UT PGE Team Wins National Energy Contest

March 27, 2023

Three PhD students from the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering — Ibrahim Gomaa, Keivan Khaleghi and Dongyoung Yoon — have won the 2023 Chevron National Engineering Week Competition held in February.

Gomaa, Khaleghi and Yoon in front of the Clock Knot

Hosted by the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC), the virtual competition tasked participants with addressing “The Role of the Petroleum Industry in Energy Transition.” A team from Pennsylvania State University placed second, and a team from USC placed third.

Gomaa, Khaleghi and Yoon’s winning presentation included novel and multiscale solutions for carbon storage in organic shale, sedimentary geothermal for direct use applications, and improved wellbore stability modeling for deep geothermal drilling. A panel of expert judges evaluated each team based on their understanding of the problem, creativity in the proposed solution, research about currently available technologies, quality of presentation, and a question and answer session.

“This competition was a great opportunity for us to showcase our skills and apply what we have learned in our petroleum engineering research to offer multiscale solutions for energy transition,” says Khaleghi, whose PhD research is supervised by Associate Professor Silviu Livescu. “We were proud to represent the University of Texas at Austin and the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering in this event.” Gomaa’s research is supervised by Associate Professor Nicolas Espinoza and Associate Professor Zoya Heidari, and Yoon’s by Professor Eric van Oort.

Chevron and USC have hosted the annual eWeek competition since 2014. A team from UT PGE has placed among the winners for the last two years — in 2022, Ricardo Lara (PhD PE 2022), Eduardo Maldonado (PhD PE 2023), & Moisés Velasco Lozano (PhD PE 2023) received second place for their presentation on the “Mitigation of Fugitive Methane Emissions from Upstream Operations.”