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Research Associate Professor

Sanbai Li

  • Brief Biography
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Published Works

Basic Introduction

Sanbai Li is a Research Associate Professor of the School of Environmental Science & Engineering at SUSTech. He obtained a PhD in Mechanics from Peking University and served as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California Irvine. He has strong enthusiasm for developing novel codes/algorithms for multi-physics coupling of fractured porous media. Involved scientific problems are gas/liquid fluid driven fracture propagation, efficient development of unconventional resources (geothermal energy, tight/shale oil/gas, gas hydrate, coal-bed methane, etc.), evolution of Karst aquifers, and geological sequestration of carbon dioxide.

He is currently an Associate Editor in the Editorial Board of SPE Journal. He has published 10+ peer-review, high-impact papers in top journals, including Water Resources Research, SPE Journal, and Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. He serves as a technical reviewer for several journals, such as SPE Journal, AAPG Bulletin, SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, FUEL, etc. He was awarded as 2019 Outstanding Technical Reviewer of Society of Petroleum Engineers’ journals, including SPE Journal and SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering. He got the “President Scholarship of Peking University” in 2017.


Professional Experience

2020.7-Date:Southern University of Science & Technology, Research Associate Professor

2020.8-Date:Society of Petroleum Engineers, Associate Editor for SPE Journal

2019.7-2020.7:University of California Irvine, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

2017.7-2019.7:Northeastern University (CN), Assistant Professor

2013.7-2017.7:Peking University, Research Assistant



2013-2017:Ph.D., Mechanics (Energy and Resources Engineering), Peking University

2010-2013:M.S., Groundwater Sciences and Engineering, Beijing Normal University

2006-2010:B.S., Geological Engineering, Central South University


Awards & Honors

2019:SPE Outstanding Technical Reviewer Award - SPE Journal

2019:SPE Outstanding Technical Reviewer Award - SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering

2018:Outstanding Reviewer-Journal of Petroleum Science & Engineering

2018:Second prize of teaching Basic Skills Competition, Northeastern University (CN)

2017:Present Scholarship of Peking University

Research Interests

(1) Geomechanics and hydraulic fracturing

(2) Modeling of gas/liquid fluid driven fracture propagation

(3) Mechanisms & numerical algorithms for coupled geomechanics and fluid flow within porous media

(4) High-efficient development of unconventional resources, such as geothermal energy, shale oil/gas, gas hydrate, etc.

(5) Modeling of reactive flow through porous media

Published Works:

1First/corresponding author (* corr-auth)

1.         Li S., A. Firoozabadi*, & D. Zhang*, Hydromechanical modeling of nonplanar three-dimensional fracture propagation. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JB020115.

2.          Li S., Z., Kang, X.-T. Feng, Z., Pan, Huang, X., & Zhang, D.* Three-dimensional hydro-chemical model for dissolutional growth of fractures in karst aquifers, Water Resources Research, 2020, 56 (3): e2019WR025631.

3.         Fan H., S. Li *, X.-T. Feng, et al. A high-efficiency 3D boundary element method for estimating stress/displacement perturbation of complex fracture networks. Journal of Petroleum Science & Engineering, 2020, 187: 106815.

4.         Li S., X.-T. Feng, D. Zhang*, & H. Tang. Coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis of stimulation and production for fractured geothermal reservoirs, Applied Energy, 2019, 247: 40-59

5.         Li S. & D. Zhang*. How effective is carbon dioxide as an alternative fracturing fluid? SPE Journal, 2019. 02(24): 857-876

6.         Li S. & D. Zhang*. A fully coupled model for hydraulic fracture growth during multi-well fracturing treatments: enhancing fracture complexity. SPE Production & Operations, 2018. 33 (02): 235-250.

7.         Li S., D. Zhang * & Li, X. A new approach to the modeling of hydraulic fracturing treatments in naturally fractured reservoirs. SPE Journal, 2017, 22(04): 1064-1081.

8.         Li S., X. Li, & D. Zhang *. A fully coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical, three-dimensional model for hydraulic stimulation treatments. Journal of Natural Gas Science & Engineering, 2016, 34: 64-84.

9.         Li S., S. Wang, & H. Tang. Fracturing stimulation in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS): State of the art. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviewers, 2019. Required reviews completed (Invited review paper)

2Co-authored papers & papers in conference proceedings

10.     Tang H.*, S. Wang, R. Zhang, S. Li, Y.S. Wu, & L. Zhang. Analysis of stress interference among multiple hydraulic fractures using a fully three-dimensional displacement discontinuity method, Journal of Petroleum Science & Engineering, 2019, 179: 378-393.

11.     Tang H., S. Li, &D. Zhang*. The effect of heterogeneity on hydraulic fracturing in shale. Journal of Petroleum Science & Engineering, 2018, 162: 292-308.

12.     Li, X., D. Zhang* & S. Li. A multi-continuum multiple flow mechanism simulator for unconventional oil and gas recovery. Journal of Natural Gas Science & Engineering, 2015, 26: 652-669.

13.     Li S. & D. Zhang. A fully coupled model for hydraulic fracture growth during multi-well fracturing treatments: enhancing fracture complexity, SPE Reservoir Simulation Conference, Texas, USA, 2017. SPE-182674-MS.

14.     Li S., D. Zhang, & X. Li. A new approach to the modeling of hydraulic fracturing treatments in naturally fractured reservoirs, SPE Asia Pacific Hydraulic Fracturing Conference, Beijing, China, 2016. SPE-181828-MS.

15.     Li S., X.-T. Feng, & Z. Pan. 3D numerical analysis using a coupled geomechanics and fluid-heat flow model for heat extraction from enhanced geothermal reservoirs, ISRM 14TH International Conference of Rock Mechanics, Foz do Iguassu, Brazil, 2019.


Patents and Copyrights

16.     Zhang, D., S. Li, J. Wu, X. Sun, X. Li, and H. Qiao, CO2Frac V1.0, Software copyright: 2017SR120808, date issued: April 17, 2017

17.     Zhang, D., and S. Li, FracTHM (A coupled thermal-hydro-mechanic hydraulic fracturing simulator), Software copyright: 2016SR347861, date issued: December 1, 2016.

18.     Li, S. & D. Zhang, A numerical simulation method for single fracture propagation based on pseudo-continuum model, CN109241588A, 2018.

19.     Kang Z., J. Zhang, H. Li, Y. Zhang, and S. Li, A numerical simulation method for large-scale oil/gas reservoirs, CN104239661A, 2013.

20.     Kang, Z., D. Zhang, S. Cui, Y. Zhang, and S. Li. A numerical simulation method for water flooding in oil reservoirs based on outcrops, CN104182558A, 2013.

Kang, Z., D. Zhang, S. Cui, Y. Zhang, and S. Li. A numerical simulation method for multi-staged hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells based on unstructured grids, CN105808793A, 2016.