Bradley S. Ackroyd
M.S. Student in Geology
University of Wyoming

I am a geology graduate student studying the geochemistry of water-rock interactions, with a focus on metal mobility and the aqueous extraction of rare earth elements (REE) and other critical minerals (CM). My primary research interest is exploring various conditions (pH, Eh, complexation, chelation) that will best mobilize metals and minerals during fluid-rock interactions. My primary goal in exploring metal mobility is to help identify new sources of critical minerals which otherwise might be too difficult to access and extract.

My research is starting with the REE potential in oil-rich shales. If the right set of conditions can allow for extraction of appreciable amounts from shale, then existing hydraulic fracturing techniques can be leveraged to harvest them. 

This potentially allows for:

1) extraction of these mineral resources during existing oil & gas  fracking operations
2) a transitional pathway as existing oil and gas companies look to invest beyond hydrocarbons
3) the use of existing fracking techniques to extract critical minerals even where there are no hydrocarbons,
    opening up whole new regions for economic operations
4) new revenue from old depleted wells, which have not been tapped for critical mineral resources.


Master of Science: Geology University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY July 2023 – present

Graduate Advisor: Dr. John Kaszuba, Wold Energy Chair

Bachelor of Science: Geology Portland State University,  Portland, OR Graduated: June 2022

GPA: 4.0/4.0

Research Experience

Graduate Research Assistant: University of Wyoming July 2023 – present

Working with the ConocoPhillips Fluid Characterization team to research methods for exploring potential economic resources in the hydraulic fracturing waste fluids. My research focuses on experimenting with additives and conditions (pH, redox conditions, complexation, chelating agents) that best mobilize metals, rare earth elements, and critical minerals for aqueous extraction.

Responsible for chemical and hazardous waste management in our labs; preparing samples, running tests, and assisting with ongoing experiments in the high pressure hydrothermal and geochemistry laboratories. 

Student Field Camp: University of Wisconsin, Volcanoes & Ice Summer Program (VISP) June - July 2022

Used drones to photograph central Oregon lava flows, tuyas and glacial moraines; created high resolution maps and GIS data sets. Collected, geotagged and catalogued volcanic samples.

Student Researcher: SCORE Program, NASA Space Grant Consortium Jan – May 2022

Research project – Pedestrian evacuation travel times to safety zones in Seaside, OR – evaluated time to reach safety on foot in Seaside, OR during a major earthquake and tsunami event. Recorded walking routes and times, plotted against tsunami inundation times, highlighting key bottlenecks.

Presented data and findings at the NASA symposium at Oregon State University.

Coursework & Skills

Relevant Coursework: Chemistry, Biogeochemistry, Hydrogeology, Mineral Exploration and Deposition, Mineralogy, Petrology, Statistics & Data Analysis, R for geoscientists

Skills: SEM, XRF, XRD, ICP-MS, ICP-OES, Rocking Autoclave (RAC) hydrothermal vessel, Spectrophotometer, Coulometer, proficient in R and Data Analysis techniques


Brad Ackroyd Resume.pdf