Graduate student benefits from CMC network

Graduate student Thomas de Haas developed an interest in carbon management while working for oil companies WorleyParsonsDynetek and Colt Engineering. He wanted to explore the environmental stream of the oil and gas industry and felt CMC could offer a project in line with his research interests.

“I enjoyed working in the field of oil and gas and wanted to focus more on the environmental side of things. My personal interest is in high-pressure piping and pressure vessels. Coming to Toronto to work with Dr. David Sinton was quite in line with that, both the concept of CCS as well as my particular role in the lab,” says de Haas.

Supervised by project lead Dr. Sinton at the University of Toronto, de Haas is working on an enabling and emerging technologies project that is employing micro-fluidics to develop small scale testing systems and apply them to a specific set of measurements relating to CO2 behaviour in reservoirs. The overall objective of the research is to characterize CO2 transport and reactivity in the fossil fuel processes that underpin the technical and socioeconomic models for effective carbon management.

“I work on the micro-fluidic side of everything. My specific role is to collaborate with my team members and help them get their experiments running at higher pressures and temperatures,” says de Haas.

Opportunities for Collaboration

The proposed work leverages the unique opportunity offered by the CMC network to combine a national team of engineering and reservoir geosciences researchers with complementary expertise.

“CMC provides the opportunity to collaborate with other schools like the University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary and collaborators which provide our lab with physical samples of oil and bitumen. The atmosphere is encouraging because it promotes interaction between project teams by bridging gaps between schools,” says de Haas.

De Haas says working with CMC has also put him in contact with industry.

“Students from our lab traveled to Calgary to speak with oil companies. Networking provided by meeting with these companies could help with finding a position,” says de Haas.

His project team is currently looking to commercialize their micro-fluidic technology, and CMC members and leadership are providing great guidance.

CMC membership a benefit

According to de Haas, it is an asset for a prospective student to join the CMC community which provides networking with industry and researchers across the country.

“I would recommend CMC because it’s the body to go to for research into carbon management. If somebody has an interest in this field I think it’s the place to go,” says de Haas.

De Haas maintains an active role in the CMC network by attending the annual scientific conference and volunteering with the student association working group. He will graduate next year from the University of Toronto with a Masters of Applied Science in mechanical and industrial engineering and has a Bachelor of Engineering in mechanical engineering from the University of Victoria.

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