Lab Director - Ryan Smith (he/him/his)

I've been drawn to the earth sciences ever since I visited Iceland as an undergraduate. That experience ultimately led me to pursue graduate school at Stanford University, where I earned a PhD in geophysics in 2018. After my PhD, I came to Missouri University of Science and Technology as an assistant professor, where I worked from 2018-2022. In Fall 2022, I took a position at Colorado State University, in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department. My research group studies the hydrologic cycle, particularly groundwater, using a combination of satellite, geophysical and in-situ data. We also quantitatively evaluate these diverse datasets through both physics-based models and machine learning.  In my free time, I enjoy exploring the outdoors on my road bike and hanging out with my family.  


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Postdoctoral Scholar - Sanaz Vajedian (she/her/hers)

Sanaz is a postdoctoral scholar in the Geological Engineering program of Missouri University of Science and Technology, where she focuses on using satellite data to better understand and model how groundwater pumping, and tectonic forces can cause the earth’s surface to deform.

She obtained her Ph.D. in Remote sensing and Geodesy at the University of Tehran. Her thesis was focused on using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) to detect ground deformation caused by natural hazards phenomena like volcanoes and earthquakes. Her research profile is based on satellite data processing, including SAR and multispectral optical data, and data modeling to develop efficient methodologies for studying and monitoring natural hazards. 

Postdoctoral Scholar - Sayantan Majumdar (he/him/his)

Sayantan is a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Ryan Smith, and his research is focused on groundwater withdrawal estimation using integrated remote sensing datasets and machine learning (deep). Sayantan is involved in the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Mississippi Alluvial Plain (MAP) project as part of the Water Use team, which deals with integrating remote sensing and machine learning for estimating crop-specific groundwater use. He completed his Ph.D. in Geological Engineering from Missouri S&T in September 2022, then joined Dr. Smith's group at Colorado State University as a postdoc.

In summer 2022, Sayantan joined Meta (formerly Facebook) as a Research Scientist Intern at their HQ in Menlo Park, California. He was involved in the Physical Modeling Team and worked on Meta's sustainability efforts. Earlier in summer 2021, Sayantan worked as an Analytics Modeling Intern at Planet Labs, wherein he was primarily involved in computer vision modeling using state-of-the-art remote sensing and machine learning (deep) techniques to map global inland surface water bodies.

PhD Student - Jiawei Li (he/him/his)

Jiawei is a PhD student in Geological Engineering at Missouri S&T. He is from Daqing, Heilongjiang, China. He transferred as an undergraduate student to Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri in 2015 and joined the Computational Geophysics research group led by Dr. Stephen S. Gao. Jiawei pursued a Master's degree at Missouri University of Science and Technology in January 2018. He changed his major to Geological Engineering and joined the Engineering Geophysics research group led by Dr. Neil L. Anderson and Dr. Evgeniy V. Torgashov. After graduation in December 2019, Jiawei is working on a Ph.D. at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Geological Engineering and is co-advised by Dr. Katherine Grote and Dr. Ryan Smith. He is researching the combination of engineering geophysics and remote sensing technology. 

Jiawei Li has a strong background in applied geophysics and has field experience with ERT, GPR, MASW, SP, and tTEM. He is also familiar with Surfer, RADAN, Res2dInv, Surfseis, Aarhus Workbench, ArcGIS software, InSAR processing, as well as programming languages python and MATLAB.  In his free time, he prefers to watch movies and play video games. 

PhD Student - Dawit Asfaw (he/him/his)

Dawit is a PhD student in Geosciences at Colorado State University. He has a B.S. Degree in Applied Geology and has completed M.S. coursework in Geological Engineering at Mekelle University (MU), Ethiopia. He has experience in mineral exploration mainly in prospecting for gold and base metals. In addition, he has worked as a hydrogeologist supervising water well drilling and higher education specialist strengthening the quality of education in Earth Science and Mining Engineering programs. He completed a master's program in Hydrogeology with a thesis titled “Improving model performance through indirect integration of human impacts in data-driven hydrologic models” from Illinois State University (ISU). He is interested in the application of Remote Sensing and GIS to study terrestrial water storage trends (mainly groundwater),  groundwater depletion, groundwater modeling, geohazards, and big data analysis using machine learning techniques.

PhD Student - Md Fahim Hasan (he/him/his)

Fahim is currently pursuing his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University. His research focuses on quantifying groundwater usage using deep learning methods and geospatial datasets. He completed his MS in Geological Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology, with his thesis titled "Integrating remote sensing and model-based datasets in a machine learning model to map global subsidence associated with groundwater withdrawal". Fahim received his Bachelors in Civil Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 2017. After that, he spent around 4 years working in the water management sector of Bangladesh, the majority of which was under the Bangladesh Water Development Board. Fahim’s research interests include groundwater, remote sensing, machine/deep learning, hydrologic modeling, and geospatial data science techniques in water resources. He is familiar with Python, R, GIS, HECRAS, and SWAT. In his free time, Fahim loves doing household chores and spending time with family

Lab Alumni

MS Student - Ithaca Oyler (they/them/theirs)

Ithaca recently completed an MS  in Geology & Geophysics with a research focus in remote sensing, graduating in May 2021. Ithaca worked for the USGS on remote sensing and hydrology projects during the final year of their MS and after graduating, and in Fall 2021, took a data science job with SiteZeus.

MS Student – Rahel Pommerenke (she/her/hers)

Rahel is a master’s student in Environmental Engineering with a special interest in remote sensing and sustainable groundwater extraction. She received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology in May 2020. Rahel joined Dr. Smith’s research group in 2018 as an undergraduate research student working on compiling a global database of estimated and measured groundwater-induced land subsidence values. Currently, she is working with Dr. Smith on compiling data for creating a global land subsidence monitoring system and working with her advisor, Dr. Burken, on remotely sensed plant stress. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time pursuing her photography hobby and hiking. 

MS Student - Jon Voss (he/him/his)

Jon recently graduated with an MS in Geological Engineering and now works as a geophysicist for ENSCO in Washington, DC.  For his thesis, he used a towed transient electromagnetic (tTEM) geophysical system to outline aquifer characteristics in the Kansas River Alluvial Aquifer. Jon joined Dr. Smith’s group as an undergraduate in 2019 and assisted in obtaining and processing data used in subsidence models around the San Joaquin Valley, California. Jon’s research interests include groundwater contaminant transport, geophysics, surface water hydraulics, and using remote sensing to solve both surface and groundwater issues. Related programs he is familiar with are ArcMap, QGIS, Aarhus Workbench, Python, R, HEC-RAS, and HEC-HMS. His hobbies include watching the Chiefs, playing golf, and enjoying the outdoors.