Awards & Scholarships

Cynthia L. Dinwiddie

Cynthia L. Dinwiddie (SPE)

Alfred E. Noble Prize in 2007

Dr. Dinwiddie has an educational background in the fields of mechanical engineering and the mathematical sciences and most recently in the fields of hydrogeology and environmental engineering, including the application of numerical analysis and applied mathematics to groundwater systems, mass transport, and contaminant dispersion. She also has experience with analytical methods of hydrogeology and additional background in geostatistics, hydrostratigraphy, hydrogeophysical field methods, and nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory. She studies Martian outflow channels and terrestrial subsurface heterogeneity and works with various forms of field and laboratory instrumentation and geophysical techniques for quantifying and realistically representing hydrogeologic property distributions. Recent work includes characterization of terrestrial analogs to Mars using ground-penetrating radar and complementary geophysical techniques. Prior to her employment at Southwest Research Institute, Dr. Dinwiddie developed numerical and semi-analytical models of hydraulic and pneumatic flow behavior near measurement instruments. This work led to an improved understanding of the effect of the instrument on the natural system, the size and shape of the measurement averaging volume, and general guidelines for appropriate instrument use. Her research included analyses of the electromagnetic borehole flowmeter and design and development of the small drillhole minipermeameter probeinstruments for measuring hydrogeologic properties. Dr. Dinwiddie's current responsibilities with the Department of Earth, Material, and Planetary Sciences include conducting exploratory analyses of primary and secondary heterogeneities within volcanic ignimbrite deposits, conducting planetary science investigations of Martian outflow channels, developing integrated methodologies for geophysical characterization of terrestrial analogs of Mars, and performing technical reviews of saturated and unsaturated zone hydrogeologic process models associated with high-level radioactive waste disposal. She also evaluates measurement sensors and monitoring networks, as well as associated plans for repository performance confirmation. Dr. Dinwiddie has authored or co-authored 12 papers in the peer-reviewed literature and recently was selected as the recipient of both the 2007 Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award, by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, and the 2007 Alfred Noble Prize, by the American Society of Civil Engineers, for her paper The Small-Drillhole Minipermeameter Probe for In-Situ Permeability Measurement published in the Society of Petroleum Engineers Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering journal in December 2005. She has performed as a panel reviewer for the National Science Foundation, as a technical reviewer for grant proposals submitted to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and as peer reviewer for Journal of Hydrology, Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, Environmental Science & Technology, and for Materials Research Society Proceedings on the Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management. PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS: Professional Geoscientist (P.G.), State of Texas, 2003; Engineer-in-Training (E.I.T.), State of Washington, 1994. PROFESSIONAL CHRONOLOGY: Walla Walla College: teaching/laboratory assistant, 19905; Clemson University: research assistant, 19952001; Southwest Research Institute: 2001-[Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses: research engineer, 2001-4; senior research engineer, 2004-5; Geosciences and Engineering Division: senior research engineer, 2005-present]. MEMBERSHIPS: Alamo Chapter of Sigma Xi (Chapter President, 2007), Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG, DEG Vice Chair, Committee for 2008 AAPG Annual Convention & Exhibition), Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors (AEESP), American Geophysical Union (AGU), Geological Society of America (GSA)Divisions of Hydrogeology and Planetary Geology, Houston Geological Society (HGS), National Ground Water Association (NGWA).