Geochemistry postdoctoral research assistant Quin R.S. Miller has been elected to a three-year term on the Clay Minerals Society (CMS) Council. Miller’s experience includes presentations at the 2012 and 2013 CMS annual meetings, seven peer-reviewed publications related to clay minerals, and the 2016 Robert C. Reynolds Award for the highest-ranked student CMS research proposal.
CMS, an international organization devoted to the study of clay minerals across diverse disciplines, will be coming to PNNL for its 57th annual meeting in June 2020.
Rich in aluminum and silicon, clay minerals are abundant in soils and the subsurface, where they exert a strong control on the fate and transport of fluids and chemical species. Because of their layered nature, high surface area, small pores, ability to swell, and low permeability, clay minerals are studied for their industrial applications as manufacturing additives and their environmental relevance as barriers to contain contaminants.
Miller, a Tri-Cities native, met PNNL scientist Todd Schaef in March 2009 on a tour of PNNL and the Wallula Basalt Pilot Demonstration Project site while he was an undergraduate geology student at Whitman College. He joined PNNL soon after, first as a post-bachelor research assistant, then as a visiting researcher, and now as a postdoctoral research assistant.
During his research, Miller has studied how water and gases compete for access to internal and external clay surfaces at the elevated pressures and temperatures relevant to geologic carbon sequestration and unconventional oil and gas production. He also seeks to understand the unique properties and reactivity of fluids confined in or between clay layers in nanoscale dimensions. He is currently investigating mineral transformations in thin water films with Todd Schaef and Kevin Rosso.
Fellow PNNL researcher and CMS Council member Nik Qafoku is the lead organizer of the June 2020 CMS annual meeting, which will be held at Discovery Hall. Proposals for session topics will be accepted through October 15.