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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.

EERC's Tom Erickson Receives UND President's Medal

Energy & Environmental Research Center CEO Tom Erickson on Monday became the 34th person to receive the UND President’s Medal when University President Mark Kennedy made the surprise presentation before employees at the Center. Read the full article at UND Today

EERC Established as the Energy Research Center of North Dakota

North Dakota Senate Bill 2249 was approved by the state House of Representatives over this past legislative session, providing $5 million over the next two years to establish the Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota (EERC) as the state's energy research center.

The Energy Research Center of North Dakota at the EERC will focus on emerging topics critical to the state’s energy industry and environmental challenges, such as flaring reduction, pipeline safety, efficient lignite use, and increasing oil recovery while decreasing environmental impacts.

“This is an investment in North Dakota’s future,” said Tom Erickson, EERC CEO. “The world is changing quickly, and with those changes come monumental challenges. North Dakota has the opportunity to pioneer energy research that addresses those challenges and keep our state on the forefront of innovation.”

The Energy Research Center of North Dakota will concentrate on precommercial research to complement existing state programs and ensure North Dakota’s energy resources and products remain accessible, affordable, environmentally responsible, and clearly understood through education and outreach.

Questions can be directed to:

Nikki Massmann, EERC Communications Director
nmassmann@undeerc.org, (701) 777-5428 


4th Annual "Energizing North Dakota" Partnership Summit

The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) hosted its 4th Annual “Energizing North Dakota” Partnership Summit May 21. This event serves as a forum for partners across energy industry sectors to discuss critical energy topics relating to North Dakota. The morning kicked off with North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness welcoming over 100 attendees, representing public utilities, private industry, government entities, and energy research experts.

The future of energy and the global connection was the overarching theme of discussions throughout the day. Keynote speaker Charles McConnell, Executive Director, Carbon Management and Energy Sustainability at the University of Houston, discussed the low-carbon future and reality of transitioning to that future.

“The market is asking for low-carbon energy, not only the government,” said McConnell. “As companies continue to drive innovation, future barrels of oil will be based not only on costs at the wellhead but also its lifespan, its carbon footprint, and the environmental responsibility of the operating companies.”

North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford highlighted both energy’s vital role in the state’s economy and the state’s commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation through EERC-led projects such as iPIPE.

Paul Sukut, CEO of Basin Electric Power Cooperative, outlined the changing capacity portfolio of utility providers and the need for an all-of-the-above approach to meeting electricity demands. Brian Kroshus, Chairman of the North Dakota Public Service Commission, discussed meeting future energy needs and the importance of public perception regarding the energy industry.

A multidisciplinary discussion panel focused on the energy industry in 2030, specifically on society’s speed-of-change expectation versus the reality of balancing that change without putting excessive costs to customers or hindering economic growth. EERC Vice President for Strategic Partnerships John Harju moderated the panel of experts, which included Ron Ness, President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council; Jason Bohrer, President and CEO of the Lignite Energy Council; and Bill Sawyer, General Manager of Operations at ALLETE Clean Energy.

Charles Gorecki, Director of Subsurface Research & Development, outlined progress made toward advancing the goals developed during the 2017 Partnership Summit for North Dakota’s energy future. These goals include increasing the state’s daily oil production, eliminating pipeline leaks, capitalizing on the state’s synergies between agriculture and energy, maximizing the use of North Dakota natural gas and energy export opportunities, enhancing energy reliability and energy infrastructure, expanding the uses of lignite coal such as for enhanced oil recovery and the extraction of rare earth elements, and educating the world on energy and environmental topics. Gorecki also discussed ways to keep North Dakota and the United States a global energy leader through exploratory research on developing technologies, on which the EERC is able to focus some of its future efforts, thanks to the creation of the North Dakota State Energy Research Center in this recent 2019 legislative session.

“We are indebted to all of you in the room today for your support and faith in us,” said Gorecki as he addressed the attendees in the room. “We couldn’t be more humbled by the support given to us by the passing of SB 2249.”

“We have not only the opportunity but also the obligation to the citizens of North Dakota to adapt and prepare for the future,” said EERC CEO Tom Erickson. “Venues like this are important to enable collaboration on those opportunities.”


EERC Welcomes Todger Morrow

Todger Morrow has joined the EERC as a Technology Development Operator, where he will work on the operation, modification, maintenance, repair, and set up of bench-and pilot-scale equipment; and fabrication of new equipment in support of energy research projects for the EERC and their clients.

