Petroleum engineering faculty win RPSEA grants

Photo of Zhu, Ghassemi, BurnettProjects led by three Texas A&M petroleum engineering faculty researchers have received funding from the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA).

Dr. Ding Zhu and Dr. Ahmad Ghassemi wrote two of the 15 proposals selected from among the 78 submitted. Dr. David Bur­nett entered a proposal, through GSI Environmental Inc., which was also awarded funding. (Pictured left to right, Zhu, Ghassemi and Burnett)

Zhu is an associate professor and the W.D. Von Gonten Faculty Fellow. Ghassemi is an associate professor and director of Petroleum Engineering Rock Mechanics Laboratory, and the George and Joan Voneiff Development Professor in Unconventional Resources. Burnett directs the Global Petroleum Resources Institute, a part of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).

The 15 winning proposals under the Unconventional Resources Program will receive a total of $36 million in federal and industry funding. RPSEA issued the solicitation for proposals in late 2011 to incorporate new projects into its Unconventional Gas Re­sources Program. These 2011 Unconventional Resources Program selections add to the existing research portfolio of 47 projects. 

"The 2011 Unconventional Resources Program selections focus on research that will add to the ability to develop the natural gas endowment of the U.S. in an environmentally protective and safe manner," said Kent Perry, RPSEA vice president for onshore programs.

Awards, open to any U.S.-based organization, are negotiated once project selections are made within each RPSEA program -- Unconventional Resources, Small Producer and Ultra-Deepwater. These projects focus on improving safety, minimizing environmental impacts, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs of domestic hydrocarbon resources, maximizing their value. Collaboration of America’s leading universities, research institutions, independent and major producers, national laboratories, state associations and service companies is encouraged to utilize each of their research and technology resources.