Low Temperature Geothermal Workshop

Thursday, November 5, 2020

8:30-11:30 AM (CDT) 


Zoom Link: https://bit.ly/3oDrCvw 

Password: 226197

Join the Illinois Geothermal Coalition for a virtual workshop. This workshop is in partnership with the University of Illinois’ Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, Facilities & Services, and the Illinois Water Resources Center.

This technical workshop brings together scientists, engineers, practitioners, decision makers, and stakeholders involved in low-temperature geothermal energy studies, developments, and policy-making. A group of 14 experts from the U of I, and national and international organizations will present on innovative research undertaken for low-temperature geothermal exchange, direct use heating and cooling, and underground thermal energy storage. The event will provide a forum for exchange of ideas on the design, development, and use of these geothermal energy technologies. The event is free, and open to the public to enable prompt and open reporting of progress. We strongly encourage attendees to participate in the panel discussion and input session that will follow the brief technical presentations.

We envision the forum as a launching pad for planning a larger geothermal research program at the U of I and developing collaborations with our national and international partners. With the expected growth in low-temperature geothermal energy systems for renewable energy portfolios that address zero-carbon goals and improve resiliency and grid independence, we are working to make U of I the leading Midwest institution for geothermal energy research. Because flowing groundwater greatly impacts the efficiency of low-temperature geothermal energy systems, and is a critical component of the water-energy nexus, we are engaged in better understanding the thermophysical and heat flow dynamics in the subsurface.


Madhu Khanna


Mohamed Attalla & Morgan White: Overview of Illinois Geothermal Projects 

Abstract: The University of Illinois is leading the way towards a carbon-free future. We are recognized as a STARS Gold institution, through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). We are also a five-year member of the US EPA’s Green Power Partnership for our use of clean power on campus. Since signing the Climate Leadership Commitments in 2008, we have reduced energy intensity by over 40% and our greenhouse gas emissions are down almost 25%.As a leader in campus sustainability efforts, Facilities & Services has worked with our world-class researchers and academic colleagues to facilitate the implementation of several geothermal projects at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. This talk will provide a broad overview of these projects and highlight a few, including geothermal projects at Allerton Park and at the Campus Instructional Facility. We will also share the long-term vision for on-campus implementation of geothermal, in collaboration with the Illinois Geothermal Coalition.

Dr. Mohamed Attalla is the executive director of Facilities & Services at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He oversees all physical plant, operational, and essential services in support of the research, teaching, and public engagement activities of the university. F&S is the largest central unit with over 1,200 professionals who are performing different building infrastructure and facilities management functions including, but not limited to, Design, Construction, Capital Planning, Space Management, Sustainability, Energy Management, Maintenance, Cleaning Services, Transportation, Central Stores, Health and Safety, Environmental Compliance, Waste Management, Financial Management, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Communication and Customer Relations. The Urbana campus includes more than 600 buildings that occupy about 25M gross square feet (GSF) and about 5,000 acres of land. Since starting on August 16, 2018, Dr. Attalla has led the unit toward more customer-focused opportunities and academic collaborations, including the creation of its first strategic plan

Dr. Attalla has served in construction and facilities roles for 33 years. He also served as an adjunct engineering professor at McMaster University, Ryerson University, and the University of Waterloo, giving him an additional platform for relating with faculty members, researchers, and students. 

Dr. Attalla is a faculty member at the Institute of Sustainability, Energy, and Environment at the University of Illinois. He also leads and participates in many research projects collaborating with researchers on campus in the areas of energy conservation, renewable energy, and building infrastructure management.  

Dr. Attalla earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in construction engineering and management from the University of Waterloo in Canada; he also completed the Executive Master of Business Administration and the Advanced Executive Management programs. 


Raised by a history professor and a city-council member, Morgan White grew up on this campus.  After attending University Laboratory High School, Morgan graduated with honors as a Chancellor’s Scholar in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  She worked at the university’s Printing Department while getting her Masters in Urban Planning.  In 2007, Morgan became the first Transportation Demand Management Coordinator for campus, with the primary responsibility for encouraging active transportation and enhancing pedestrian safety.  In 2010, Morgan was given the additional responsibilities of Sustainability Coordinator for Facilities & Services (F&S).  Today she is part of the F&S leadership team, as the F&S Associate Director for Sustainability and co-chair of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) Working Group. Morgan is the F&S liaison with the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment and the Student Sustainability Committee, as well as other campus units, students, faculty, administrators, and community members.  As the leader of F&S Sustainability, Morgan helps facilitate projects, report on progress, overcome obstacles, answer questions, prioritize projects, and address process issues.  Throughout each day, Morgan advocates for furthering the University’s sustainability goals and meeting our Climate Leadership Commitments to be carbon neutral as soon as possible and build resilience with the local community. Through her 20+ years on campus, Morgan gained a multi-faceted view of the campus structure and current operational costs and needs. 


