Yuri Leonenko

Yuri Leonenko
Associate Professor, Geological Engineering
Location: EIT 2048
Phone: 519-888-4567 x32160


Yuri Leonenko studies how we can best capture and store CO2 into underground formations in order to limit the increasing impact of global warming. His research involves understanding the complex multi-phase flows and transport phenomena that regulate how CO2 behaves in the porous subsurface.

Professor Leonenko has a joint appointment with the Department of Geography and Environmental Management.

Research Interests

  • Complex multi-phase flows and transport phenomena
  • Geological storage of CO2 and climate control
  • Emerging technologies of petroleum and energy production
  • Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage
  • Climate Change and Geosciences

Scholarly Research

Professor Leonenko focuses on the development of Climate Control technologies with an emphasis on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). Industrial scale CO2 storage projects, now operational or in the design phase, provide strong empirical support for the view that CO2 storage can be implemented safely. Nevertheless, significant uncertainties remain regarding the security of underground storage at the scales necessary for this technology to play a significant role in managing global emissions. A critical issue for geological storage is to ensure that the stored CO2 does not escape from the underground formations. Current research interests are in the area of development of new approaches and technologies to mitigate the risks of CO2 leakage (along with other risks) to make CCS more feasible to implement. Modeling and numerical simulation of multiphase flow in porous media, fractures and faults; interactions between CO2 and reservoir fluids; novel technologies for in situ and ex situ dissolution of CO2, and risk assessments are among the topics of Professor Leonenko’s research. He has played significant role in establishing the Carbon Management Canada (CMC) Center of Excellence with $50 million of government funding. He is also actively involved in the development and promotion of Carbon Capture and Storage technologies, including the Shell Sequestration Project and the Wabamun Lake CO2 Sequestration Project (Phase-I, preliminary research). This research has led to more than $1 billion in commercial developments.


  • 1991 PhD Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics, Institute of Thermophysics, Russian Academy of Science, Novosibirsk, Russia
  • 1985 MSc Physics, Novosibirsk State University, Russia


  • 1997 European Academy Award to Young Scientists, Achievements in Investigation of Critical Phenomena
  • 1996 Russian Academy of Science Award, Research achievements in Thermophysics and Hydrodynamics


  • GHG (Green House Gas) Representative for UW Associate Membership in COSIA (Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance)

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Cross appointed with the Department of Geography and Environmental Management


  • CIVE 497 - Special Topics in Civil Engineering
    • Taught in 2019, 2020
  • EARTH 491 - Special Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences
    • Taught in 2019
  • GEOG 309 - Physical Climatology
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • SCI 201 - Global Warming and Climate Change
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Professor Leonenko has published in high ranked journals such as Chemical Engineering Journal, Energy and Fuels, Environmental Science and Technology, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Chemical Engineering Science, Chemical Engineering and Technology, and Langmuir. Recent publications include:
  • H. Firoozmand, Y. Leonenko. “An analytical approach to the technical and economical optimization of CO2 sequestration in saline aquifers with simultaneous brine production.” Journal of Cleaner Production 372, (2022): 133453.
  • S. Raad, Y. Leonenko, H. Hassanzadeh. “Hydrogen storage in saline aquifers: Opportunities and challenges.”, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 168, (2022): 112846
  • A. Yaghoubi, M. Dusseault, Y. Leonenko. “Injection-induced fault slip assessment in Montney Formation in Western Canada.” Scientific Reports -- Nature Publishing Group. 12(1), (2022): 1-12.
  • M. Mohammadi, F. Hourfar, Ali Elkamel, Yuri Leonenko. “Economic Optimization Design of CO2 Pipeline Transportation with Booster Stations”, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 58, 36, (2019): 16730–16742.
  • S. Goodarzi, A. Settari, S, Ghaderi, C. Hawkes, Y. Leonenko. “The effect of site characterization data on injection capacity and cap rock integrity modeling during carbon dioxide storage in the Nisku saline aquifer at the Wabamun Lake area, Canada”, Environmental Geosciences 27 (1), (2020): 49–65.
  • A. Joshi, S. Gangadharan and Y. Leonenko. "Modeling of pressure evolution during multiple well injection of CO2 in saline aquifers." Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering 36, (2016): 1070-1079
  • A. Cholewinski, J. Dengis, V. Malkov and Y. Leonenko. "Modeling of CO2 injection into aquifers containing dissolved H2S." Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering 36A, (2016): 1080-1086.
  • S. Ghaderi and Y. Leonenko. "Reservoir modeling for Wabamun lake sequestration project." Energy Science & Engineering 3, no. 2 (2015): 98-114.
  • S. Zendehboudi, A. Khan, S Carlisle and Y. Leonenko. “Ex-Situ Dissolution of CO2: A New Technology for Enhancement of CO2 Sequestration.” Energy and Fuels, 25(7), (2011): 3323–3333.