yongkoo seol

NETL Lead Physical Research Scientist Dr. Yongkoo Seol is pioneering our understanding of a vast, virtually untapped energy resource: methane hydrate. As research leader for NETL’s natural gas hydrate studies and fluid-rock geomechanics, Seol is conducting valuable studies in support of DOE’s National Gas Hydrate R&D Program, which has been pursuing gas hydrate production and related issues including environmental impacts. Seol’s research is focused on developing numerical simulation and prediction tools for gas production. As part of this investigation, Seol performs laboratory tests to characterize various properties of hydrate-bearing sediment from pore scale to reservoir scale; he is also developing tools that can be used in the field to characterize gas hydrate samples. As team lead, Seol has another important duty—building a geomechanics research capability for NETL that will support various projects related to NETL’s geological and environmental science research.

For Seol, it’s rewarding to see the fruits of his research being brought to bear on the nation’s energy security: “Data we collect from the lab, information from our numerical simulations, and tools we develop ultimately help to identify potential energy resources in natural gas hydrate reservoirs and determine the feasibility of producing that resource.” Outside of NETL, Seol applies his aptitude for leadership and detail to other pursuits: he manages and teaches a Korean language school in Morgantown, WV, and he plays cello.