Prior to his position at the EERC, Todger worked as a machinist at American Crystal Sugar in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, and at Northern Valley Machine Inc. in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Todger has a degree in Machine Tooling/Precision Metal Working from the North Dakota State College of Science and over 8 years of experience as a machinist.

Originally from Wahpeton, North Dakota, he served in the National Guard based in Devils Lake for over 11 years. He is an Armament Maintenance Supervisor/Section Sergeant, with a rank of Staff Sergeant/E-6.

Todger’s wife works in shipping and receiving at American Crystal Sugar in East Grand Forks. They have two dogs. They both love hunting and fishing and look forward to summers spending time at Ottertail Lake by Fergus Falls. Todger’s other hobbies are clay and rifle target shooting, fixing weapons, and watching football. He also owns his own business as a machinist and gunsmith.

EERC Welcomes Alex Chakhmakhchev


Dr. Alexander Chakhmakhchev is welcomed to the EERC as a Principal Scientist where he leads projects and research in the areas of enhanced oil recovery, production optimization, geochemical solutions, and environmental protection.

Alex has over 20 years of geoscience experience in the international petroleum industry, academic expertise in geoscience and applying the results to petroleum exploration efforts, field development, production optimization, and problem solving in various geologic settings.

Prior to his position at the EERC, Alex served as a Senior Data Scientist with Applied Chem Data and was a Principal Geochemist with SGS Oil, Gas, and Chemical Services, in The Woodlands, Texas. He holds a Ph.D. in Petroleum Geochemistry from the All-Russia Research Institute for Geological, Geochemical, and Geophysical Information Systems, Moscow, and a Master’s of Science in Petroleum Geology from Moscow State University. 

Alexander is a Washington Capitals fan. He enjoys cross-country skiing, ice skating, and he loves cars.

EERC Receives Lignite Energy Council Honors

Two Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) staff were honored by The Lignite Energy Council for their dedication and contributions to the lignite industry. Dan Daly and Josh Stanislowski received these honors during the Council’s 46th Annual Meeting on April 24, 2019, in Bismarck, ND.

Josh Stanislowski, Principal Engineer, received the Distinguished Service Award – Research and Development Program for his efforts to study the economic impacts of using carbon dioxide from lignite-based power plants for enhanced oil recovery.

Dan Daly, Geologist, received the Distinguished Service Award – Education for his participation in the annual teachers’ seminar. Daly gave a comprehensive presentation about natural and manmade sources of CO2 and how it can be stored in geological formations.

“Our theme was ‘Blueprint for the Future,’ and certainly leaders who share their time and talents to benefit the entire industry are key to building a better lignite industry that provides reliable, low-cost and increasingly clean electricity,” said Jason Bohrer, president & CEO of the Lignite Energy Council.

The EERC is a global leader in developing solutions to energy and environmental challenges, known for its ability to bring cutting edge science and energy technologies to commercialization.


EERC Welcomes Bao Jia

The EERC welcomes Dr. Bao Jia to the Reservoir Engineering group. As a Reservoir Engineer, Bao serves our clients by developing geophysical models of the subsurface and run simulations to determine the long-term fate of produced/injected hydrocarbons, CO2 storage, and brine. Bao’s current research focuses on the characterization of unconventional reservoirs, CO2/gas injection to improve shale oil recovery, and determining the fate of injected brine/oil/gas in the subsurface.

“Before joining the EERC, I had read a lot of articles authored by colleagues here when I was doing my Ph.D., so I knew it was an excellent institution focusing on addressing energy issues,” Bao noted. “There are cycles of ups and downs in the energy industry. As reservoir engineers, the important thing for us to do is to increase our capacities of various skills, teamwork, and communication.”

“The EERC is located in North Dakota, the second-largest petroleum-producing state, which means we have a lot of natural resources, and we have a very healthy management system, access to various facilities, and many hard-working professionals,” he added.

Bao earned his Ph.D. with honors in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Kansas, a Master’s of Science in Petroleum Engineering from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Petroleum Engineering from China University of Petroleum (East China). Bao’s Ph.D. work involved working on characterization of shale reservoirs and CO2/natural gas injection to improve shale oil recovery. Bao is the 2019 recipient of the Frank Bowdish Outstanding Ph.D. award at the University of Kansas. He also serves as a technical reviewer for the Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering and the Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal.