Ryan Dougherty: The Geothermal Heat Pump Industry Landscape – 2020 and Beyond

Abstract: This presentation will provide a high-level view of the U.S. geothermal heat pump industry. Trends, challenges, and opportunities will be highlighted with a focus on federal and state policy as well as market forces at play.

Ryan Dougherty is Chief Operating Officer for the Geothermal Exchange Organization. He has extensive experience in public policy and governance, most recently serving as Deputy Director of the Illinois Healthcare and Human Services Framework. A decade in public service has helped inform his new role as an ambassador for geothermal heat pump technology, helping policymakers and energy professionals understand the technology’s potential. 



Martin Forsén: Market Transformation of the Swedish Geothermal Heat Pump Market

Abstract: The benefits of environmentally benign heating solutions such as solar heating, sophisticated heat recovery systems as well as low energy housing and geothermal heat pumps have been known for decades. How interesting these technologies might seem, very few have managed to reach any further than the stage of early adopters and enthusiasts. One exception to this is geothermal heat pumps in Sweden, where the technology is no longer just an interesting curiosity. Geothermal heat pumps have become the number one choice for homeowners. This presentation will describe the market transformation and lessons learned from the success of the development of the Swedish geothermal heat pump market. 

Martin received his Master of Science in mechanical engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm 1997. After a short time at the electric utility company Vattenfall he got back to the university as a researcher, where he stayed until he was hired as President of the Swedish Heat Pump Association 2003. After ten years at the association, Mr Forsén was recruited as Manager International Affairs for NIBE in 2013. Mr Forsén has for the last decade been an active member of the European Heat Pump Association. He has been a member of the board for several years and serves as President for the Association. 


Timothy Stark: Numerical Modeling and Validation of Geothermal Systems 

Abstract: This presentation will discuss the numerical modeling and validation for three geothermal energy applications. First, numerical modeling of a deep direct use geothermal system was conducted to estimate the heat loss during deepbrine extraction using the software package COMSOL will be discussed. Second, modeling of a forty-well group on the UIUC campus will be described, which investigates the feasibility of storing heat underground during summer and extracting heat during winter using COMSOL. The results of the numerical modeling are verified using fiber optics technology used to monitor geothermal wells. Third, an experimental investigation performed to evaluate the effect of heating-cooling cycles with a range of temperatures on the interface shear strength parameters of energy shaft-clay interface and the axial capacity of energy shafts will be discussed.

Timothy D. Stark is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an expertise in geotechnical engineering. He has been working on geothermal topics for over about ten (10) years. 




Corinna Abesser: Unlocking the Potential of Geothermal Energy in the UK– A BGS Perspective

Abstract: Geothermal energy provides a home-grown, nationally secure, low-carbon and green alternative to conventional heating and power generation. Although the potential for utilising geothermal energy in the UK has been discussed since the 1970s, when an extensive review of resources was undertaken by the British Geological Survey (BGS), there is still only one deepoperational geothermal project in the UK. However, the UKs net-zero ambition and the realisation that we need to urgently cut carbon emissions for both power generation and heating, has created momentum for geothermal research and developments in the UK, including mine water geothermal, ground source heating & cooling as well as exploration and development of deep geothermal resources.This presentation will give an overview of recent developments in geothermal energy in the UK. The specific focus will be on infrastructure developments and research undertaken by the British Geological Survey, but outlining how these fit into the wider research arena and how they will contribute to the unlocking of geothermal resources in the UK. The presentation is intended to provide a starting point for discussion about joined research interests and potential for collaboration.

Corinna Abesser is a hydrogeologist and numerical modeller at the British Geological Survey (BGS) with more than 17 years professional experience in environmental and energy-related research. She joined BGS in 2003 after earning an MSc in Hydrogeology from the Technical University Berlin (Germany) and a PhD in Hydrochemistry from the University of St Andrews (UK). Her career included research and supervisory roles on projects related to resource assessment and sustainable use, environmental impacts and policy. Since February 2018, she leads the Geothermal Energy Programme at the BGS, developing research programmes for shallow and deep geothermal energy applications. Her research interest include subsurface governance, resource characterisation and management as well as investigating permeability development and mechanisms in different geothermal plays.  


