Photograph of Dr Rob Jeffrey.

Dr Rob Jeffrey: leading CSIRO's research into hydraulic fracturing

Dr Rob Jeffrey is studying hydraulic fracture growth in naturally fractured rock.

  • 15 February 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011

Current activities

Dr Rob Jeffrey is CSIRO's Research Program Leader for Petroleum Engineering. He also leads CSIRO’s research in hydraulic fracturing.

CSIRO’s research in hydraulic fracturing is applied to stimulation of geothermal, tight gas, and coal seam gas wells. It is also used in mining to enhanced gas drainage in coal mining, and in cave inducement and preconditioning of rock in coal and metalliferous mining.

Background

Dr Jeffrey's group introduced hydraulic fracturing to the coal and metal mining industries as a new method to precondition rock for mining and to induce caving of strong rock around mines.

After completing undergraduate studies, Dr Jeffrey worked initially in mineral exploration. The main project he worked on has now been developed into the Stillwater platinum/palladium mine in Montana, USA.

After obtaining a Doctorate in Geological Engineering, Dr Jeffrey worked in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, for the oilfield services provider Dowell Schlumberger. During this time he became interested in hydraulic fracturing.

In 1983 he was involved in projects that studied hydraulic fracturing in coal to develop better stimulation methods for that emerging gas source.

Dr Jeffrey joined CSIRO in 1989, initially to continue working on coal seam gas stimulation. 

Starting in 1997, his group introduced hydraulic fracturing to the coal and metal mining industries as a new method to precondition rock for mining and to induce caving of strong rock around mines. 

Academic qualifications

Dr Jeffrey has received a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering from from the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA, and a Masters and Doctorate in Geological Engineering from the University of Arizona, Tuscon, Arizona, USA.

Discover more about the New safe and cost-effective control of caving in mines.