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State Energy Research Center at EERC Hosts Collaboration Meeting


SERC Director Tom Erickson leads a group tour of the EERC's Technology Demonstration area.
Leaders from university campuses throughout North Dakota gathered to discuss collaboration efforts around energy education. The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) hosted the event as part of its work as the newly designated State Energy Research Center of North Dakota (SERC).

Attendees discussed the energy industry’s contribution to the economy of North Dakota and how each campus incorporates energy and environmental education into its curricula. The group, consisting of representatives from Minot State University, the University of Jamestown, Dickinson State University, the University of North Dakota, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, Williston State College, Valley City State University, and North Dakota State University, discussed current and future needs in regard to energy education and what could be accomplished through collaboration and SERC funding.

“By working together and sharing outreach and educational resources, we can better serve North Dakota and our citizens,” said Tom Erickson, SERC Director.

The group will continue discussions and plan projects to enhance energy education in North Dakota. For more information, contact Tom Erickson.



 

EERC Welcomes Xue Yu


Dr. Xue Yu has joined the EERC as a Reservoir Analytics Scientist. Xue works with a multidisciplinary team of EERC scientists and engineers to lead development of advanced analytics that incorporate leading-edge concepts, strategies, and data applications that improve the performance of CO2 enhanced oil recovery, CO2 storage, and unconventional hydrocarbon recovery projects.

“I’m very proud to be part of the EERC. It is a leader in energy and environmental technologies, and I really like that the EERC cares about and values its people as the strength on which to build its continued success,” Xue said.

His principal areas of interest and expertise include multidisciplinary project work that encompasses geology, hydrogeology, environmental research, and sociodemographic studies using tools such as machine learning, business analytics, geospatial analysis, and time series analysis.

“I was drawn to reservoir analytics because it allows me to thrive. It gives me the opportunity to use my knowledge and abilities in data science and machine learning as well as my multidisciplinary research experience, all while working in the challenging and rewarding field of energy and the environment,” Xue said.

Xue holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University, a Masters of Science in Business Analytics from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Engineering from Yangtze University, Hubei, China. He previously worked for Carlson Analytics Lab in the Twin Cities.

Xue is originally from Hubei, China, famously known as the province of a thousand lakes. Xue’s wife, Xiaoli Guo, is an Assistant Professor for UND Accounting. Their son, who already loves science, will start 3rd grade this fall. They enjoy going out to eat, traveling to new places, watching movies at the cinema, and playing board games.

An avid reader, Xue likes reading fiction and classic literature from China and the world. Xue also enjoys soccer, boxing, and working out at the gym.

Gorecki Selected to Lead EERC


On July 9, Charles Gorecki was named CEO of the EERC by University of North Dakota Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas DiLorenzo. Read the full article at UND Today.

The announcement was made as former CEO Tom Erickson announced June 11 that he would be stepping down from his role as CEO of the EERC and will transition into a new role to head up the newly established State Energy Research Center.

EERC Welcomes John Oleksik

John Oleksik has joined the EERC as a Research Engineer in the Advanced Energy Systems Group. John contributes to the development and testing of new technologies through conceptualization, design, logistical planning, system construction, system commissioning and operation, data reduction, and troubleshooting. 

“I love the learning that happens every day. The staff at the EERC are experts in so many different areas, and I find that every day I can come home with a new bit of information. Sometimes it’s a nuance to a system I’m working on or a project I’m interested in. Other times it can be about brewing beer,” says John, who adds that not a day goes by that the people he works with don’t shed some new light on the work he’s doing and on interesting topics in general. 

John holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Petroleum Engineering and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Economics from the University of North Dakota. 

“I’m always excited by what’s been done here and what direction we might be going in the future. I like that I’m always doing something different,” John says. “With the variety, each change presents new challenges. The biggest thing that drew me to engineering is the opportunity to work through problems. Problem solving is great in that some of the greatest frustrations lead to the greatest satisfaction when an issue is addressed.” 

