Dr Ben Clennell

Rock Physical Properties Specialist

Contact details:

  • PO BOX 1130


Dr. Michael (Ben) Clennell is a Senior Principal Research Scientist in the area of rock physical properties. His research spans petrophysics, geomechanics, structural geology and marine and petroleum geology, applied to onshore and offshore oil and gas, subsurface storage of carbon dioxide and the understanding of geohazards including earthquakes, submarine landslides and gas hydrates.

Prior to joining CSIRO in 2003, Dr. Clennell worked as a university researcher in the UK and Brazil, investigating the rates and roles of fluid flow in marine sediments, active tectonic processes at convergent margins, fault rock properties and the electrical and electrokinetic properties of sedimentary rocks. He has taught courses in petrophysics and rock physical properties, hydrogeology, and marine and petroleum geology.

Dr. Clennell has held a range of science and research management roles at CSIRO, initially developing laboratory systems for rock properties measurement, and later leading major projects in fault rock sealing and leakage, carbonate reservoir geomechanics and multiphysics, and coal petrophysics, among others. He has contributed his expertise in rock properties to numerous other projects in conventional and unconventional oil and gas, and for geological CO2 storage. He has led small and large teams and research groups directed to onshore and offshore petroleum geoscience research, and contributes to strategy development for industry focused R&D in exploration, appraisal and development of oil and gas.

Dr. Clennell has been involved in Ocean Drilling Program science since 1992, has served on the Science Evaluation panel of the successor Integrated Ocean Discovery Program and is a member of the Australian IODP governing council and science committee.

Other Interests

Particular research interests in pore structure characterization, thermophysics in porous media, digital rocks, multiphase flow, electrical and nuclear magnetic properties, and integration of multi-scale, multi-physics data to understand dynamic subsurface processes. Marine geoscience areas of interest include accretionary wedge tectonics, mass wasting, shallow gas and natural gas hydrates.

Current Roles

  • Senior Principal Research Scientist
    Research Strategy for Subsurface Geosciences and New Project Development

Academic Qualifications

  • 1992

    Ph.D. in Geology
    Royal Holloway University of London

  • 1988

    B.A. in Geology
    University of Oxford

Professional Experiences

  • 1992-1993

    Research Fellow
    University of Birmingham, U.K.

  • 1993-1998

    Research Fellow
    University of Leeds

  • 1998-2003

    Visiting Professor
    Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil

  • 1995-1998

    Visiting Researcher, ad-hoc
    US Geological Survey, Woods Hole

  • 1998-2003

    Visiting Scientist, ad-hoc.
    Heriot-Watt University

Achievements and Awards

  • 1988

    Burdett-Coutts Award
    University of Oxford

  • 1996-1998

    Robb Kidd ODP Fellowship


  • 2015-_

    ARC-LIEF International Ocean Discovery Program

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2017-2018

    Member of Western Australian Independent Scientific Inquiry Panel into Hydraulic Fracturing


We have publications by Dr Ben Clennell