This is an undergraduate research position, made available through either the NSERC USRA or the Work Learn IUA program.
Project Name: Laboratory Research Assistant, Fluid Mechanics of Well Leakage | Complex Fluid Lab, UBC Vancouver
Supervisor Name: Scott Charabin, Marzieh Alishahi, Sophia Sotoudeh | Preferred Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline to Apply: Application procedures are different for these two programs – visit our undergraduate Research Opportunities page for application details.
- NSERC USRA: Send your application Package to Mechanical Engineering Student Services (email@example.com) by March 8th, 2023 at 11:59 PM.
- WL IUA: The position will be posted to UBC CareersOnline from March 13 – 26, 2023. Interested students can also contact Scott Charabin (firstname.lastname@example.org) with resume and transcript.
Oil and gas wellbore leakage is a primary concern for the public due to risks of groundwater contamination and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The wellbore travels through sensitive geological zones containing brine and hydrocarbons. Casing is placed in the wellbore to protect against collapse, and cement is used to replace the water between the rock and casing to maintain stability and protect against leakage. Proper displacement of water by cement is vital to ensure a proper bond is made between the cement and pipe as wells can remain active for decades. When the wells are no longer active and abandonment occurs, a long cement plug is pumped into the casing to hydraulically seal the well.
As a result of poor cementing practice there many thousands of wells in Western Canada that now leak, contributing significantly to total industrial emissions of methane. Therefore this research aims to understand displacement and exchange flows using viscoplastic fluids. A key feature of a viscoplastic fluids is its yield stress: the material flows only if the imposed stress exceeds the yield stress. This raises question regarding how yield stress impacts displacement flow, or how a yield stress fluid can hinder buoyancy flow of a lighter fluid.
We are seeking 2 students to work on two subprojects: (i) Displacement flow of a viscoplastic fluid; (ii) Exchange flow between a viscoplastic fluid and Newtonian fluid. Both these project will hopefully lead to better industry practice and help Canada meet its GHG target reductions. The students will assist in all operations related with the experiments: fluid preparation, rheometry measurements of the fluids, running experiments and image processing. The students will learn the physical background to the experiments and may help in design of new components and implement changes to the current apparatus.
Special requirements (department, GPA, specific courses, year level, skills)
The student will be supervised by a team of graduate students working on the same projects, interacting daily with the team. The students will assist in all operations related with the experiments: fluid preparation, rheometry measurements of the fluids, running experiments and image processing. The students will learn the physical background to the experiments and may help in design of new components and implement changes to the current apparatus.
This position would perhaps suit a student in Mechanical or Chemical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Physics or Chemistry with hands on laboratory experience who wishes to gain research experience in fluid mechanics and rheology, plus associated areas.
Position duration (ie. May to Aug, 2023): May-August 2023, possibly extendable.
Total pay including award: $9K
Will you still hire for position if the student does not receive the WL IURA 0r NSERC USRA award?: Possibly.