Frank Holcomb: From Energy Security to Energy and Water Resilience, an Evolutionary Process to Enhance Army Installation Readiness

Abstract: The Energy Policy Act of 2005 became the foundation for a subsequent surge of energy and sustainability policies and directives leading up to present day.  At the time, emphasis was placed on energy security (availability of uninterrupted energy supply) and energy efficiency (using less energy and reducing waste).  Subsequent legislation and executive orders (the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Executive Orders 13423, 13514, 13693, and 13834, among others) highlighting the importance of water security and water efficiency were developed and enacted. Additionally, Climate Change and the potential impacts to military missions was identified as another potential stressor to energy and water security at Army and Department of Defense (DoD) installations.  In 2019 DoD issued a report on the effects of Climate Change and cited current and future (20 years) vulnerabilities to military installations due to the following Climate-Related Events:
  • Recurrent Flooding
  • Drought
  • Desertification
  • Wildfires
  • Thawing Permafrost
With climate change and these new and increasing vulnerabilities came the solidification of the concepts of energy and water resilience.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) defines resilience in terms of an acronym – PARA.  In the context of energy and water resilience it means to Prepare (for), Absorb, Recover (from), and Adapt (to) any disruptions of energy and water, a somewhat qualitative definition.  The first such Army policy guidance to quantify installation energy and water resilience was Army Directive 2017-07, which defined the requirement for the capability to provide a minimum of 14 days of energy and water necessary to support critical missions at installations.Today, Readiness is the Army’s number one priority.  As one of the major tenets of Army Strategic Readiness, Army installations provide supporting functions to soldiers and their families, they provide services to missions such as force projection and training, and installations provide assured access to energy, water, land, and air in the quantity and quality required to support current and future missions.  This presentation will focus on the challenges (and opportunities) today for Army installations in terms of energy and water resilience, which ultimately leads to enhanced Army Readiness. 

Mr. Franklin H. Holcomb is a Senior Researcher in the Energy Branch at the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center – Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL) in Champaign, IL.  As part of the senior technical staff of the Energy Branch, Mr. Holcomb assists in identifying and cultivating new areas of energy and sustainability research to support Army and DoD requirements.  

With over 30 years of experience in leading energy and sustainability technology projects and programs, Mr. Holcomb gained worldwide recognition as a technical expert on fuel cells and U.S. Army power and energy issues.  As Chief of the Energy Branch at ERDC-CERL, he led a world-class team of scientists and engineers conducting research and development to support facility design, installation energy operations, and contingency basing energy challenges. 



End of Session 1



Xiaobing Liu:  Increase the Value of the Geothermal Heat Pump by Utilizing the Built-in Underground Thermal Storage

Abstract: This presentation introduces the recent development of integrating thermal energy storage (TES) with geothermal heat pumps (GHPs). Simulation and lab test results will be highlighted for a Dual-Purpose Underground Thermal Battery (DPUTB), which innovatively integrates a low-cost shallow borehole heat exchanger with TES using phase change materials (PCMs). The DPUTB can store thermal energy generated with a geothermal heat pump (GHP) when electricity is cheap or overproduced and it can release the stored thermal energy to heat or cool a building without running the GHP at other times during the day. It thus enables a more flexible electric load while meeting the thermal demands of a building. 

Xiaobing Liu is a staff scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He has been the Principal Investigator of many ground source heat pump (GSHP) related R&D projects at ORNL since 2009, including software tools to facilitate simulation-based design for GSHP systems, new ground heat exchanger designs, and in-depth case studies of GSHP systems. Dr. Liu served as the research chair at ASHRAE TC 6.8 (Geothermal Energy Utilization and Energy Recovery) as well as at the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association. He received the Ritter Von Rittinger Award (as a group member) from International Energy Agency in 2017, and the Distinguished Service Award of ASHRAE in 2020. 


