Areas of Expertise

Maria-Katerina Nikolinakou is currently a Research Associate at the Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, at the University of Texas at Austin. She works for the AGL and GeoFluids consortia. Maria is a Civil/Geotechnical Engineer. She received her Science Doctorate on Theoretical Soil Mechanics from MIT in 2008. She holds a M.Sc. in Geotechnical Engineering from MIT and a Civil Engineering degree from NTUA, Greece. Before joining the Jackson School, she worked for Shell Exploration and Production on Reservoir Geomechanics. Her current research topics include: - Modeling of stresses and pore pressures in sediments bounding salt bodies - Prediction of stresses and pore pressures at the crest of dipping structures - Borehole stability - Poromechanical modeling of basin sediments, including transient pore pressure dissipation - Geomechanical pore-pressure prediction - Numerical modeling in salt tectonics. Areas of Expertise: - Geotechnical Engineering - Constitutive modeling - Coupled stress-pore pressure prediction - Dipping structures - Borehole stability - Poromechanical modeling of basin sediments - Transient pore pressure dissipation - Salt Tectonics - Numerical modeling: Abaqus, ELFEN

2015 Tinker Family BEG Publication Award - BEG (2015)

First class of Future Leaders - American Rock Mechanics Association (2012)

Board Member, American Rock Mechanics Association (2015 - Present)

President, MIT Club of Austin and San Antonio (2014 - Present)

Member, MIT Educational Council of Central Texas, (2013 - Present)

Organizer, Friday Seminar Series, BEG (2013 - 2014)

Member, Organizing Committee, ARMA Rock Mechanics and Geomechanics Symposium, San Francisco, June 2013 (2012 - 2013)


Mahdi Heidari Moghadam

Graduate Students

Baiyuan Gao, Ph.D., expected 2016 (Committee Member)
Baiyuan is currently working on pore pressure prediction within dipping reservoirs. She will systematically study the effects of reservoir relief, mudstone properties, and 3D geometry on reservoir pressure. She will also develop simple approaches to predict the in-situ reservoir pressure.

Andrea Nolting (Committee Member)

Derek Sawyer, Ph.D., 2010 (Committee Member)
Jackson School of Geosciences

Modeling of Shales in Salt-Hydrocarbon systems, International Society of Rock Mechanics Congress, Montreal, Canada (2015)

Geomechanical modeling near salt systems, Geosystems Department, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (2015)

Modeling stress evolution around a rising salt dome, Houston Geomechanics, Houston, TX (2014)

Impact of salt diapir evolution on stress and pressure, SPE/AAPG/SEG Pore Pressure Workshop, San Antonio, TX (2014)

Geomechanical Modeling around a rising Salt Diapir, Earth and Planetary Sciences Department, MIT, Cambridge, MA (2014)

Geomechanical Modeling in Energy Exploration, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, RPI, Troy, NY (2013)

How does salt affect stresses and pore pressures? From simple geometries to salt-sheet advance., Cardiff University, Cardiff, U.K. (2012)

Geomechanical modeling of stresses and pore pressures in mudstones adjacent to salt bodies, 3rd Int. Geoqus Conference, Potsdam, Germany (2012)

Geology, Geotechnical Engineering and the Energy Industry, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana-Champaign, IL (2009)