Tim Dixon presenting Most Outstanding Student awards
Tim Dixon (left) from IEAGHG presenting Most Outstanding Student awards to Luc Steel and Grace Womack (Photo: Lori Gauvreau, Schlumberger Carbon Services)

Luc Steel, PhD student at Heriot-Watt University, was awarded the Most Outstanding Student Award at the 8th Interdisciplinary Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) Summer School which was held in Austin, Texas from the 6th-11th of July 2014.

Luc is doing his PhD in Chemical Engineering and jointly supervised by Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer and Prof Eric Mackay from the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering (School of Engineering and Physical Sciences) and the Institute of Petroleum Engineering. He is studying CO₂-brine interactions using North Sea oil well data with respect to geological storage of CO₂ and enhanced oil recovery. Luc is a member of the Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage (CICCS) which was formally opened by the Chancellor in June last year.

Group shot of students and mentors
Group photo showing summer school students and mentors on the final day (Photo: Lori Gauvreau, Schlumberger Carbon Services)

The summer school is organized by the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme (IEAGHG) and participation is through a very competitive process. This year, from over 140 applicants, 47 students were selected, coming from 21 different countries, resulting in a truly international summer school. In addition to the students there were over 30 speakers who attended, giving presentations on a wide variety of topics within CCS, including storage, policy, economics and public engagement to name but a few. Of the 30+ speakers there were 20 dedicated expert mentors, who are leading experts in their fields and were present for the entire week so that the students could benefit from their knowledge and key insights into CCS. The school week consisted of lectures, group work and a field trip to the Pickle Research Campus of The University of Texas at Austin, home of the Bureau of Economic Geology, where we were given a very interesting tour of the National Carbon Capture Centre’s CO₂ capture pilot plant.

Every year two students are awarded the Most Outstanding Student Award, which is decided by the Expert Mentors, and this year’s winners were Luc Steel from Heriot-Watt University and Grace Womack (Drexel University, USA). Luc has been invited to attend next year’s summer school as student mentor.  

To have been selected to attend the IEAGHG Summer School was a reward in itself as it allowed me to engage with some of the leading experts in CCS and share ideas with my fellow PhD students from around the world. To be awarded Most Outstanding Student was simply the icing on the cake and I am truly thrilled. I hope that my experience will encourage other students at Heriot-Watt University to apply for next year’s summer school, which will be of great benefit to any who attend."

Luc Steel
PhD student, Heriot-Watt University

This is indeed a very fine accomplishment for Luc as the IEAGHG Summer School is very competitive and highlights Luc’s hard work and dedication to his PhD studies. Luc’s award reflects on the outstanding quality of our PhD students here at Heriot-Watt University"

Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer
Robert Buchan Chair in Sustainable Energy Engineering at Heriot-Watt University

Luc's prestigious award is very much deserved, representing recognition for the hard work that he has put into his doctoral studies thus far. It is heart warming to see a Heriot-Watt University student receiving international recognition, and Luc is to be commended for his diligence and willingness to act in an ambassadorial capacity."

Prof Eric Mackay
Foundation CMG Chair in Reactive Flow Simulation, Heriot-Watt University

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