Yun Kyu Yi: Performance of Geopolymers in Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP) System 

Abstract: Geothermal heat pumps or ground source heat pumps (GHP) are considered an essential component of clean, zero carbon footprint, and reliable renewable energy systems that can run continuously through the year with free thermal energy from the earth (ShibliMurad, 2019). Currently, there are various types of geothermal systems utilizing GHP, including closed-loop systems (shallow horizontal loops, vertical loops), open-loop systems which uses wells or deep surface bodies of water, hybrid and bidirectional thermal storage systems, and many more (U.S. DOE, 2020).  Among the variety of GHP systems, this paper is interested on the performance of a horizontal GHP system for residential building. Cost of the drilling a borehole and installing a vertical loop is relatively expensive for residential buildings and using nearby body of water, or other resources are limited to specific sites. However, horizontal GHP system is less efficient than a vertical loop because the seasonal weather conditions easily influence its overall performance (G. Florideseal. 2013) This project investigates the benefits and limitations of combining a horizontal loop system with a geopolymer composite as insulation. The geopolymer contains ceramic-like earthen materials that have relatively high thermal properties and desirable thermal stability, which will improve the performance application of the horizontal loop system. The benefits of the geopolymer system counterbalance the lower coefficient of performance of the horizontal loop system. 

Dr. Yun Kyu Yi teaches environmental architecture and sustainable technology and conducts research in the area of computational building modeling and simulation, building performance evaluation and indoor occupant’s behavior at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Previously he has lectured several universities in Korea and taught at the University of Pennsylvania. 

He is the co-founder and lead investigator of the Responsive Architecture Lab (RAL) at the Illinois School of Architecture. Where lab embrace interdisciplinary research with colleagues in engineering and computer science. The RAL is pursuing collaborative research that demonstrates and enhances the ability of architecture to incorporate and develop new technologies in pursuit of a better built environment. Currently, lab is collaborating with engineer teams to test geopolymer ground heat pump.  

He is also the founder and investigator of Envitect. Enterprise seeks to develop an application for performance-based design support that links research outcomes to the development of new processes, systems, and products. He collaborated with several architects for the international competitions. Recently, he collaborated for the completion for International Design Competition for Korean Museum of Urbanism and Architecture.   

He is a lead author or co-author of numerous scientific papers. He published more than 25 peer reviewed journals, and 20 peer reviewed conference papers. He participated on translation of a book that received Sejong Outstanding Scholarly Book Award and journal paper “Programmable Kiri-Kirigami Metamaterials,” which he co-authored highlighted on Advanced Science News.  


Trudy Kriven: Thermal Conductivities of Geopolymer Composites

Abstract: Geopolymers are an attractive alternative to conventional cements in construction applications due to their superior strength and lower CO2 emissions compared to cements. Geopolymers are inorganic polysilicatealuminate polymers or chemically bonded ceramics centered around the nominal formula M2O•Al2O3•4SiO2•11H2O where M = group I element and the amount of water is variable, depending on the particle size and specific surface area of the aluminosilicate starting material. They are refractory, inorganic polymers formed from both aluminum and silicon sources containing AlO4 and SiO4 tetrahedral units, under highly alkaline conditions (NaOH, KOH, CsOH) at ambient temperatures. Therefore, they are a rigid, hydrated, alumino-silicate solid containing group I, charge-balancing cations which result in an amorphous, cross-linked, impervious, acid-resistant, 3-D structure. Geopolymers are made like a cement but have superior properties to cements, including high temperature stability, like ceramics. Composites of geopolymers exhibit flaw tolerance and graceful failure, and so can be made to be less brittle than ceramics. To apply geopolymers to geothermal systems, the thermal properties need to be measured. However, while there is a significant body of work on the mechanical properties of geopolymer composites, there has been little study of thermal conductivity of geopolymer composites. Geopolymers, as amorphous oxides, inherently have low thermal conductivity. Therefore, we explored several thermally conductive materials, including graphite powder, alumina powder, and chopped carbon fiber, as additives to metakaolin-based geopolymers to investigate the change in thermal conductivity achievable. Graphite was the most effective additive and geopolymer-graphite composites were able to exceed the thermal conductivity of common conductive cement and bentonite grouts. Thermal conductivities of 8.5 (w/m-K) were measured in 2 inch cubes of potassium-based geopolymer reinforced with 44 vol% graphite. 

