Hello! My name is Benzhong (Robin) Zhao. I am a scientist and engineer studying the physics of flow in porous media. I am passionate about combating the rapidly-accelerating global climate change, which is caused in large part by anthropogenic carbon emissions. The goal of my research is to aid the development of practical, impactful technologies capable of significantly reducing the carbon emissions of our energy systems.

I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Thermofluids for Energy and Advanced Materials Lab at the University of Toronto. The focus of my work now is to develop more efficient electrochemical devices for renewable energy storage. Previously, I obtained my PhD in civil and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I worked in the Juanes Research Group. There, I studied the fluid dynamics of geologic carbon dioxide sequestration. You can learn more about my work in the papers listed below.


C. Lee, R. Banerjee, N. Ge, J. K. Lee, B. Zhao, E. Baltic, J. M. LaManna, D. S. Hussey, D. L. Jacobson, R. Abouatallah, R. Wang, and A. Bazylak. The effect of cathode nitrogen purging on cell performance and in operando neutron imaging of a polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzer. Electrochimica Acta, 279: 91–98, 2018. doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2018.05.066 (pdf).

B. Zhao, A. A. Pahlavan, L. Cueto-Felgueroso, and R. Juanes. Forced wetting transition and bubble pinch-off in a capillary tube. Physical Review Letters, 120:084501, 2018. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.084501 (pdf).

B. Zhao, C. W. MacMinn, and R. Juanes. Wettability control on multiphase flow in patterned microfluidic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(37):10251–10256, 2016. doi:10.1073/pnas.1603387113 (pdf, video).

B. Zhao, C. W. MacMinn, and R. Juanes. Residual trapping, solubility trapping and capillary pinning complement each other to limit CO2 migration in deep saline aquifers. Energy Procedia, 3833-3839, 2014. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.412 (pdf).

B. Zhao, C. W. MacMinn, H. E. Huppert, and R. Juanes. Capillary pinning and blunting of immiscible gravity currents in porous media. Water Resources Research, 50(9):7067-7081, 2014.
doi:10.1002/2014WR015335 (pdf, video).

B. Zhao, C. W. MacMinn, M. L. Szulczewski, J. A. Neufeld, H. E. Huppert, and R. Juanes. Interface Pinning of Immiscible Exchange Flows in Porous Media. Physical Review E, 87:023015, 2013.
doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.87.023015 (pdf).