SIAM News Blog

Prize Spotlight: Kundan Kumar

Kundan Kumar
Congratulations go to Kundan Kumar of the University of Bergen, Norway! He received the 2017 SIAG/Geosciences Early Career Prize on September 14, 2017, at the SIAM Conference on Mathematical and Computational Issues in the Geosciences (GS17) held at the University of Erlangen-Nuremburg, Germany.

Kundan Kumar is an Associate Professor in the Porous Media Group in the Department of Mathematics, University of Bergen, Norway. He received his PhD in applied mathematics from Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands in 2012 and followed that with postdoctoral work at the Institute of Computational Engineering and Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. His interests are mathematical modelling and numerical methods for coupled flow, mechanics, and reactive transport processes in porous media.

The SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences recognizes Kumar for his outstanding contributions to numerical analysis and computational methods for complex flow and transport in porous media. The coupling of flow and mechanical deformations in a porous medium is commonly modelled through the Biot equations, the subject of the prize lecture he delivered at GS17, “Coupled problems in porous media with a focus on Biot.”

The SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences awards the prize biennially to an outstanding researcher in their early career for distinguished contributions to the geosciences as evidenced in a paper published in a peer-reviewed journal in the three calendar years prior to the award year.

Q: Why are you excited about winning this prize?

A: Receiving this prize is an honor and an encouragement to pursue scientific research. This is also an opportunity to thank my teachers and colleagues for their guidance and help all along.

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

A: My research deals with coupled processes in porous media. These coupled processes involve flow, reactive transport, and mechanics. The reactive transport processes include precipitation and dissolution taking place in the subsurface described by mathematical models that are not only interesting and challenging but also of societal relevance. My research has been focused on the development of mathematical models describing these processes as well as numerical methods for solving them.

Q: What does your research mean to the public?

A: Coupled processes involving flow and reactive transport in porous media are relevant for a range of applications. These include energy production, environmental and biological processes and climate science. Increased understanding of the interaction between different processes is vital. Computer simulations are increasingly applied and sometimes the main resource available to study governing mechanisms. Developing mathematical techniques and numerical algorithms that efficiently solve the underlying mathematical models is therefore of high societal relevance.

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

A: Being a SIAM member provides great access to the research and scientific professionals in Industrial and Applied Mathematics and is one of the best ways to be a part of this community. SIAM is a professional society encompassing academic, industrial, and policy-making expertise at the highest level. It has given me lots of inspiration and information when choosing research topics and learning about new developments in the field of geosciences. 
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