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Ethan Coon

Ethan Coon

Phone (505) 665-8289




•   Computational methods for multi-physics problems.  Most systems of interest to scientists require the solution of multiple coupled processes, while most computational algorithms are designed to meet the needs of a single process.  I am interested in techniques for combining these methods in useful ways to meet the needs of scientists investigating these systems.

•   Computational methods for capturing sub grid-scale features in physics-based models, especially considering the effect of micro-scale structure in engineering-scale simulations. These methods use multilevel, multiscale approaches to bridge scales in flow in porous media, extend finite element spaces for fractures in simulations of earthquakes and plate tectonics, and other applications.

•   Geophysical localization and structural feedback, by which micro-scale physical processes play a crucial role in macro-scale processes.  In these cases, the effects of anisotropy and structure cannot simply be averaged out from the small scale to the simulation scale.

•   The development of computational frameworks and software to allow easier and more efficient production of geophysical models. Ideally these frameworks incorporate meshers, discretization methods, solvers, data input/output, visualization, and other libraries to enable scientists to focus on science.

Experience and Skills

•   Author and primary developer of Taxila LBM, an open-source lattice Boltmann simulator for micro-scale flow in complex porous media.  This code is actively used by scientists at both Los Alamos and other institutions.

•   Primary developer of the Arctic Terrestrial Simulator, a developing multi-physics simulator for modeling permafrost degradation based upon Amanzi and the ASCEM project.

•   Experience in the development and use of many PDE-based models using various discretizations including finite differences, FEM, and FVEM; structured and unstructured grids; multilevel methods and solvers.  Developed software for parallel computation on machines from laptops to supercomputers.

•   Contributor to PETSc, a toolkit of solvers and data structures for the solution of PDE-based applications on both desktops and supercomputers.

•   Proficient in C, C++, Fortran, and Python, and capable in several other languages.  Experienced in parallel computing and developing software for the largest current machines.

•  Technical reviewer for Advances in Water Resources and Water Resources 



Ph.D.    Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, 2010

            Nitsche Extended Finite Element Methods for Earthquake Simulation, Advisor: Marc Spiegelman

M.Phil. Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, 2006

M.S.     Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, 2004

B.S.      Applied Mathematics, University of Rochester, 2003. with Honors, magna cum laude


LANL Positions

Research Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory, EES-16 Computational Earth Sciences

10/2013 – present


Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Los Alamos National Laboratory, T-5 Applied Mathematics and Plasma Physics

Advisor: J. David Moulton

10/2010 – 9/2013



Professional Societies

Member of AGU, SIAM



  • Argonne Training Program on Exreme Scale Computing, 8/2013
  • DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellow, 9/2005 – 9/2009
  • NSF IGERT Fellow 9/2003 – 9/2005




  • E. T. Coon, M. Porter, and Q. Kang. Taxila LBM: a parallel, modular lattice Boltzmann framework for simulating pore-scale flow in porous media. Computational Geosciences, 18 (17-27) 2014.
  • M. Porter, E. T. Coon, Q. Kang, J. D. Moulton, and J. W. Carey.  Multicomponent interparticle-potential lattice Boltzmann model for fluids with large viscosity ratios.  Physical Review E, 86 (036701) 2012.
  • E.T. Coon, B. Shaw, and M. Speigelman.  A Nitsche- extended finite element method for earthquake rupture on complex fault systems.  Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 200 (2859) 2011.
  • R. F. Katz, M. G. Knepley, B. Smith, M. Spiegelman, and E. T. Coon. Numerical simulation of geodynamic processes with the Portable Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation (PETSc). Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 163(1-4):52–68, AUG 15 2007.
  • E. T. Coon, D. P. Warne, and P. G. Warne. Asymptotic analysis of finite deformation in a nonlinear transversely isotropic incompressible hyperelastic half-space subjected to a tensile point load. Journal of Elasticity, 75(3):197 – 228, June 2004.