Chris MacMinn

Chris is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford. He leads the Poromechanics Laboratory, a research team focused around the theme of flow, transport, and deformation in multiphase systems, from subsurface flows (e.g., energy resources and carbon capture and storage) to soft porous materials (e.g., the swelling of gels and tissues). We use a combination of mathematical models, numerical simulations, and high-resolution laboratory experiments to develop physical insight into complex natural and engineering systems.

Chris's background is in mechanical engineering, with a specialization in fluid mechanics from the interdisciplinary perspectives of engineering, hydrology, and applied mathematics. He earned his PhD, SM, and SB from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, where he worked with Ruben Juanes on the fluid mechanics of geological carbon dioxide sequestration. He was then a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University, where he worked with John Wettlaufer and Eric Dufresne on the deformation of porous and granular materials. His postdoc was funded by a generous fellowship from the Yale Climate & Energy Institute.


Postdoctoral Researchers


Jian Hui (James) Guan

Jian joined the group in June 2017 as a postdoctoral research assistant in experimental fluid mechanics. His current project deals with controlling viscous fingering using fluid-structure interactions. Jian's project is funded by EPSRC.

Jian undertook his PhD studies at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, during which he worked in the Smart Materials and Surfaces Laboratory supervised by Prof. Glen McHale. Jian’s PhD research project was in soft matter physics, specifically in the dynamics of liquid droplets on low-friction surfaces. He is also interested in flow and transport in microfluidic systems, particularly in capillary flows on hydrophobic, hydrophilic, and lubricant-impregnated surfaces.

DPhil Students


Lucy Auton

Lucy graduated from the Mathematical Institute at Oxford in 2014 with a first class MMath degree. She joined the group in October 2014. Her research is funded by EPSRC through a Doctoral Training Award.

Lucy’s research involves developing mathematical models for phenomena associated with hydraulic fracture ("fracking"). She is particularly interested in the interplay between flow and deformation, including plastic failure driven by injection and multiphase flow driven by swelling.


Luke Jenkins

Luke graduated from the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London in 2015 with a first class degree in Geophysics. He also spent the summer of 2014 as an exchange student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the Juanes Research Group. Luke joined the group in October 2015 and is currently working on a DPhil in Earth Sciences. His research is a collaboration with Joe Cartwright and Martino Foschi, and is funded by NERC through the Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Gas.

Luke's current research is focused on developing theoretical models for the propagation of gravity currents in layered and leaky porous media. His research is motivated by trying to understand the physics that produce the complex subsurface fluid distributions associated with, for example, geological carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrocarbon migration.


Tim Delport

Tim graduated from the University of Queensland, Australia, in November 2014 with a first class BE (Hons) in Civil and Geotechnical Engineering. He has worked in both geotechnical and mine waste engineering in the Australian resource and transport sections before joining the group in October 2017 as a General Sir John Monash Scholar.

Tim’s research is focused on the geotechnical and hydraulic principles of geothermal and oil and gas systems. His research background, however, is founded in mine waste (tailings) engineering, where he took a keen interest in investigating the dewatering of problematic clay-mineral-rich coal tailings, funded by the Australian Coal Association. His work has included the development of experimental testing suites to characterise the geotechnical and geochemical properties of mine waste solids and water, effecting tailings performance during dewatering processes including settling, filtration, coagulation, primary flocculation and secondary flocculation.

MEng Students

  • Alex Harbord: Flow through leaky networks
  • Tien (Jason) Lo: Residual trapping in carbon capture and storage
  • Jasper Syms: Swelling and drying of gels
  • Serg Zhelezniak: High-precision particle detection and localisation

Former Members & Visitors

  • Jiayu Jiang (MEng 2017): Effect of salt on the swelling of polyacrylamide hydrogels
  • Jeremy Lee (MEng 2017): The rising of bubbles through a soft granular material
  • Jianyi Tian (MEng 2017): High-precision particle tracking
  • Pallewela Liyanage Piyal Wasantha (Visiting Humbolt Research Fellow, 2016-17): Estimating the magnitude of seismicity due to injection-induced fault slip
  • José Francisco Velázquez Navarro (Academic Visitor, Fall 2016): Settling of dense intruders in soft granular suspensions (joint project with Tom Mullin)
  • Robin Le Mestre (Visiting Researcher, Summer 2016): Growth and rise of bubbles in a Hele-Shaw cell
  • Asher Carruthers (MEng 2016): Deformation of bubble rafts (co-supervised with Lars Hansen)
  • Catriona Collerton (MEng 2016): Hydraulic fracturing of brittle porous materials (co-supervised with Rob Style)
  • Hugo Manson (MEng 2016): Fluid-structure interactions during crack propagation
  • Hui Liu (MEng 2016): Hydraulic fracturing of soft, brittle solids (co-supervised with Rob Style)
  • Sebastian Wiseman (MEng 2016): Analysis of carbon capture and storage systems (co-supervised with René Bañares-Alcántara)
  • Jack Firth (MEng 2015): Large deformations in a cohesive granular material
  • Lucy Harris (MEng 2015): Residual trapping in carbon dioxide storage
  • Nicholas Jones (MEng 2015): Drop-powder interactions (co-supervised with Alfonso Castrejón-Pita)