Research interests:

My work explores the contamination of groundwater from anthropogenic sources including industrial chemicals such as chlorinated solvents, as well as emerging contaminants like engineered nanoparticles. Specifically, I am interested improving our understanding of the fate and transport of those contaminants in the subsurface to both: a) improve our ability to predict the risk they pose to human and ecological receptors such as discharges to surface water bodies or drinking water wells, and b) improve in-situ remediation technologies for these contaminants.

My specific research interests include:
– Multiphase flow and transport in porous media, with a focus on wettability and pore-scale drainage/imbibition mechanisms
– Colloid transport in porous media, with a focus on engineered nanoparticle fate and transport and governing pore-scale mechanisms
– Fate and transport of corrosive species in deep geologic repositories for long term storage of nuclear waste
– Developing innovative numerical modelling techniques for subsurface gas generation and flow and gas- and thermal- based remediation techniques

Career history:

2019- Present: Lecturer in Hydrogeology, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
2018 – 2019: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Civil Engineering, York University, Canada
2016 – 2018: NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Civil Engineering, York University, Canada
2015 – 2018: Limited Duties Lecturer,
2010 – 2015: PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Western Ontario, Canada

Active research projects:

The Environmental Impact of Engineered Materials Degradation in Porous Consolidated Media (2018-Present)
Advancing understanding of geological controls for hydrogen geoenergy storage (2020 – Present)

Recent publications:

1. Molnar, I. L.; Gerhard, J.I.; Willson, C.S. and O’Carroll D.M., (2020), Wettability Effects on Primary Drainage Mechanisms and NAPL distribution: A Pore-Scale Study. Water Resources Research. 56, e2019WR025381.
2. Molnar, I.L.; Mumford, K.G.; Krol, M.M.,(2019), Electro-Thermal Subsurface Gas Generation and Transport: Model Validation and Implications. Water Resources Research, 55, 4630– 4647.
3. Molnar, I.L.; Pensini, E.; Asad M.A.; Mitchell, C.A.; Nitsche, L.C.; Pyrak-Nolte, L.J.; Krol, M.M., 2019, Colloid Transport in Porous Media: A Review of Classical Mechanics and Emerging Topics. Transport in Porous Media, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11242-019-01270-6.
4. Molnar, I. L.; Sanematsu, P; Gerhard, J.I.; Willson, C.S. and O’Carroll D.M., (2016), Quantified pore-scale nanoparticle transport in porous media and the implications for colloid filtration theory. Langmuir, 32, (31), 7841-7853.
5. Molnar, I. L.; Johnson, W.P.; Gerhard, J.I.; Willson, C.S. and O’Carroll D.M., (2015), Predicting colloid transport through saturated porous media: A critical review [Special issue, 50th Anniversary of Water Resources Research]. Water Resources Research, 51, (9), 6804-6845.