About me

A Small Introduction

Neelarun Mukherjee

I come from Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal in India also known as a the City of Joy . I am a PhD student at the Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin. My supervisor is Prof. Bayani Cardenas. I am working on Arctic Hydrogeology for my PhD dissertation. I completed my bachelors and masters in Exploration Geophysics from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in India. My primary research interest lies in modeling transport and flows in the subsurface. How to address the growing drinking water crisis due to groundwater contamination around the world by developing robust models to explain transport phenomena in the subsurface, primarily in the vadose and the critical zones considering the effects of increasing human interference? How to overcome the hurdle to simulate the reactive transport of injected CO2 over long periods in saline aquifers considering the factors of interfacial tension, hysteric relative permeability, and dynamicchanges in salinity? These are some of the questions that motivate me to choose the field of computational hydrogeology as my primary research interest.

Other than research, I like photography, traveling and cycling. I like to travel to places and take photos of life on street. Other than that, I like to play the violin sometimes and read novels. I also like cars and F1 racing. In my undergrad years, I was a part of Formula SAE Team, TeamKART from IIT Kharagpur. Currently I enjoy watching F1 on the weekends and am a supporter of Max Verstappen from the Red Bull F1 Team.

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Professional Experience

Challenge · Creativity · Teamwork · Communication

September, 2021

Graduate Research Assistant, University of Texas at Austin

Supervisor: Dr. Bayani Cardenas

Topic: Arctic Hydrogeology

I am currently focused on the complex transport processes that take place in the thawing Arctic permafrost due to global warming and how they affect the overall water cycle in the Arctic region. Not only is this important for the water cycle, the Arctic permafrost stores a huge amount of greenhouse gases like CH4, CO2, NOx which will get released as the Earth warms up and thus, will affect the global climate. I am interested in computational modeling and understanding the complex subsurface transport physics taking place in the dynamic Arctic subsurface.

September, 2020
May, 2021

Masters' Thesis: Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Supervisor: Dr. Abhijit Mukherjee , Dr. Aditya Bandopadhyay

Topic: Effect of changes in seawater head on seawater-groundwater Interaction. [Masters' Thesis]

I modeled the seawater interaction in groundwater in coastal aquifers with the help of CFD software like COMSOL and OpenFOAM. Most of the previous studies involving seawater-groundwater interference do not consider the matrix compression and rebound in time of diurnal tidal changes in the seawater level or seasonal changes due to rainfall and dry summers. I coupled the interaction considering the matrix response and saline concentration transport and dispersion of salinity along the interaction zone and tried to find out the effects in the mixing and groundwater contamination seasonally and diurnally.

August, 2020
April, 2021

TSAI Lab, Univeristy of Alberta

Supervisor: Dr. Peichun Amy Tsai, Canada Research Chair in Fluids and Interfaces

Topic: Supercritical CO2 pushing brine in microfluidics: salt precipitation process

I programmed a code to simulate the mass-transfer and phase change across immiscible interfaces between supercritical CO2 using VOF in OpenFOAM in a T-Junction microfluidic channel to simulate CO2 injection during Carbon Capture and Sequestration. I also tested the different droplet regimes in temperature and pressure, which change much at higher pressure fluctuations. The simulations are done in 2D as well as 3D T-junctions to benchmark with the experimental data available. This gives us an idea about how the injected carbon dioxide gradually dissolves with the brine during CCS

April, 2020
July, 2020

METIS Laboratory, Sorbonne University

Supervisor: Dr. Damien Jougnot, Physical Hydrogeology Group, CNRS UMR-7619

Topic: Numerical study of Rayleigh Taylor instabilities in porous media with geoelectrics.[Report].

I programmed a coupled code in OpenFOAM to carry out the Rayleigh Taylor Instability in a porous media.I coupled that solver with another solver which calculates the effective conductivity of the media. The conductivity is computed by injecting current with a virtual pair of electrodes and measuring the potential difference between the two others. The computation is validated by comparing its outcome to known conductivities in several complex domains. The conductivity anisotropy is the ratio of the longitudinal to the transverse effective conductivities. -Effective conductivity calculation by simulating current injection through it as the instability evolves. These first results open up a range of opportunities to use electrical signals for the in-situ monitoring of CO2 sequestration in geological reservoirs.

May, 2019
July, 2019

Team DIMENV, Geosciences Rennes

Supervisor: Dr. Yves Meheust, Team DIMENV, CNRS UMR-6118

Topic: Numerical simulations and Experimental study of CO2sequestration in deep aquifers. [Report].

I designed and performed a 3D-experiment for laser scanning of gravitational instability (Rayleigh Taylor instability) of miscible fluids in a porous media to study the vaiation of onset time and mixing length in pore scale of Rayleigh Taylor Instability. I also programmed a new solver in OpenFOAM to simulate the Rayleigh Taylor Instability with dispersion for two miscible fluids in porous media in both Darcy and pore scale.

July, 2018
May, 2019

Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Supervisor: Dr. Saibal Gupta, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics

Topic: Thermal transport in connected aquifers

Determined the mixing rate considering reactive transport of some specific elements responsible asradiogenic heat source in connected aquifers. Modeled the thermal transport of chemical species in porous media in COMSOL to estimate the average time required for mixing in porous media.


Always Stay Fool and Keep Learning

August, 2021

Ph.D. Student

Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin

Major in Hydrogeology,

July, 2016
May, 2021

5-Yr Integrated Bachelors and Masters

Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Major in Exploration Geophysics, GPA: 8.46/10.0 (Class-rank: 3)
Micro-Specialization in Micro-fluidics and Nano-patterning


Higher Secondary

Nava Nalanda High School, Kolkata

Those twelve years is the most awesome period of time in my student life. Learnt my basics, got interested in mathematics and physics which brought me to what I am pursuing today. Made some great friends with I am still in contact with. Learnt from some great teachers. Thanks to all of you, very very much!

Get In Touch

#3.102 B, EP Schoch Building, University of Texas at Austin

neelarun@utexas.edu / neelarunm@gmail.com

(+1) (737)-733-1803