Welcome to the double edition of the [RG]2 Quarterly Newsletter, covering July through December 2020. This month's cover image is courtesy of Edmonton photographer Leroy Schulz, who has been taking drone images of Edmonton and highlighting interesting bits of local history for the past year or so. You can clearly make out the distinctive roof of NREF at the top right edge of this photo of the University of Alberta campus. Check out his website if you'd like to see more YEG!
COMING IN 2021
Although classes continue being held primarily online and Campus was closed to all non-essential research, with modifications to accommodate pandemic measures and conscientious management of our resources we have been able to make significant progress on a number of projects and research objectives.
We are nearing the end of the first (NSERC) year of the program and would like to hold (virtually) our 1st Annual Research Symposium in February. The program will consist of two half-day forums where the full breadth of the research program and the outcomes from the first phase of the research program (2014 - 2019) can be reported on along with our progress during this current phase of the research program (2019 - 2026). We are inviting those wishing to attend to respond to a poll so we can plan for a date that works best for all. Please find the poll here.
The University of Alberta has changed the way it manages its websites and all research groups have been directed to create independent Google sites. While this gives us more flexibility in controlling appearance, customizing content, and building the site out to include things such as online registrations for workshops, meetings, and our Symposium, it presents one major challenge: there are some regions who are unable to access Google sites without employing VPN technology. We are working closely with the Faculty of Engineering's Digital Content Strategist to resolve this, and extend our apologies to anyone having difficulties accessing the site. You are welcome to visit the new Reservoir Geomechanics Research Group site now live at www.rgrg.ca. In addition to the new [RG]2 site, each of the GeoInnovation Environments (GIEs) will have its own online home shortly. The sites for GeoREF and GeoRMT will be ready in the near future, and will be similar in navigation to GeoCERF and GeoPrint.
Along with the new websites, you'll notice a new set of logos being rolled out in coming weeks, too. These were designed by NAIT Digital Design and Communication student Sabrina Sponagle who used [RG]2 as her client for her final portfolio submission. Ms. Sponagle went above and beyond to bring several ideas together and create a clean, simple, clever design that can grow with us as we expand and refine our GIEs.
Despite the extraordinary challenges we've experienced, we have had an extraordinary year. The students have been unable to carry out work on Campus for several months and as a result have focussed on data analysis, literature review, and thesis writing. The pandemic has delayed graduation for a handful of our students, causing no shortage of frustration, but we hope to see these students successfully complete their final oral examinations in the first half of 2021. You will be able to hear about their work in depth at the Virtual Symposium planned for February.
In the Lab
Senior Research Engineer Gilbert Wong has been at the forefront of keeping our GIEs clean, safe, responsibly scheduled, and stocked with everything from hand sanitizer to the nuts and bolts needed for projects. In addition to carrying out his own work on data analysis and research, he has been diligently working on updating our Standard Operating Procedures and Safe Work Practices. Thank you, Gilbert, for your diligence and dedication!
In GeoREF, Dr. Noga Vaisblat as been focussing on our Aquistore project. All samples have been cut, trimmed, and cleaned and the average grain density and effective porosity of plugs were measured using Helium pycnometry technique. Gas (Nitrogen) permeability was measured using a Pressure Decay Profile Permeameter (PDPK-400) along the entire core (18 m). A petrophysical model is being built, and mineralogical analysis and geomechanical testing are ongoing.
In GeoPrint, we have upgraded the MFlex to include a new roller that increases the density of 3D-printed rock.
The GeoPrint Team is currently working with past [RG]2 Academic Visitor Matt Tsang in Australia, where he is using our 3D-printed rock to validate his new PFC model that will disrupt traditional thinking of rock mechanics. Work is also in progress on a paper covering 3D-printed rock projectiles.
Atena Bahramiyarahamdi is a PhD student in the area of reservoir geomechanics working under the supervision of Dr. Rick Chalaturnyk. She holds a MSc in Petroleum Exploration Engineering fromUniversity of Tehran, Iran (2018). Her MSc project involved 1D geomechanical modeling of a gas well located in South Pars gas field and was awarded as the best MSc project of the year at the Department of Mining Engineering, University of Tehran. Prior to starting her PhD, she worked for 3 years as a Junior Petrophysicist and a Reservoir Geomodeler at the Well Services of Iran (Schlumberger Methods) and the National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC), respectively.
Bhavesh was born and raised in Edmonton, and is a recipient of a Bachelor of Science with a specialization in Geology from the University of Alberta. His career consists of 10 years in the environmental consulting field, working on contaminant and physical hydrogeological projects. In his free time he enjoys tennis, Djing and home renovations. As part of the RG2 team he hopes to build on his Geotechnical knowledge and transition his career to engineering.
PhD Student Jhon joined us in January. He holds Master’s and bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He has four years of experience as researcher and code developer using the finite differences and finite element methods in the areas of coupled THM modeling, wellbore stability, hydraulic fracturing and stress dependent permeability and more than five years of field experience as mudlogger engineer and real-time wellbore stability analyst. His research areas of interest are scientific computing, computational geomechanics, reservoir geomechanics, wellbore stability, and environmental geomechanics.
Ajay Ganesh pursued his Ph.D. in Process Control from the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department, University of Alberta. He spent last year working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Delaware Energy Institute, University of Delaware, USA. He is pleased to join [RG]2 as a postdoctoral researcher where he will be working on applying machine learning techniques to experimental and numerical modelling of reservoir geomechanics.