John’s parents emigrated from Poland to Williston, North Dakota, where John grew up. He is “somewhat fluent” in Polish, loves Polish cooking, and has traveled to Poland five times.
“My Polish heritage is something I’ve taken more pride and interest in the older I get,” he says.
John is married to Jasmine Oleksik, also a Research Engineer at the EERC. Their No. 1 hobby is traveling—whether it be a day trip, weekend away, or long vacations. They love spending time outdoors, skiing, hiking, camping, but John says they also love to explore new cities, breweries, and enjoy shows, concerts, and sporting events. They also like to cook and spend time with friends.

EERC Welcomes Santosh Patil

Santosh Patil has joined the EERC as a Reservoir Engineer, where he works with geoscientists to build geological models and runs dynamic simulations to determine the long-term fate of produced/injected fluids, including hydrocarbons, CO2, and brine.

“The EERC’s research activities provide practical solutions to actual problems that are faced within the oil and gas industry,” said Santosh. 

Drawn to the EERC for the research possibilities, he says what he likes most about his job is solving different reservoir engineering problems, especially those specific to unconventional reservoirs and the use of CO2 injection. 

Santosh grew up in India and received a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from India. He moved to the United States in 2002 for graduate studies where he received his Masters of Science in Petroleum Engineering and Environmental Engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is now pursuing his Ph.D. degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of North Dakota. Prior to joining the EERC, Santosh served as a Reservoir Engineer for BP where he worked on fields on the North Slope of Alaska. 

When they can take time away from work and studies, Santosh and his wife like to drive and explore the area. Santosh’s hobbies include watching shows and movies from India, bike riding and fishing.
When asked whether he’s had any unusual adventures, Santosh laughs and says, “I have lived in Alaska—there are some places colder than North Dakota!”

North Dakota Senator Ray Holmberg Receives Energy Champion Award

North Dakota Senator Ray Holmberg
The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) presented its Energy Champion Award to the Honorable Ray Holmberg, North Dakota State Senator. The presentation and a reception were held at the EERC on June 18. Read the full article at UND Today.

EERC Welcomes John Brunner

John Brunner has joined the EERC as a Research Engineer with the Advanced Energy Systems team. John contributes to the design, modeling, and fabrication of experimental equipment. He interprets data and assists in preparing proposals, reports, and papers, as well as presenting project results to clients.

“The EERC has a unique and dynamic working environment. Everyday is different and exciting, and I have the chance to work along side of and learn from veteran and experienced research professionals,” said John.

John is a familiar face around the EERC; he worked here as a student assistant in both Facilities & Safety and the Advanced Energy Systems groups since 2016. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of North Dakota.

“Working here as a student gave me the opportunity to work in something engineering-related while in school. Some of the projects I worked on as a student I’m now able to continue working but on a larger scale,” said John. 

Originally from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, John enjoys hunting and fishing. He is also a car enthusiast. While he was a student, John was a member of and technical lead for the University of North Dakota’s Formula SAE Engine and Drivetrain team for 3 years.  

EERC Welcomes Gloria Rodriguez

The EERC is pleased to welcome Gloria Rodriguez to the Information Technology (IT) Group. As an IT Systems Administrator, Gloria will be assisting the EERC with all aspects of IT, including hardware and software installation and troubleshooting, server administration, documentation and policy development, and enhancing cybersecurity practices and policies. 

“We live in a digital age where the Internet touches almost all aspects of our daily life. Cybersecurity, then, plays an essential role in ensuring the safety of systems that support our daily lives,” said Rodriguez. 

Gloria previously worked at the EERC as a student assistant in the IT Group and for UND’s Information Technology department. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems and a minor in Geography. She is currently working on her Master’s of Science in Cybersecurity at UND. “By getting my master’s in Cybersecurity, I am intending to apply the knowledge acquired to educate others and to work mitigating the challenges we constantly face,” said Gloria. 

“The culture at the EERC is fun and welcoming; I’m glad to be back,” said Rodriguez. “There are so many good people to learn from here.” 

Originally from MedellĂ­n, Colombia, Gloria moved to the United States in 2001. She has three children, with her oldest also at UND, studying political science and international studies. In her free time, Gloria enjoys cooking, making jewelry, oil painting, and yoga. She is passionate about the inclusion of women in the cybersecurity profession and is a member of the Women in Cybersecurity organization and Grand Forks Linux User Group. She is also an active volunteer in the community, volunteering at The Empire theater and the North Valley Youth Orchestra.