Skip to Main Content U.S. Department of Energy
Energy and Environment Directorate

Signe White

Signe White

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 372-6115


Ms. White (formerly Wurstner) joined PNNL as a full-time scientist in 1989 and has extensive experience in subsurface flow and transport modeling. Her research interests involve developing and using numerical simulators to understand and propose solutions for challenging energy and environmental problems such as storage of CO2 in subsurface reservoirs, production of methane gas hydrates, enhanced geothermal systems, and groundwater contamination. Ms. White is a member of the development team and is a short course instructor for STOMP, PNNL’s premier subsurface, multifluid flow and transport simulator. Her previous experience includes numerical modeling of groundwater flow and transport processes and migration of NAPLs, total systems risk assessments, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and development of aquifer test analysis software. Ms. White is a licensed professional geologist and hydrogeologist in the state of Washington. She has previously served as adjunct faculty at Heritage College, in Toppenish, WA, and at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, WA, and is active in various science education and outreach programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and Battelle. Ms. White received the 2002 Fitzner-Eberhardt Award for outstanding contributions to science and engineering education, and the 2004 PNNL Woman of Achievement Award.

Research Interests

  • Multifluid Subsurface Simulation
  • Data Management and Geospatial Analysis
  • Groundwater Resource Management

Education and Credentials

  • M.S. Geology, Indiana University, 1989
  • B.S. Geology, Indiana University, 1986
  • Licensed Professional Geologist, State of Washington, LIC#1134
  • Licensed Professional Hydrogeologist, State of Washington, LIC#1134

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2004 PNNL Woman of Achievement
  • 2002 Fitzner/Eberhardt Award for Outstanding Contributions to Science and Engineering Education

PNNL Publications


  • Mace EK, CE Aalseth, JM Brandenberger, AR Day, EW Hoppe, PH Humble, ME Keillor, J Kulongsoki, CT Overman, ME Panisko, A Seifert, SK White, ED Wilcox Freeburg, and RM Williams. 2017. "Methods for Using Argon-39 to Age-Date Groundwater using Ultra-Low-Background Proportional Counting." Applied Radiation and Isotopes 126:9-12.  doi:10.1016/j.apradiso.2016.12.037


  • White SK, SM Kelkar, and DW Brown. 2016. "Bringing Fenton Hill into the Digital Age: Data Conversion in Support of the Geothermal Technologies Office Code Comparison Study Challenge Problems." In 41st Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, February 22-24, 2016, Stanford, CA, vol. SGP-TR-209, Stanford University, STANFORD, CA. 
  • Gilmore TJ, AH Bonneville, EC Sullivan, ME Kelley, D Appriou, VR Vermeul, SK White, Z Zhang, BN Bjornstad, F Cornet, JL Gerst, N Gupta, G Hund, JA Horner, GV Last, DC Lanigan, M Oostrom, C McNeil, MA Moody, ML Rockhold, ML Elliott, FA Spane, CE Strickland, LL Swartz, PD Thorne, CF Brown, J Hoffmann, and KK Humphreys, JR. 2016. "Characterization and Design of the FutureGen 2.0 Carbon Storage Site." International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 53:1-10.  doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2016.07.022
  • White MD, R Podgorney, SM Kelkar, MW McClure, G Danko, A Ghassemi, P Fu, D Bahrami, C Barbier, Q Cheng, KK Chiu, C Detournay, D Elsworth, Y Fang, JK Furtney, Q Gan, Q Gao, B Guo, Y Hao, RN Horne, K Huang, K Im, J Norbeck, J Rutqvist, MR Safari, V Sesetty, E Sonnenthal, Q Tao, SK White, Y Wong, and Y Xia. 2016. Benchmark Problems of the Geothermal Technologies Office Code Comparison StudyPNNL-26016, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 


  • White SK, S Purohit, and LW Boyd. 2015. "Using GTO-Velo to Facilitate Communication and Sharing of Simulation Results in Support of the Geothermal Technologies Office Code Comparison Study." In Proceedings of the 40th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, January 26-28, 2015, Stanford, California, pp. Paper No. SGP-TR-204.  Stanford University, Stanford, CA. 
  • Zhang ZF, SK White, and MD White. 2015. "Delineating the Horizontal Plume Extent and CO2 Distribution at Geologic Sequestration Sites." International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 43:141-148.  doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2015.10.018


  • Zhang ZF, SK White, A Bonneville, and TJ Gilmore. 2014. "Local Sensitivity of Predicted CO2 Injectivity and Plume Extent to Model Inputs for the FutureGen 2.0 site." Energy Procedia 63:3805-3814.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.409


  • Bonneville A, TJ Gilmore, EC Sullivan, VR Vermeul, ME Kelley, SK White, D Appriou, BN Bjornstad, JL Gerst, N Gupta, JA Horner, C McNeil, MA Moody, WM Rike, FA Spane, PD Thorne, ER Zeller, ZF Zhang, J Hoffman, and KK Humphreys. 2013. "Evaluating the Suitability for CO2 Storage at the FutureGen 2.0 Site, Morgan County, Illinois, USA." Energy Procedia 37:6125-6132.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2013.06.541
  • Scheibe TD, MD White, SK White, C Sivaramakrishnan, S Purohit, GD Black, R Podgorney, LW Boyd, and BR Phillips. 2013. "Simulation of Enhanced Geothermal Systems: A Benchmarking and Code Intercomparison Study." In MODFLOW and More 2013: Translating Science into Practice, June 2-5, Golden, Colorado.  Integrated Ground Water Modeling Center, Golden, CO. 
  • Scheibe TD, MD White, and SK White. 2013. Outcomes of the 2013 GTO Workshop on Geothermal Code ComparisonPNNL-22303, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • White MD, DH Bacon, SK White, and ZF Zhang. 2013. "Fully Coupled Well Models for Fluid Injection and Production." Energy Procedia 37:3960-3970.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2013.06.295
  • White SK, LJ Gosink, C Sivaramakrishnan, GD Black, S Purohit, DH Bacon, Z Hou, G Lin, I Gorton, and A Bonneville. 2013. "Implementations of a Flexible Framework for Managing Geologic Sequestration Modeling Projects." Energy Procedia 37:3971-3979.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2013.06.296