Originally from Shandong Province in China, Bao came to the United States in 2012. Shandong Province is also where Chinese philosopher/teacher Confucius was born in 551 BC.

Bao likes playing table tennis, watching a variety of movies and television shows, and listening to music. He admires Forrest’s spirit and character in his favorite movie, Forrest Gump. Bao also likes traveling to different places to appreciate different scenery and cultures.

EERC Welcomes Dan Kovarik

Dan Kovarik has joined the EERC as a Master Electrician. He installs, maintains, and repairs electrical systems and equipment for commercial and industrial applications in support of energy research projects for the EERC and their clients.
“Al Olson, the electrician I am replacing, had genuine dedication to safety, the people, his work, and the EERC. I hope to carry on those same values,” said Dan. “It’s great to be welcomed into an organization where I’m already seeing intriguing work and meeting great people. I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute, learn, and work with everyone involved with the EERC.”
In addition to being a licensed Master Electrician, Dan is A+ Hardware certified as a Microcomputer Specialist from the North Dakota State School of Science and brings a variety of work experience to the EERC. Based in Minneapolis for several years, he returned to Grand Forks to run Stan’s Electric with his dad, focusing primarily on industrial and commercial work.
After his father went on to teach electrical classes at the community college in East Grand Forks, Dan found himself spending too much time at work. The EERC is a good fit, as it leaves him with more time for family.
Dan and his wife have a son, age 7, who “can name any dinosaur by just looking at the picture,” and a daughter, age 6, who “dresses in the most beautiful and crazy-colored outfits.”
“I love to see them happy and having fun together,” said Dan. “Their hobbies are my hobbies, but I do enjoy UND hockey, and I love to be outdoors, hunting and trying to catch fish. I don’t really like crowds, but if you get to know me, I am hard to keep quiet!” 

EERC Welcomes Kyle Dye

Kyle Dye has joined the EERC as a Technology Development Operator, where he works on project teams to set up, operate, maintain, and repair bench-and pilot-scale equipment; modify standard equipment; and fabricate new equipment for nonstandard applications in support of energy research projects for EERC clients.

Kyle comes to the EERC with over 17 years of experience in the plumbing field where he worked as a Commercial Plumber/Foreman for Home Heating, Plumbing & A/C, Inc., in Fargo. He is a licensed master plumber in North Dakota and a licensed journeyman plumber in Minnesota.

Originally from Las Vegas, Kyle lives in Halstad, Minnesota, where his wife works as a Certified Public Accountant. They have four girls and a boy, ranging in age from 2 and a half to 15. Family time in the summer involves being outdoors, fishing, camping, barbequing, riding bike, jumping on the trampoline, and splashing around in the pool.

Kyle grew up playing baseball and hockey. His favorite hockey teams are the Minnesota Wild and the Vegas Golden Knights.

Red Trail Energy Hosts Open House Event in Richardton

RICHARDTON, N.D. – Red TrailEnergy, LLC (RTE) recently hosted an open house event at the American Legion in Richardton. Approximately 40 community members attended. Scientists and engineers from the University of North Dakota (UND) Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) joined RTE staff and provided information to attendees on a local carbon capture and storage project.

EERC Director of Subsurface R & D Charles Gorecki
discusses the project with community members.
With the support of the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), RTE is investigating carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology as a way to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions associated with ethanol production. Reducing emissions enables energy producers to sell ethanol to states that have low-carbon fuel programs, such as California. CCUS technology captures and permanently stores carbon dioxide emissions.

“We are very excited to continue working with the EERC to investigate CCUS as an economical option for meeting low-carbon fuel program markets in other states,” said Gerald Bachmeier, RTE Chief Executive Officer. “Our community has been supportive of the effort, and we appreciate their time to attend our open house.”

EERC Geophysicist Amanda Livers-Douglas explains CCUS.
Questions about the project can be directed to:

Dustin Willett, RTE Chief Operating Officer
(701) 974-3308, dustin@redtrailenergy.com

Nikki Massmann, EERC Communications Director
(701) 777-5428, nmassmann@undeerc.org







EERC Welcomes Dapo Awolayo

Dr. Adedapo ‘Dapo’ Awolayo is welcomed to the EERC as a Reservoir Engineer where he will be developing geophysical models of the subsurface, and running simulations to determine the long-term fate of produced/injected fluids, including hydrocarbons, CO2 storage, and brine.

Dapo has seen many changes in the energy industry over the last couple of decades and has some thoughts about what makes the EERC unique.

