"Max" Qinhong Hu Ph.D.

For nearly thirty years, Dr. Hu’s educational training and work experience have focused on fluid flow and chemical transport in porous and fractured media, in the intersection of the hydrosphere, geosphere, and biosphere with relevance to sustainable energy (shale gas and oil production, nuclear energy and waste disposal, and geothermal exploration), environment, and water resources management. His current research interests include the application of various innovative experimental and theoretical approaches to characterizing nano-scale pore structure, and its emergent behavior of chemical transfer in various geologic media (e.g., enhanced hydrocarbon production in unconventional reservoirs; long-term contaminant release from contaminated sediments and aquifers).

His research has produced 127 publications in peer-reviewed journals, with a current Google Scholar h-index of 27 and i10-index of 59 (total citation: 2,732 as of 1/2/2018; the highest-article citation: 178). Moreover, he has delivered 123, from a total of 205, oral presentations (45 as invited/keynote speakers) to scientific conferences and technical meetings of diverse audiences (including professional peers, project reviewers, project managers, oil and gas industry, and representatives of government agencies with 39 invited/keynote speakers). As a subject expert, he has been invited to perform a total of 264 manuscript reviews for 120 different journals on multidisciplinary topics.; Currently, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Marine and Petroleum Geology (to handle 600+ manuscripts every year), Associate Editors for four SCI journals (AAPG Bulletin, Petroleum Science,, Vadose Zone Hydrology, and Journal of Earth Science), and Editorial Board Members for Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, Pedosphere and Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. In addition, he has performed proposal reviews for NSF, DOE, U.S. Civilian Research & Development Program, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canada Foundation of Innovation, Austrian Science Fund, Belgium’s FWO, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Ministry of Education in China, ACS-PRF, and other agencies (states of Louisiana and South Carolina, ORISE, and PNNL). He has also participated in six panel reviews for NSF and EPA proposals.

Dr. Hu has been a principal investigator for a total of 50 projects at $5.2 million funding from a variety of funding agencies and companies (e.g., oil and gas industry, DOE-NETL-RPSEA, NSF, DOE-Office of Science, Sinopec, DOE-OBES, Arcadis Inc., NAGRA). He is a member of numerous professional societies (AAAS, AAPG, ACS, AEG, AGU, GS, GSA, InterPore, IPACES, SPE), and was elected to the Fellow of GSA in 2013.

Course Taught

Lower-division Undergraduate Courses:

  • Earth Systems (Physical Geology)

Upper-division Undergraduate/Graduate Courses:

  • Hydrogeology
  • Contaminant Hydrogeology
  • Tech Sessions (weekly department seminars)
  • Analytical Methods in Environmental Sciences

Graduate Courses:

  • Reservoir Characterization

Research Interest

  • Fracture-matrix interaction (solute moving between rock fracture and rock matrix)
  • Various innovative approaches in pore network characterization
  • Nano-petrophysics and shale-hydrocarbon production
  • Pore connectivity of natural rock and its effect on fluid flow and chemical diffusion
  • Coupled processes affecting production behavior of shale gas and oil
  • Micro-scale elemental profiling with laser ablation-ICP-MS
  • Permeability and diffusivity in tight rock
  • Fluid distribution and flow physics in confined nanopore spaces
  • Coupled geomechanics and fluid flow
  • Hydraulic fracturing for shale-gas development and its impact on water resources
  • Contaminant fate and transport in vadose and saturated zones
  • Coupled physical, chemical, and biological processes on reactive transport in porous media
  • Biogeochemistry of trace and redox-sensitive elements
  • Penetration & remediation of Radiological Dispersion Device particles in urban infrastructure
  • Sources and transport of radionuclides in the environment
  • Urban hydrogeology