  • Gorton I, C Sivaramakrishnan, GD Black, SK White, S Purohit, CS Lansing, MC Madison, KL Schuchardt, and Y Liu. 2012. "Velo: A Knowledge Management Framework for Modeling and Simulation." Computing in Science & Engineering 14(2):12-23.  doi:10.1109/MCSE.2011.116
  • McGrail BP, CJ Freeman, CF Brown, EC Sullivan, SK White, S Reddy, R Garber, D Tobin, J Gilmartin, and E Steffensen. 2012. "Overcoming Business Model Uncertainty in a Carbon Dioxide Capture and Sequestration Project: Case Study at the Boise White Paper Mill." International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 9:91-102.  doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2012.03.009
  • White MD, DH Bacon, BP McGrail, DJ Watson, SK White, and ZF Zhang. 2012. STOMP Subsurface Transport Over Multiple Phases: STOMP-CO2 and STOMP-CO2e Guide: Version 1.0PNNL-21268, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 


  • Bonneville A, GD Black, I Gorton, PSY Hui, EM Murphy, CJ Murray, ML Rockhold, KL Schuchardt, C Sivaramakrishnan, MD White, MD Williams, and SK Wurstner. 2011. "Geologic Sequestration Software Suite (GS3): a collaborative approach to the management of geological GHG storage projects ." In Proceedings of the 10th Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference (GHGT10), September 19-23, 2010, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Energy Procedia, vol. 4, ed. J Gale, C Hendriks W Turkenberg, pp. 3825-3832.  Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2011.02.318
  • Gandara AG, G Chin, Jr, P Pinheiro Da Silva, SK White, C Sivaramakrishnan, and TJ Critchlow. 2011. "Knowledge Annotations in Scientific Workflows: An Implementation in Kepler." In 23rd Scientific and Statistical Database Management Conference (SSDBM 2011), July 20-22, 2011, Portland, Oregon. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 6809, ed. JB Cushing, J French and S Bowers, pp. 189-206.  Springer-Verlag, Berlin.  doi:10.1007/978-3-642-22351-8_11
  • Gorton I, C Sivaramakrishnan, GD Black, SK White, S Purohit, MC Madison, and KL Schuchardt. 2011. "Velo: Riding the Knowledge Management Wave for Simulation and Modeling." In 4th International Workshop on Software Engineering for Computational Science and Engineering (SECSE 2011), Co-located with the 33rd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2011) May 21-28, 2011, Honolulu, Hawaii, pp. 32-40.  Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY.  doi:10.1145/1985782.1985788
  • White MD, BP McGrail, HT Schaef, JZ Hu, DW Hoyt, AR Felmy, KM Rosso, and SK Wurstner. 2011. "Multiphase Sequestration Geochemistry: Model for Mineral Carbonation." Energy Procedia 4:5009-5016.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2011.02.472
  • White MD, SK Wurstner, and BP McGrail. 2011. "Numerical studies of methane production from Class 1 gas hydrate accumulations enhanced with carbon dioxide injection." Marine and Petroleum Geology 28(2):546-560.  doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.06.008


  • Gorton I, GD Black, KL Schuchardt, C Sivaramakrishnan, SK Wurstner, and PSY Hui. 2010. "GS3: A Knowledge Management Architecture for Collaborative Geologic Sequestration Modeling." In Proceedings of the 43rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2010).  IEEE Computer Society Press, New York, NY.  doi:10.1109/HICSS.2010.217



  • Nichols WE, SK Wurstner, and PW Eslinger. 2007. "Vadose Zone-Attenuated Artificial Recharge for Input to a Ground Water Model." Ground Water 45(4):491-498.  doi:10.1111/j.1745-6584.2007.00317.x



  • Wurstner SK, C Herr, GL Andrews, and K Feaster-Alley. 2005. "Teacher/Scientist Partnership Develops a Simulated Natural Disaster Scenario to Enhance Student Learning." Journal of Geoscience Education 53(5):522-530. 
  • Freedman VL, ZF Zhang, SR Waichler, and SK Wurstner. 2005. 2005 Closure Assessments for WMA-C Tank Farms: Numerical Simulations PNNL-15377, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 




  • Bergeron MP, and SK Wurstner. 2000. Groundwater Flow and Transport Calculations Supporting the Immobilized Low-Activity Waste Disposal Facility Performance AssessmentPNNL-13400, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Kincaid CT, MP Bergeron, CR Cole, MD Freshley, VG Johnson, DI Kaplan, RJ Serne, GP Streile, DL Strenge, PD Thorne, LW Vail, GA Whyatt, and SK Wurstner. 2000. "Composite Analysis for Low-Level Waste Disposal in the 200 Area Plateau of the Hanford Site, Southeast Washington." In Environmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment: Recent Achievements in Environmental Fate and Transport Vol. 9; STP 1381, ed. Fred T. Price, Kevin V Brix, and Nancy K. Lane, pp. 104 - 117.  Am. Soc. For Testing and Materials, West Conshohocken, PA. 

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas