Luis E. Zerpa, Phil Winterfeld

Luis E. Zerpa, Phil Winterfeld



This was certainly a very

exciting academic 2013-

2014 year. As my first year

as a member of the faculty

of the Petroleum Engineering

Department at Mines, I had

the task of teaching PEGN

423 Petroleum Reservoir

Engineering I. It seems that

my efforts preparing the

course last summer and the

advice received from Dr.

Van Kirk really paid off, to

continue with the high quality

Me and baby Eva of the reservoir engineering

course. The course was well received and met the expectations of the students, to a point that the senior graduating class elected me for the Outstanding Faculty Award. I humbly receive this award, thank all students for their collaboration with the delivery of the class, and of course, thank the team of Teaching Assistants (TAs) that help me with the organization and grading of the class. This coming year we are expecting a larger class with nearly 200 students, and I am currently working with my TAs to get ready for teaching this course; challenge accepted!

I did not have the chance to say good-bye to the graduating class of 2014, since I was with my wife at the hospital for the birth of our first child during their final exam. I wish all graduates of the Spring 2014 commencement ceremony a successful professional career and a prosperous life as Petroleum Engineers. We count on you as representative of Mines to keep moving forward our profession with the highest standards of ethics and professionalism, and I am sure all of you are up to the challenge.

group. We got a research grant from DOE in collaboration with another researcher from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), to study the extraction of geothermal energy from sedimentary basins. This project is continuing for a second year, thanks to the effort of one graduate student and three undergraduate students. I started preliminary research with two graduate students in the area of natural occurrence of gas hydrates in sediments, with the aim of getting results that can lead to funded research proposals. I continue my collaboration with Dr. Kazemi in the Marathon Center for Excellence for Reservoir Studies (MCERS) where we are working in the integration of microseismic with reservoir modeling for the management of waterflood projects, and with the Center for Hydrate Research, where we are working on flow assurance projects. Currently, I am supervising the research work of nine students, including Ph.D., Masters, and undergraduate students. If you would like to learn more about these projects or get involved in similar research areas, I will be happy to provide information about these subjects.

This was a busy, challenging, and exciting academic year for me. It is gratifying get to see the students mature intellectually and get ready to start their careers and, at the same time grow a family in Colorado. Hopefully, I will get to know more about your professional achievements over this next year. I know on my side that this is going to be an interesting academic year. I wish you the best in your career and personal endeavors.

This past academic year, I started new research projects and included graduate and undergraduate students in my research

Luis Zerpa at Kafadar Commons


This past year has seen a number of exciting developments in my research for the Energy Modeling Group (EMG).

Dr. Winterfeld and Amy visiting the Great Wall in China

I continued work on the DOE CO2 storage project, “Simulation of Coupled Processes of Flow, Transport, and Storage of CO2 in Saline Aquifers.“ My work was published last spring as a chapter in the book “Computational Models for CO2 Geo- sequestration and Compressed Energy Storage,” edited by R. Al-Khoury and J. Bundschuh, available at your favorite on-line technical book seller. Although this CO2 storage project ends later this year, our research in this area will continue. We were awarded a three-year grant by DOE to study flow and storage of CO2 in fractured reservoirs. We are all looking forward to beginning this project in the fall of 2014.