Birendra Jha

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Assistant Professor of Petroleum Engineering


  • 2014, Doctoral Degree, Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2010, Master's Degree, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Master's Degree, Petroleum Engineering, Stanford University


I am a geoscientist and a petroleum engineer. I received MS in Petroleum Engineering from Stanford University and SM and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT. Applications of my research are in modeling and simulation of induced seismicity, subsidence, hydraulic fracturing, groundwater remediation, enhanced oil recovery, and reservoir characterization. Prior to a career in academia, I worked in the E&P (exploration and production), oilfield services, and consulting sectors of the petroleum industry.

Research Summary

I am interested in coupled multi-physics processes of flow, transport, and mechanical deformation in porous media. I emphasize a mathematical and computational approach in studying geophysical systems to identify the dominant coupling mechanisms and expressing them in the form of reduced-order models.
My research group (GEM Lab) studies the physics and mathematics of geophysical fluid flows and rock deformation. We create theoretical and computational tools to investigate these multi-physics processes and address engineering challenges related to energy and the environment. Our work is at the intersection of petroleum engineering, geophysics, hydrogeology, and computational mechanics.


  • 2020 National Science Foundation Hydrologic Sciences
  • 2020 Society of Petroleum Engineers Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty
  • 2017 American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund
  • 2017 The Rose Hills Foundation Rose Hills Research Fellowship
  • 2014 Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT Best Doctoral Thesis Award
  • 2010 Hydrology American Geophysical Union Outstanding Student Paper Award, Fall Meeting
  • 2009 Hydrology American Geophysical Union Outstanding Student Paper Award, Fall Meeting
  • 2009 Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT Schoettler Fellowship
  • 2008 Occidental Oil and Gas Performance award for leading with an original development strategy
  • 2003 Schlumberger Top Contributor award for Knowledge-In-Action
  • Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

  • HED 306
  • Hedco Pertroleum and Chemical Engineering Building
  • 925 Bloom Walk, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 1211

Contact Information
  • (213) 740-9578


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