SIAM News Blog

June 2021 Prize Spotlight

Congratulations to the following two members of the SIAM community who will receive awards at the virtual SIAM Conference on Mathematical & Computational Issues in the Geosciences (GS21) Additional information about each recipient, including Q&As, can be found below.

Wietse M. Boon

Wietse M. Boon of KTH Royal Institute of Technology is the recipient of the 2021 SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences Early Career Prize. Boon will give a virtual talk at the SIAM Conference on Mathematical & Computational Issues in the Geosciences (GS21) on Tuesday, June 22 at 3:55 p.m. CEST. 

Boon has been awarded the prize for his novel and significant contributions to the challenging problem of mathematical and computational modeling of mixed-dimension systems, such as fractured porous media.

The SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences (SIAG/GS) awards this prize every two years to one individual in their early career in the field of geosciences for distinguished contributions to the field in the three calendar years prior to the award year.

Wietse M. Boon is currently the Dahlquist Research Fellow at the department of mathematics of KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He earned his MSc degree in Applied Mathematics from Delft University of Technology in 2014. He continued as a doctoral student in the department of mathematics at the University of Bergen, where he defended his thesis on "Conforming discretizations of mixed-dimensional partial differential equations" in 2018. Afterwards, Boon was a post-doctoral researcher with the Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems at the University of Stuttgart until the summer of 2019. 

His main interest lies in the analysis and discretization of coupled equations that arise in engineering applications in the geosciences. His research ranges from the theoretical analysis of coupled PDEs to the derivation of practical solution techniques, including stable numerical methods and robust preconditioners. 

Q: Why are you excited to receive the award of the SIAG/GS Early Career Prize?

A: I feel deeply honored to receive the SIAG/GS Early Career Prize. I am grateful for the support from my collaborators and motivated by this recognition from the scientific community. My Ph.D. advisor and mentor Jan M. Nordbotten received the first SIAG/GS Early Career Prize in 2009 and I am excited to follow in his footsteps.

Q: Could you tell us a bit about the research that won you the prize?

A: My research focuses on subsurface flow and mechanics in the presence of fractures. In such models, it becomes convenient to represent the thin fractures as embedded, two-dimensional manifolds. This leads to a set of coupled equations defined in both the three-dimensional surroundings and the lower-dimensional fracture network. The analysis and discretization of such systems, which we refer to as mixed-dimensional, forms the main topic of my research.

Q: What does your work mean to the public?

A: In order to combat the challenges formed by climate change, the subsurface can play a major role through engineering innovations such as CO2 storage and geothermal energy systems. For these applications, it is important to understand how fluid flow through porous media is affected by underground fracture networks. We aim to develop mathematical models that provide the necessary insight to enable such engineering solutions in practice.

Q: What does participation in SIAM mean to you?

A: I particularly enjoy participating in the SIAM conferences, specifically the SIAM Conference on Mathematical and Computational Issues in the Geosciences. The meetings have always been a great opportunity to explore exciting new research developments and meet the experts in the field. 

Malgorzata Peszynska

Malgorzata Peszynska of Oregon State University is the 2021 recipient of the SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences Career Prize. The prize will be awarded at the SIAM Conference on Mathematical & Computational Issues in the Geosciences (GS21) to be held in a virtual format June 21 – 24, 2021. Peszynska will give a plenary lecture on Wednesday, June 23 at 3:25 p.m.CEST. 

The prize is awarded to Peszynska for her exceptional contributions to analysis of multiphysics processes in geosciences, consistently producing mathematical and computational results of the highest quality, while supporting the community through exemplary service.

The SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences (SIAG/GS) awards this prize every two years to an outstanding senior researcher who has made broad and distinguished contributions to the field of geosciences.

Malgorzata (Malgo) Peszynska received her Ph.D. in Mathematics (1992) from University of Augsburg and MS and Habilitation from Warsaw University of Technology. She held academic positions at the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw University of Technology, Purdue University, and The University of Texas at Austin. She has been at Oregon State since 2003, as a full professor since 2012. In 2019-21 she is serving as NSF DMS rotator Program Director. She is a 2020 Honorary Fellow of the AAAS, and she served as Chair (2011-12) and as Program Director (2009-10) of the SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences and as Vice-President (2016-18) and President (2018-20) of SIAM Pacific Northwest Section. She also serves as an Associate Editor for SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis.

Q: Why are you excited to receive the award of the SIAG/GS Career Prize?

A: I am humbled by this recognition, as I stand on the shoulders of giants in the field who inspired my passion and guided and supported my steps. I share this award with a broad collection of collaborators and students, and I hope to pay forward. 

Q: Could you tell us a bit about the research that won you the prize?

A: My research is in the broadly defined applied and computational mathematics modeling of real life phenomena, with foundations in analysis and other core mathematics, and with interdisciplinary applications and collaborations in geosciences (hydrology and oceanography), engineering, and material science. My work addresses the modeling, analysis, and simulation of coupled multi-physics phenomena such as flow and mass and energy transport with multiple evolving phases in deforming domains at multiple scales from kilometer scale of reservoirs to the nanometer scale of pores. The results include those on well-posedness and numerical analysis of schemes for nonlinear models of methane hydrate, hysteresis in adsorption, non-Darcy flow, dynamic capillary pressure, and nonlocal phenomena with memory terms, as well as upscaling and simulations of coupled phenomena from pore-scale to reservoir scale.

Q: What does your work mean to the public?

A: My hope is to provide useful models, analyses and insights from simulations that can support the public’s better understanding of the world and thus help to tackle relevant scientific challenges. I believe it is important for us as applied mathematicians to construct and sustain the bridges to the physical and engineering sciences which continue to provide an inspiration and challenge to our most rigorous work.

Q: What does being a member of SIAM mean to you?

A: SIAM in its incredible scientific breadth and with its welcoming environment has been my home, and being a member of SIAM has been extremely rewarding. I am proud to have been able to give back and hope to continue.

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