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Dr Lincoln Paterson: understanding fluid flow in sedimentary rocks

Dr Lincoln Paterson leads research spanning carbon dioxide storage, hydrocarbon recovery and geothermal energy.

  • 24 July 2009 | Updated 14 October 2011

In this article

  1. Overview
  2. Publishing History


Page 1 of 2

Current activities

Dr Lincoln Paterson is currently CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering's Program Leader in Petroleum Engineering and Theme Leader of the Carbon Dioxide Capture and Geological Storage Theme. 

He is also the Discipline Leader for Reservoir Engineering in the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC).

Dr Paterson is a mathematical physicist whose research has focused on understanding the behaviour of fluid flow in porous media.

His research is primarily being applied to understanding geological storage of carbon dioxide, but he also has interests in hydrocarbon recovery and geothermal energy extraction.

With a theme of developing and applying better modelling techniques, he is distinguished by having successfully integrated research within the disciplines of physics, geophysics, geostatistics and petroleum reservoir engineering.

Dr Paterson is a mathematical physicist whose research has focused on understanding the behaviour of fluid flow in porous media.


After graduating Dr Paterson held postdoctoral fellowships at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Ottawa, Canada, and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, USA.

His first position in CSIRO was with the Division of Environmental Mechanics as a Postdoctoral Fellow before he joined the Division of Geomechanics in 1984. This division has evolved into the Division of Earth Science and Resource Engineering.

Since his employment with CSIRO, Dr Paterson has conducted outstanding research in reservoir characterisation, transport in porous media, carbon dioxide sequestration and stochastics.

He was the recipient of a CSIRO Fellow Award in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding leadership, creating a broad interdisciplinary and collaborative research environment and conducting world-class research.

Academic qualifications

Dr Paterson was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Physics with Honours from Monash University, Victoria, Australia, in 1978. 

He undertook a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineer Physics at the Australian National University, Australian Capital Territory, and completed his thesis, entitled 'Viscous fingering and underground hydrogen storage', in 1981.


Dr Paterson has achieved the following:

  • Awarded the CSIRO 2009 Fellow Award
  • Recognised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) as 'A Peer Apart', 2007
  • CSIRO Medal as team leader, Reservoir Characterisation Team, 2004
  • Executive Editor, SPE Journal, 2003–05
  • Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2000–present
  • Member of the Editorial Board, SPE Journal, 1999–present.
  • A sustained publication record in his field with around 1 000 citations.

Read more about Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through carbon dioxide storage.