraulic head and temperature data assimilation: Numerical modeling and sandbox experiments, Journal of Hydrology, 558, 104-114,

Fan, M.s, J. McClure, Y. Han, Z. Li, and C. Chen* (2018), Interaction between Proppant Compaction and Single-/Multiphase Flows in a Hydraulic Fracture, SPE Journal, 23(4), 1290-1303, SPE-189985-PA.

Hamza, F.*, C. Chen, M. Gu, J. Quirein, V. Martysevich, and L. Matzar (2018), Characterization of Anisotropic Elastic Moduli and Stress for Unconventional Reservoirs using Laboratory Static and Dynamic Geomechanical Data, SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 21(2), 392-404, SPE-175907-PA.

Zhou, H. s, X Yu s, C. Chen, L. Zeng*, S. Lu, and L. Wu (2018), Evaluating Hydraulic Properties of Biochar-Amended Soil Aggregates by High-Performance Pore-Scale Simulations, Soil Science Society of America Journal, 82:1-9, doi:10.2136/sssaj2017.02.0053.

Chen, C.*, and M. Gu (2017), Investigation of cyclic CO2 huff-and-puff recovery in shale oil reservoirs using reservoir simulation and sensitivity analysis, Fuel, 188, 102-111, DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2016.10.006.

Chen, C.* (2016), Multiscale imaging, modeling, and principal component analysis of gas transport in shale reservoirs, Fuel, 182, 761-770, DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2016.06.020.

Chen, C.*, Z. Wang s, D. Majeti s, N. Vrvilo s, T. Warburton, V. Sarkar, and G. Li (2016), Optimization of lattice Boltzmann simulation with Graphics-Processing-Unit parallel computing and the application in reservoir characterization, SPE Journal, 21(4), 1425-1435, SPE-179733-PA.

Chen, C.*, and L. Zeng (2015), Using the level set method to study the effects of heterogeneity and anisotropy on hyporheic exchange, Water Resources Research, 51, 3617-3634, doi:10.1002/2014WR016444.

Chen, C.*, V. Martysevich, P. O’Connell, D. Hu, and L. Matzar (2015), Temporal evolution of the geometrical and transport properties of a fracture/proppant system under increasing effective stress, SPE Journal, 20(3), 527-535, SPE-171572-PA.

Zhang, J. s, L. Zeng*, C. Chen, D. Chen, and L. Wu (2015), Efficient Bayesian experimental design for contaminant source identification, Water Resources Research, 51, 576-598, doi:10.1002/2014WR015740.

Chen, C., M. T. Balhoff, and K. K. Mohanty* (2014), Effect of reservoir heterogeneity on primary recovery and CO2 huff ‘n’ puff recovery in shale-oil reservoirs, SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 17(3), 404-413, SPE-164553-PA.

Chen, C.*, D. Hu, D. Westacott, and D. Loveless (2013), Nanometer-scale characterization of microscopic pores in shale kerogen by image analysis and pore-scale modeling, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 14(10), 4066-4075, DOI: 10.1002/ggge.20254.

Chen, C., L. Zeng*, and L. Shi (2013), Continuum-scale convective mixing in geological CO2 sequestration in anisotropic and heterogeneous saline aquifers, Advances in Water Resources, 53, 175-187.

Shi, L.*, L. Zeng, Y. Tang, C. Chen, and J. Yang (2013), Uncertainty quantification of contaminant transport and risk assessment with conditional stochastic collocation method, Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 27: 1453-1464, DOI: 10.1007/s00477-012-0682-x.

Zhang, W., T. S. Sileika, C. Chen, Y. Liu, J. Lee, and A. I. Packman* (2011), A novel planar flow cell for studies of biofilm heterogeneity and flow-biofilm interactions, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 108: 2571-2582, DOI: 10.1002/bit.23234.

Chen, C.*, and D. Zhang (2010), Pore-scale simulation of density-driven convection in fractured porous media during geological CO2 sequestration, Water Resources Research, 46, W11527, doi:10.1029/2010WR009453.

Chen, C.*, A. I. Packman, D. Zhang, and J. Gaillard (2010), A multi-scale investigation of interfacial transport, pore fluid flow, and fine particle deposition in a sediment bed, Water Resources Research, 46, W11560, doi:10.1029/2009WR009018.

Chen, C.*, and D. Zhang (2009), Lattice Boltzmann simulation of the rise and dissolution of two-dimensional immiscible droplets, Physics of Fluids, 21, 103301, doi: 10.1063/1.3253385.

Chen, C., B. L. T. Lau, J. Gaillard, and A. I. Packman* (2009), Temporal evolution of pore geometry, fluid flow, and solute transport resulting from colloid deposition, Water Resources Research, 45, W06416, doi:10.1029/2008WR007252.

Chen, C.*, A. I. Packman, and J. F. Gaillard (2009), Using X-ray micro-tomography and pore-scale modeling to quantify sediment mixing and fluid flow in a developing streambed, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L08403, doi:10.1029/2009GL037157.

Chen, C., A. I. Packman*, and J. F. Gaillard (2008), Pore-scale analysis of permeability reduction resulting from colloid deposition, Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L07404, doi:10.1029/2007GL033077.

Gaillard, J. F.*, C. Chen, S. H. Stonedahl, B. L. T. Lau, D. T. Keane, and A. I. Packman (2007), Imaging of colloidal deposits in granular porous media by x-ray difference micro-tomography, Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L18404, doi:10.1029/2007GL030514 [Cover Article and Editor’s Highlight].

Packman, A. I.*, A. Marion, M. Zaramella, C. Chen, J. F. Gaillard, and D. T. Keane (2006), Development of layered sediment structure and its effects on pore water transport and hyporheic exchange, Water, Air, and Soil Pollution: Focus, 6: 433-442, doi: 10.1007/s11267-006-9057-y.


Courses Taught at Stevens:

CE-342: Fluid Mechanics

CE-566: Numerical Methods for Fluid Flow in Subsurface Energy Systems

CE-588: Theories for Flow and Transport in Porous Media

Courses Taught at Virginia Tech:

Numerical Methods for Fluid Flow in Petroleum Reservoirs

Flow and Transport in Porous Media

Geoenergy Engineering Fundamentals

Graduate Seminar