of Peter K. Kitanidis


CEE 101D/201D  Computations in Civil and Environmental Engineering

The objective of this course is to make students more comfortable with using computational and visualization methods in the design and analysis of engineering systems.  We focus on MATLAB 7 applications to problems that students encounter in subsequent courses and in engineering practice.  We also strive to promote a more lucid and better-organized programming style. 

The course is taught for 3 units in the autumn quarter and is mostly for undergraduates and first-year graduates.  Enrollment is usually limited.


CEE 268  Groundwater Flow

We start with the study of the fundamental physical mechanisms that control flow in porous media leading to Darcy’s law.  Then, using analytical, semi-analytical, and finite-element techniques (implemented through software package COMSOL Multiphysics,, we solve a variety of interesting and practical groundwater problems: flow to and from wells, rivers, lakes, drainage ditches; flow through and under dams; streamline trac­ing; capture zones of wells and pump-and-treat systems; and mixing schemes for in-situ remediation.  The primary objective is to give students an appreciation of unique features of flow in porous media as well as some handy tools that they can use in engineering practice.  Prerequisites: calculus and introductory fluid mechanics. 

The course is taught for 3-4 units in the winter quarter.  It is mainly attended by students in the EES and EFMH programs in Civil and Environmental Engineering, as well as students from Geological and Environmental Sciences, Geophysics, and Energy Engineering.  


CEE 362  Numerical Modeling of Subsurface Processes

This is an advanced class involving hands-on numerical simulation of interesting problems.  In the process of solving specific problems, we review key ideas in: problem formulation, PDEs and weak formulations, choice of boundary conditions, etc.  We solve using the finite-element code COMSOL Multiphysics, with a variety of solvers and pre- and post-processing of data.  Then, we engage in interpreting the results.   Problems include: flow in saturated porous media with complex boundaries and heterogeneities; solute transport with common reaction models; effects of heterogeneity on dispersion, dilution, and mixing of solutes; variable-density flow and seawater intrusion; upscaling or coarsening of scale; and biofilm modeling.

The course is taught for 3-4 units in the spring quarter.  Attendance is limited to five students who, in addition to maturity, interest, and background, must have access to a sufficiently powerful laptop.  Taught in Alternate Years.  The next time it will be taught will probably be in 2012-2013.


CEE 362G  Stochastic Inverse Modeling and Data Assimilation Methods

This is an advanced class dealing with stochastic methods for the solution of inverse problems that are algebraically underdetermined and/or have solutions that are sensitive to data. Emphasis is on geostatistical inversion methods that, in addition to using data, incorporate information about structure such as spatial continuity and smoothness. We will review linear, quasilinear (successive linearizations), and computer-intensive Monte Carlo methods.  We will also review methods for real-time processing of new data.  Students must have some background in probability theory, statistical inference, and linear algebra.  Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

The course is taught for 3-4 units in the spring quarter.  Taught in Alternate Years.  This class is scheduled to be taught again in 2011-2012.


For Times:  See Stanford University Bulletin