Professor Christoph Arns

Professor Christoph Arns

  • Dipl. Phys., RWTH Aachen, Germany (1996)
  • PhD Petroleum Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia (2002)
Mineral and Energy Resources Engineering

I obtained my PhD degree at UNSW in Petroleum Engineering in 2002 and hold a Dipl. Phys. from RWTH Aachen. From 2001-2008 I was a research fellow at the Australian National University in the Department of Applied Mathematics. I am a pioneer in the area of Digital Rock Physics (20 years) and specialize in the area of computational pore-scale physics based on tomographic images including the integration of digital and conventional core analysis. My primary interest lies in the combination of 3D tomographic imaging technology and NMR spectral techniques for (petro-)physical applications with a particular focus on heterogeneity. This work was substantially supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through three successive ARC fellowships.

I was an integral part and founding member of a team commercialising digital core analysis through the ANU/UNSW spin-off Digital Core Pty Ltd, formed in 2009. This company merged to Lithicon and was sold in 2014 to FEI for $76m. It is now part of ThermoFisher. My main contribution is in the area of computational physics through the MPI-parallel software package morphy, which consists of a set of solvers operating on segmented tomographic images, including sophisticated NMR response modeling, electrical property calculations, permeability, elastic moduli, and morphological properties and geostatistics.

Professional I am active member of multiple societies, including Interpore where I was chair of council (2016-2019) and remain life-time member, the Society of Core Analysts (SCA), where I am Australasia Regional Director (2016-) and life-time member, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), where I am Associate Editor of Geophysics since 2017. Furthermore the Groupement Ampere (MRPM representative (2012-2018)), Society of Petrophysicists & Well Log Analysts (SPWLA), where I am currently member of the Awards Committee, and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

+61-2-9385 5658
Rm 220, Tyree Energy Technologies Building UNSW Kensington Campus
  • Journal articles | 2019
    Armstrong RT; McClure JE; Robins V; Liu Z; Arns CH; Schlüter S; Berg S, 2019, 'Porous Media Characterization Using Minkowski Functionals: Theories, Applications and Future Directions', Transport in Porous Media, vol. 130, pp. 305 - 335,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Rad ZF; Nordon RE; Anthony CJ; Bilston L; Prewett PD; Arns JY; Arns CH; Zhang L; Davies GJ, 2017, 'High-fidelity replication of thermoplastic microneedles with open microfluidic channels', Microsystems and Nanoengineering, vol. 3,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Bligh MW; D'Eurydice MN; Lloyd RR; Arns CH; Waite TD, 2016, 'Investigation of early hydration dynamics and microstructural development in ordinary Portland cement using 1H NMR relaxometry and isothermal calorimetry', Cement and Concrete Research, vol. 83, pp. 131 - 139,
  • Conference Papers | 2009
    Kumar M; Sok R; Knackstedt MA; Latham S; Senden T; Sheppard A; Varslot T; Arns CH, 2009, 'Mapping fluid distributions in 3D at the pore scale: Quantifying the influence of wettability and saturation history on rock resistivity.', in SPWLA 50th Annual Logging Symposium, Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA), Houston, pp. SSS:1 - SSS:16, presented at SPWLA 50th Annual Logging Symposium, The Woodlands, Texas, 21 June 2009 - 24 June 2009

  • 2020-2022: Arns et al., A spatio-temporal partitioning approach to colloidal flows in porous media, ARC DP200103548, $448,000.
  • 2020-2022: Bedrikovetski, Arns, et al., Multiscale physics for enhanced oil recovery, ARC LP180100890, $524,000.
  • 2019-2021: Arns & Sheppard, X-ray imaging and magnetic resonance approach for enhanced oil recovery, ARC DP190103744, $455,000.
  • 2016-2018: Arns et al., Core-scale geodynamic rock-typing of reservoir rock, ARC DP160104995, $380,000.
  • 2016-2018: Waite et al., Development of innovative cement binders with low carbon footprint, ARC LP160101153, $450,000.
  • 2015: Ramm et al., 3D cryo-FIBEM imaging facility for biological and material sciences, ARC LE150100132, $860,000.
  • 2014: Price et al., ARC LE140100009, $1,064,000.
  • 2012-2016: C.H. Arns, High-temperature high-pressure NMR cross-correlations through experiment and consistent modeling, ARC FT120100216, $757,606.
  • 2012: Arns et al., Integrated 2MHz NMR high temperature triaxial flow cell apparatus, ARC LE120100162, $150,000.
  • 2011: Johns et al., Integrated Magnetic Resonance Gas and Oil  Analyser, ARC LE110100189, $190,000.
  • 2010: Amal et al., High performance analytical tools to strengthen clean energy research, ARC LE100100128, $300,000.
  • 2008-2010: Arns et al., Reactive flow through porous media, ARC DP0881112, $613,000.
  • 2008-2010: Arns et al., Rock Physics: A study of micromechanics of rocks and granulated materials, ARC DP0881458, $265,000.
  • 2005-2008: Arns & Calllaghan, Transport properties from Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, ARC DP0558185, $297,000.
  • 2004-2006: Knackstedt et al., Assessing bone quality and health: experimental imaging, structural characterisation, and mechanical modelling of bone in 3D, ARC DP0452646, $425,000.
  • 2006: Senden et al., An advanced computed tomography facility - high capacity and high resolution for dynamic studies in porous and granular materials, ARC LE0668019, $240,000.

  • 2019 InterPore Rosette
  • 2018 Best paper, Mathematical Geosciences
  • 2017 SPWLA Distinguished Technical Achievement Award
  • 2015 Premier's Prizes for Science & Engineering: Leadership in Innovation in NSW
  • 2014 UNSW Innovator of the Year Award
  • 2014 UNSW Innovation Impact Award
  • 2012 FESAus Distinguished Technical Achievement Award 
  • 2012-2016 ARC Future Fellowship (FT120100216)
  • 2012 Australian Museum Rio Tinto Eureka Prize for Commercialisation of Innovation
  • 2012 Best of Petrophysics Paper, 2011-2012
  • 2010 UNSW Inventor of the year award (category ICT)
  • 2008-2012 ARC Fellow (ARC Discovery DP0881112)
  • 2006-2007 Distinguished Speaker, SPWLA
  • 2005-2007 ARC Postdoctoral Fellow (ARC Discovery DP0558185)
  • 2005-2006 Distinguished Speaker, SPWLA
  • 2005 Best paper, 2004 SPWLA 45th annual conference, Nordwijk

My Research Supervision

  • Hongyi Dai (PhD): Non-Archie behaviour mechanisms of reservoir rock
  • Rupeng Li (PhD): A Bayesian optimisation approach to NMR response interpretation based on digital rock physics
  • Yingzhi Cui (PhD): Multi-mineral and clay effects on NMR response interpretation by digital rock physics
  • Shitao Liu (PhD): Colloidal transport modeling at the pore scale
  • Ivan Rybin (PhD): Increasing the sensitivity of NMR experiments for enhanced oil recovery applications - a multi-scale modeling approach

My Teaching

I am teaching the following courses


PTRL3030 - Reservoir Characterisation (Course Coordinator & Lecturer)


PTRL5021 - Reservoir Characterisation (Course Coordinator & Lecturer)

PTRL5102 - Digital Core Analysis (Course Coordinator & Lecturer)