cap-rock integrity for CO2 sequestration. This is excellent news and represents a firm point of departure for the new academic year.
A “selfie” with my colleague Dr. Claudio Madonna at the TOMCAT Swiss Light
Source in Switzerland
This is my first contribution to the PE newsletter as a member of the faculty and only few days are left prior to the one-year mark at Mines. How many things have happened: I taught my first classes, I wrote my first research proposals, I got my first students, I wore steel toe shoes, I visited an oil field for the very first time and I have been on an off-shore platform! Believe me; I could go on and on! This newsletter is a perfect occasion to thank Mines and the PE department for giving me such a great opportunity. At the same time, I am exploiting this brief article to take a moment and think about the year passing by.
It has been a good year with regards to teaching, too. During the spring semester, I co-taught the senior class on Reservoir Engineering II together with Dr. Wu, Dr. Zerpa and Dr. Hoffmann. I am learning a lot from these experiences and I hope the students enjoyed the class as much as I did. Over the summer I have also participated to the field session PEGN 315 in southern California. The field session has been perfectly organized and managed by Dr. Linda Battalora and Al Sami and has presented a great opportunity to get to know part of the sophomore class. Also, I was impressed by the effort made by the oil companies hosting us to show us as much as possible in such a limited time and in a difficult environment, such as an operation oil field or an off-shore platform. Our students have been great and have behaved very professionally, thus confirming once more the excellence of Mines and our department. I look forward to this coming semester where I am going to teach PEGN 413 (the senior lab-class with a very long title). As a matter of fact, I spent some of my summer time working on it; I have revised the manual and prepared new laboratory exercises, one of which deals with my not-so-secret love, which is gas adsorption. The topic is indeed very appropriate for our understanding of the behavior of unconventional reservoirs, such as shales.
I am very happy about my research projects moving forward; we have made substantial progress and have been able to publish three excellent journal papers. Also, I have established fruitful collaborations with colleagues from other universities, thus expanding the network of research activities around the world. In one of such occasions, we have obtained beam time at the TOMCAT Swiss Light Source in Switzerland over the summer. During two slots of eight hours, we performed a core-flooding experiment while observing oil draining water from a mini sandstone core with x-rays. The picture I have enclosed with this letter is a “selfie” taken at 2 AM with my Swiss colleague Dr. Claudio Madonna at the beam line. Since it is hard to see, I have placed an arrow that points towards the mini-core flooding cell. With such a tiny core (6mm in diameter) very high image resolution can be achieved (a few microns), thus creating a unique opportunity to investigate multiphase flow patterns. We are now analyzing a big data set of images and we look forward to pursuing this research project. Over the summer I was informed that one of my research proposals has been awarded that deals with