“The energy industry is driven by the need to use innovative technologies towards attaining higher productivity in an economic and eco-friendly manner. The EERC has been on the front line of developing these technologies through the application of different diagnostic tools to elucidate and predict important physical/chemical processes observed during multi-phase fluid flow in different media,” Dapo said. “The capability to conduct novel experiments at various relevant scales, analyze the results to identify the relevant mechanisms, and generate predictive mathematical models and simulations are what make the EERC unique in tackling recent energy industry demands.”

Dapo holds a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; a Master’s of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.; and a Bachelor’s of Technology in Chemical Engineering from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Nigeria. Previously, Dapo held positions as a Research Scientist at Computer Modelling Group Ltd. and as a Reservoir Simulation Engineer at Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Operations Petroleum Ltd. (ADCO), U.A.E. 

Dapo looks forward to the opportunity to work with different clients to research and develop innovative technologies that can solve some of their challenging energy problems.

“I hope through theoretical and experimental research I will be able to explore possible solutions to challenges encountered in fluid flow applications like groundwater transport, secondary and tertiary oil recovery, and CO2 storage,” he added.

Dapo comes from Ibadan, a city approximately 80 miles from Lagos, Nigeria. He is married and has a 2-year-old daughter. In his free time, he likes to watch soccer and basketball games. He also likes to play soccer and keep tabs on recent news.

EERC Welcomes Don Adams

Dr. Don Adams, Research Geophysicist, was recently welcomed to the EERC Geophysics team where he analyzes the subsurface using geophysical methods and applying advanced interpretation techniques to data collected in the field. These methods are being applied to support our clients in a growing number of EERC research projects for advanced resource recovery and/or carbon storage. His principal areas of interest and expertise include rock physics, seismic interpretation, interpretative seismic processing, 4-D seismic, and geophysical-geological data integration.

“This position is well suited to my interests,” said Don, who found that he could blend his interests in geology and physics in the field of geophysics. “The EERC fills a unique niche in the research community. I am pleased to contribute to its success.”

Originally from Freeland, Michigan, near Saginaw, Don lived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula while attending Michigan Tech. Before moving to North Dakota, he also lived in Texas, Oklahoma, and California. An outdoor enthusiast, Don enjoys backpacking and hiking, often in northern New Mexico, southern Colorado, and Utah. He has a special interest in outdoor photography, primarily of mountain and desert scenery. He also specializes in taking photographs of birds and insects such as dragonflies and spiders.

“I am looking forward to getting reacquainted with Isle Royale and Lake Superior,” Don said, “and discovering new places in North Dakota.”

EERC Welcomes Alexis Thompson

The EERC is pleased to welcome Alexis Thompson to the Financial Services Team as an Accountant. Alexis will provide accounting and business support for the EERC and accounting, processing, and reporting for the EERC Foundation.

“I’ve heard wonderful things from other UND employees about how great it is to work here,” said Alexis.

Alexis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Minnesota – Crookston Prior to working at the EERC, Alexis worked at Dee Inc. as an Accountant/Corporate Controller. She said she was drawn to this position at the EERC because it gives her the chance to be a part of UND and the EERC “family” as well as work in a different area of accounting.

“I’ve spent the past 12.5 years working in corporate accounting in a manufacturing setting, this new position allows me to look at accounting in a whole new way which is very exciting to me. I like many things about my new job and am taking advantage of all the new opportunities to broaden my accounting knowledge,” said Alexis.

Originally from Greenbush, Minnesota Alexis has lived in Crookston since college with her husband, Tyler. Alexis enjoys crafting, embroidering, cross-stitching, gardening, and making homemade bread. For outdoor fun, she likes to four-wheel. Alexis also enjoys hockey and rooting for the Wild and UND Fighting Hawks.

EERC Welcomes Arelys Salazar

The EERC is pleased to welcome Arelys Salazar to the EERC team as a Reservoir Engineer where she will be developing geophysical computer models and dynamic simulations of the subsurface to determine the long-term fate of produced/injected fluids, such as hydrocarbons, CO2 storage, and brine.

Arelys holds a Master’s of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Wyoming. She also earned a Specialist in Integrated Reservoir Management degree and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela. Arelys comes to the EERC with 18 years of industry and academic experience, having taught chemistry at the University of Carabobo, Venezuela and worked for the Venezuelan Institute of Petroleum Technology; PVDSA Intevep and for ConocoPhillips and Halliburton.