Prof Kriven completed a Ph.D. in Solid State Chemistry from the University of Adelaide in South Australia in 1976. She was a post-doctoral researcher for one year at the University of Western Ontario in Canada; three years as a researcher and Lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley; followed by four years as a research scientist in high voltage electron microscopy at the Max Planck Institute for Materials Science in Stuttgart, Germany. Her research helped to elucidate the mechanism of zirconia transformation toughening of ceramic composites. She joined the MRL and MatSE faculty at UIUC in 1984 focusing on research in: low energy synthesis of ceramic powders and structural ceramic composites;TEM;in situ high temperature (to 3,200°C) synchrotronpowder diffraction of ceramics.The synchrotron work measures in situ : (i) thermal expansion of crystalline ceramics in 3D for all {hkl} reflections; (ii) phase transformations(iii) solid state chemical reactions (iv) in situ determination of up to quaternary phase diagrams. For the past 20 years she has pioneered the understanding and use of geopolymersas a low energy, versatile and scalable way to make ceramics. Kriven has authored over 300 papers, edited or co-edited 27 conference proceedings and 6 patents. Kriven is a Fellowof the American Ceramic Society, the Australian Ceramic Society, the World Academy of Ceramics, and a member of the European Union of Science.

Tugce Baser: Thermal Response of Variably Saturated Soil-Structure Systems for Shallow Geothermal Development

Abstract: This talk focuses on understanding the key variables affecting the performance of low temperature geothermal systems installed in variably saturated soils. Multi-fidelity numerical models are employed to consider the roles of different mechanisms of heat transfer to characterize the thermo-hydro-mechanical response of a thermal energy storage system, an energy pile group, and a ground source heat pump system. These numerical models were calibrated and validated using the results from new and existing experiments to define the coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical soil properties. The results from the experiments and numerical modeling efforts are used to probe an enhanced understanding of system behavior that help geothermal community for developing design guidelines.   

Dr. Tugce Baser is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, specializing in Geotechnical Engineering. Her research interests include unsaturated soil mechanics, energy geotechnics, and sustainable geo-energy applications. Over the past seven years, Dr. Baser has been awarded honors by international institutions and invited as a keynote speaker. She received her PhD degree in Geotechnical Engineering from University of California San Diego in 2017. Dr. Baser is a member of ASCE G-I, ISSMGE, and CGS where she is actively engaged with the student, professional, and diversity development. 


Andy Stumpf: Geothermal Deep Direct Use for Agricultural Applications

Abstract: A recent feasibility study on the South Farms at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign considered using heated geothermal fluid (brine) from the deep porous and prolific Mt. Simon Sandstone (MSS) and St. Peter Sandstone (SPS) in the Illinois Basin to heat agriculture research facilities (ARF). A deep direct-use (DDU) geothermal energy system was designed that included a two-well (doublet) system extending to the base of the sandstones, 6,200 feet and 2,200 feet depths, respectively, to extract and inject the fluid. Geothermal reservoir modeling found that at least 954 m³/d (6,000 barrels/day [bbl/d] of geothermal fluid from the MSS and 1,908 m³/d (12,000 bbl/d) from the SPS having temperatures of 111–115℉ and 82°–84℉, respectively, are needed to meet the 2 MMBtu/hr thermal energy demand at the ARF. The DDU geothermal energy system was designed to be flexible and meet a range of end user requirements, while at the same time offer a degree of resilience and grid flexibility. The geothermal energy system by itself will meet 80% of the ARF heating requirements; combined with a heat pump and existing boilers and furnaces the system will provide 100% of the thermal energy demand.  
The feasibility study also addressed the major technological issues associated with DDU implementation in the ILB: (1) reduce geologic uncertainty, (2) minimize drilling risk, and (3) optimize system performance and flexibility with reliable fluid delivery. Our study also provided U of I administrators a realistic and pragmatic assessment of the financial resources necessary to add a DDU geothermal energy system to service infrastructure not directly connected to the campus heating system, like the South Farms. Furthermore, we assessed the associated environment benefits (i.e., reduced greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption). 

Dr. Andrew Stumpf is Principal Research Scientist for the Illinois State Geological Survey, in the Prairie Research Institute, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and serves as an expert in geologic mapping, geologic characterization, and geothermal energy. He has a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Geology from the University of Western Ontario, and masters and doctoral degrees in Geology from the University of New Brunswick. Dr. Stumpf has led and participated in numerous collaborative field and laboratory studies to characterize subsurface geological, geochemical, and thermal properties for geoexchange and deep direct-use geothermal systems. 


