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Jack Parker

Civil and Environmental Engineering, UTK


Prior to joining UT, Dr. Jack Parker served for six years as a Distinguished Research Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory after 12 years as president of the consulting company Environmental Systems & Technologies, Inc., which he founded. He started his career in academia as a Professor of Contaminant Hydrology at Virginia Tech for 15 years and as a visiting professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).

Dr. Parker has directed many research and consulting projects involving modeling of subsurface contaminant transport in aqueous, gaseous and/or nonaqueous liquid phases at refineries, terminals, manufacturing plants and other facilities. He is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher with over 200 technical publications and has served on numerous expert panels, advisory and review boards, and delegations for government agencies, professional groups, private industry and others. He has taught academic and professional courses and has presented workshops and invited seminars on modeling subsurface contaminant transport in 15 countries. Computer models he developed have been employed in over 30 countries and he has served as an expert witness in numerous civil actions involving groundwater contamination with hydrocarbons and organic solvents.

Parker’s research has focused on the development and testing of models for multiphase flow and reactive chemical transport, inverse modeling, analysis of prediction uncertainty, and stochastic decision/design/cost optimization. He has developed comprehensive constitutive models for relative permeability-capillary pressure relationships that are used widely in contaminant hydrology and petroleum engineering applications and is interested in practical upscaled constitutive models for fluid flow, mass transfer and reaction kinetics that provide a basis for simulation of large-scale heterogeneous systems. In addition to environmental remediation problems, Dr. Parker is interested in the application of advanced computational methods to develop efficient, cost effective and environmentally acceptable recovery of unconventional fossil energy sources, such as oil shale, and for in situ extraction of mineral resources by solution mining. With regard to global climate issues, Parker contends that uncertainty in climate model predictions and in costs, benefits, and unintended consequences of mitigation policy proposals need to be fully quantified before being seriously considered. The outcome of such an analysis may indicate that adaptation to future conditions is more practical and cost-effective than global climate engineering schemes.


Zhang, F., W. Luo, J. C. Parker, B. P. Spalding, S. C. Brooks, D. B. Watson, P. M. Jardine, and B.  Gu, Geochemical reactions affecting aqueous-solid partitioning metals during titration of uranium contaminated soil, Environmental Science and Technology, 42, 8007-8013, 2008. 

Zhang, F., G. T. Yeh, J. C. Parker, and P. M. Jardine, A reaction-based river/stream water quality model: Model development and numerical schemes, Journal of Hydrology, 348, 496-509, 2008.

Parker, J. C., and R. W. Falta, Comparison of alternative upscaled model formulations for simulating DNAPL source dissolution and biodecay, Advances in Water Resources, 31, 1325-1332, 2008. 

Zhang, F., J.C. Parker, S.C. Brooks, Y.-J. Kim, G. Tang, P.M. Jardine, D.B. Watson, Comparison of approaches to calibrate a surface complexation model for U(VI) sorption to weathered saproliteTransport in Porous Media, 78, 185–197, 2009. 

Cardiff, M., X. Liu, P. K. Kitanidis, J. Parker, and U. Kim, Cost optimization of DNAPL source and plume remediation under uncertainty using a semi-analytic model, J. Contam. Hydrol., 13, 24-43, 2010.

Zhang, F. and J. C. Parker. An efficient modeling approach to simulate heat and mass transfer between fracture and matrix regions for oil shale retorting, Transport in Porous Media, 10.1007/s11242-009-9495, 2010. 

Zhang, F., J. C. Parker, S. C. Brooks, D. B. Watson, P. M. Jardine and B. Gu, Prediction of uranium and technetium sorption during titration of contaminated acidic groundwater, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 178: 42-48, 2010. 

Parker, J. C., U. Kim, P. K. Kitanidis, M. Cardiff, and X. Liu, Stochastic cost optimization of multi-strategy DNAPL site remediation, Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation, 3, 65-78, 2010.

Zhang, F., W.-M. Wu, J.C. Parker, T. Mehlhorn, S.D. Kelly, K.M. Kemner, G. Zhang, C. Schadt, S.C. Brooks, C.S. Criddle, D.B. Watson, P.M. Jardine, Kinetic analysis and modeling of oleate and ethanol stimulated uranium (VI) bio-reduction in contaminated sediments under sulfate reduction conditions, J. Hazardous Materials, 183, 482-489, 2010.

Parker, J.C., U. Kim, M. Widdowson, P. Kitanidis, and R. Gentry, Effects of model formulation and calibration data on uncertainty in DNAPL source dissolution predictions, Water Resour. Res., doi:10.1029/2010WR009361, 2010.

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