“The EERC is known for its innovation, and that drew me to this position,” said Arelys, who credits her work at PVDSA Intevep for fostering her passion for the oil and gas field. “It was an honor to work there, to innovate, to learn something new every day, and to learn from people with so many different backgrounds,” she said.

Her principal areas of interest and expertise includes reservoir characterization, production forecasting and optimization, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies.

A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Arelys moved to the United States in 2007. She met her husband, an economist and quality manager, while they were both living in Houston. Arelys and her husband enjoy watching soccer and baseball. Arelys likes watching documentaries and loves a good superhero movie.

EERC Congratulates Kalk in New Role

GRAND FORKS – The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) congratulates Brian Kalk, Director of Energy Systems Development, Design, and Operations, who has been named Executive Director for NDSU’s Research and Technology Park.

“We greatly appreciate Brian’s time here at the EERC and his dedicated work advancing innovative solutions in energy,” said EERC CEO Tom Erickson. “While we are sad to see him go, we congratulate Brian on his new position. The Research and Technology Park will be in good hands with Brian as their leader, and we congratulate them as well.”

Kalk worked at the EERC for two years, and represented the organization on several state and national committees. Kalk was instrumental in establishing a number of internal and external initiatives, including a series of goals and objectives that were ultimately extremely influential in the development of Governor Burgum’s own goals for North Dakota and its vibrant energy and agricultural industries.

Kalk’s final day is April 30. The EERC will fill the position as soon as possible.

“Our team is committed to providing seamless service to our many valued clients through this transition,” said Erickson. “We’re looking forward to working with Brian in his new role.”

EERC Travels Down Under to Discuss Greenhouse Gas

Traveling over 9300 miles, across the Pacific, into the Southern Hemisphere, eight team members from the EERC journeyed to Melbourne, Australia, to participate in the Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT) conference. In the span of 4 days, five presentations were given, ten posters were presented, and four people served as session chairs for seven different topics.

Since 1997, GHGT has been the principal worldwide conference on greenhouse gas mitigation, specifically on CO2 capture and storage. Led by the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme (IEAGHG), the GHGT conference serves as a platform for its 30 member countries to share and collaborate on their CO2 research. GHGT comprises over 70 technical sessions, 300 oral presentations, and 400 technical posters; GHGT brings together approximately 1000 industry professionals, academics, researchers, technical vendors, and government representatives.

“If you want to know what’s going on in the world of CO2 research, this is the conference to attend,” said Principal Engineer for Emissions and Carbon Capture John Kay, who was one of the EERC’s presenters.

Kay presented on the EERC’s research regarding the development of a postcombustion CO2 capture system on an existing coal-fired electric generating power plant. Kay emphasized the importance of the EERC’s participation in global events like GHGT.

“Conferences like this help cement our global relationships. Seeing people from all over the world and having the opportunity to have face-to-face discussions about this kind of research is huge,” Kay said. “The big payoff comes as future opportunities and new working relationships. People we meet remember us 6 months down the road; we get a lot of additional work just from making those connections and talking with the public about what we do.”

Other technical presentations included the work related to the EERC’s Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership, such as storage capacities for CO2 in geologic saline formations, updated CO2 modeling and simulation, and CO2 monitoring for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Reservoir Engineer Chantsa Dalkhaa presented on the updated numerical modeling and simulation work as part of the Aquistore CO2 Storage Project. This project, located in Saskatchewan, Canada, is the world’s first commercial postcombustion carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) project from a coal-fired power-generating facility. Dalkhaa also served as a session chair for the conference.

The EERC’s Director of Subsurface R&D, Charles Gorecki, presented on the successes and lessons learned from the 15 years of the PCOR Partnership, one of many PCOR Partnership related presentations that have been presented at the GHGT conference series over the years. Beginning in 2003, the PCOR Partnership has grown to over 120 partners and has completed numerous field projects related to CCUS and its association with CO2 for EOR.

“The PCOR Partnership Program, led by the EERC, has been one of the leading global efforts developing the technologies to enable the widespread deployment of CCUS activities and has set the stage for additional research activities at the EERC and beyond,” said Gorecki. Gorecki also spoke of the various projects that have resulted from the PCOR Partnership, such as Project Tundra and North Dakota CarbonSAFE. “It has really been a privilege to work on the PCOR Partnership Program alongside an incredible group of scientists and engineers at the EERC and in our member companies.”

The GHGT conference is held every 2 years and typically rotates between North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.