Erick Burns: Current and Planned USGS Research on Thermal Energy Storage and Low-Temperature Geothermal Energy

Abstract: Part of the mission of the USGS Energy Resources Program (ERP) is to provide energy assessment products for viable energy resources. Several factors have converged to justify expanded low-temperature and underground thermal energy storage (UTES) assessment by the USGS. In particular, there is projected need for these resources, both of which have been demonstrated to be viable, and previous USGS products can be combined to develop a range of assessment products. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2019 GeoVision report, direct-use district heating and cooling systems could grow by more than an order of magnitude by 2050 to supply more than 320 GWth of heating and cooling (equivalent to ~45 million households). A range of direct-use district heating and cooling technologies have been proven to be viable, primarily in northern Europe and China, and regional mapping will elucidate U.S. resources. USGS low-temperature and thermal storage assessments will build upon prior efforts, including: [1] methods for mapping recoverable heat from porous reservoirs (Burns and others, 2020); [2] volumetric estimates of porous reservoirs made for carbon sequestration assessments across much of the U.S. (U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Carbon Dioxide Storage Resources Assessment Team, 2013); [3] principal aquifer thickness maps and models (https://water.usgs.gov/ogw/aquifer/map.html); and [4] national brackish groundwater assessments (Stanton and others, 2017).
Burns, E.R., Bershaw, J., Williams, C.F., Wells, R., Uddenberg, M., Scanlon, D., Cladouhos, T.T., and van Houten, B., 2020, Using saline or brackish aquifers as reservoirs for thermal energy storage, with example calculations for direct-use heating in the Portland Basin, OR, USA, Geothermics, v. 88, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geothermics.2020.101877
Stanton, J.S., Anning, D.W., Brown, C.J., Moore, R.B., McGuire, V.L., Qi, S.L., Harris, A.C., Dennehy, K.F., McMahon, P.B., Degnan, J.R., and Böhlke, J.K. 2017, Brackish groundwater in the United States, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1833, 185 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1833.
U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Carbon Dioxide Storage Resources Assessment Team, 2013, National assessment of geologic carbon dioxide storage resources—Results (ver. 1.1, September 2013): U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1386, 41 p., https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1386/. (Supersedes ver. 1.0 released June 26, 2013.)

Erick Burns is a Research Hydrologist at the USGS Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center. He is co-chief of the USGS national Geothermal Resources Investigations Project. He specializes in the development of methods and tools for analysis and simulation of groundwater and heat flow in the subsurface, particularly in the volcanogenic terranes of California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. His research experience is varied, including groundwater flow and transport, geothermal energy, geostatistical methods and stochastic analysis, process thermodynamics, agricultural water pollution, and seawater intrusion. Additionally, Erick has taught hydrology and geostatistics courses. 


Yu-Feng Lin: Geothermal Research Station: Integrating Groundwater and Geothermal Resources

Abstract: The Geothermal Research Station at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was established in 2016 to initiate the pioneering development of groundwater and geothermal multidisciplinary research, and to provide a “Living Laboratory for innovative and hands-on educationTo date, several advanced research projects have been conducted using this state-of-the-art facility, which is located at the Energy Farm on campus. This presentation will provide details on these interdisciplinary research projects, as well as the capacity of Geothermal Research Station to support additional research activities. The ultimate goals of these projects are to enhance and promote water and energy security to address resilience on urban systemssustainable agricultural applications, and benefits for military installations by utilizing the groundwater resources and geothermal technologies in an integrated thermal energy system. 

Dr. Yu-Feng Forrest Lin is the Director of Illinois Water Resources Center, a Principal Research Hydrogeologist at the, Prairie Research Institute, a Clinical Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Research Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his B.S. in water resources and environmental engineering from Tamkang University in Taiwan (1993), M.S. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Connecticut (1996), and Ph.D. in geological engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison (2002). Lin is a licensed Professional Geoscientist and certified Geographic Information Systems Professional. He has been a Faculty Affiliate in the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology and in the Illinois Informatics Institute since both institutes were established. In 2006, Lin became a Faculty Fellow at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

Lin has devoted his efforts to serving professional communities. He is presently the Executive Editor for Groundwater, published by the National Ground Water Association. He became the Geological Society of America Fellow in 2018.  He also serves as a university representative to the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) funded by the NSF, and as a delegate on the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR).

Lin’s current research interests include: (1) groundwater and geothermal resources, (2) groundwater and surface water interactions, (3) fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (FO-DTS), and (4) groundwater and public health connections.

More updates on Yu-Feng’s research activities and publications are available at the Illinois State Geological Survey Website




Yu-Feng Lin

Low-Temperature Geothermal Workshop Invitation!
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