Invited Speakers

Prof. Evren M. Ozbayoglu

University of Tulsa, USA

Biography: Evren M. Ozbayoglu is currently a “Chapman Endowed Wellspring Professor” of The University of Tulsa (TU), McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering, and the Director of The University of Tulsa, Drilling Research Projects (TUDRP). He has earned his BSc in 1996 and MSc in 1998 from METU. He earned his PhD degree from The University of Tulsa in 2002. He started working at METU as a full time faculty, and continued working at METU till 2009 August. Since then, he is working for TU. Dr. Ozbayoglu has numerous publications and participated in several industrial projects on major drilling engineering topics as well as wellbore hydraulics, hole cleaning, and tubular mechanics. He was awarded for SPE Regional Drilling Engineer Award, 2019, “Outstanding Technical Editor Award” for SPE Journal, SPE Reservoir Application & Engineering, and SPE Drilling & Completion for years 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, “SPE Regional Distinguished Faculty Award – Mid-Continent Region – 2013” within 2012-2013 academic year. He is an SPE member since 1994, and ASME member since 2015.

Prof. Shahab D. Mohaghegh

West Virginia University & Intelligent Solutions, Inc.

Biography: Shahab D. Mohaghegh, a pioneer in the application of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Mining in the Exploration and Production industry, is Professor of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering at West Virginia University and the president and CEO of Intelligent Solutions, Inc. (ISI). He holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in petroleum and natural gas engineering.
Including more than 30 years of research and development in the petroleum engineering application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, he has authored three books (Shale Analytics – Data Driven Reservoir Modeling – Application of Data-Driven Analytics for the Geological Storage of CO2), more than 200 technical papers and carried out more than 60 projects for independents, NOCs and IOCs. He is a SPE Distinguished Lecturer (2007 and 2020) and has been featured four times as the Distinguished Author in SPE’s Journal of Petroleum Technology (JPT 2000 and 2005). He is the founder of Petroleum Data-Driven Analytics, SPE’s Technical Section dedicated to AI, machine learning and data mining (2011). He has been honored by the U.S. Secretary of Energy for his technical contribution in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon (Macondo) incident in the Gulf of Mexico (2011) and was a member of U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Technical Advisory Committee on Unconventional Resources in two administrations (2008-2014). He represented the United States in the International Standard Organization (ISO) on Carbon Capture and Storage technical committee (2014-2016).

Dr. Nan Zhang

University of Manchester, UK

Biography: Nan Zhang is a senior lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Manchester, UK. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University in PR China, completed his PhD in the Department of Process Integration at UMIST. In between, Nan joined Luoyang Petrochemical Engineering Co. of SINOPEC, obtaining extensive industrial experience as a process engineer for refinery process design. In 2000, he became a lecturer at the Centre for Process Integration, UMIST. In 2007, he co-founded Process Integration Limited, as a Director and then later became Vice President. Nan has over 28 years’ experience in the refining and petrochemical industries and holds a technical leadership role in many industrial projects. He has also executed and conducted several industrial and industrially oriented research projects for major international oil and gas companies. The variety of projects cover new designs and retrofit studies and implementation. His main professional specializations include refinery modelling and optimization with molecular management, refinery hydrogen management, heat integration in the process industry, modelling and optimisation for industrial utility systems, emissions reduction, and reliability, availability and maintainability.

Assoc. Prof. Dayanand Saini

California State University, USA

Biography: Dr. Dayanand Saini is an Associate Professor of Engineering in the Department of Physics and Engineering at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB), California, USA. At CSUB, as a Co-PI (Principal Investigator) for the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST), he researches the feasibility of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) projects in depleted oil fields and deep saline formations of California. An author of two CCUS-focused SpringerBriefs books, Dr. Saini, recently founded a company to commercialize his patent-pending technologies. He has published more than a dozen technical articles in premium scientific journals. His research interests and areas of expertise include geologic and terrestrial CO2 storage, CO2-reservoir oil minimum miscibility pressure (MMP), numerical reservoir modeling, reservoir rock/fluids interactions, thermal and non-thermal enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods, produced water management and treatment, pressure transient analysis, and general petroleum engineering topics. Before joining CSUB in 2013, he was a Research Manager (Reservoir Engineering) with the Plains CO2 Reduction (PCO2R) Partnership led by the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota, North Dakota, USA. Dr. Saini also worked as an Assistant Executive Engineer (Reservoir) with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), India, from 2001 to 2006. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Louisiana State University (LSU), Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.

Dr. Suresh S. Agrawal

Offsite Management Systems LLC (OMS), Houston, Texas, USA

Biography: Dr. Suresh S. Agrawal is the founder and CEO of Offsite Management Systems LLC (OMS), Houston, Texas, USA. OMS specializes in advanced process control systems and has developed, installed and managed many innovative and technologically advanced automation software products, and integrated solutions for the automation of offsite operations of Chemical, Oil and Gas (COG) industries in countries like India, Mexico, Columbia, USA and Eastern and Western European countries.
He graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering. He then obtained master’s and PH.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, USA.
Dr. Suresh S. Agrawal has 30+ years of experience at senior technical / management positions with international companies and he has successfully managed many advanced refinery process control projects in numerous countries. Dr. Agrawal is a registered professional engineer in the state of Illinois, USA and is a member of American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Instrumentation Society of America. He has published and presented 30+ papers in international publications and conferences in the areas of advanced process control. He also offers consultancy to a number of refining and process industries worldwide and delivers training seminars in the areas of his expertise.
He was also co-editor and sole author of two chapters in the 811 pages ASTM manual “MNL58- Petroleum Refining and Natural Gas Processing” published in 2013.
He has recently launched eLearning online Academy which offers 200+ audio-video topics with English/Spanish sub-titles for the downstream refining professionals. The academy offers “Pick-N-Choose”, advanced special, Free courses, and structured curriculum for MCOR (manage, Control, Optimize and Reconcile) strategy of the refining operations.

Prof. J. Richard Elliott Jr

The University of Akron, USA

Biography: J. Richard Elliott is Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Akron in Ohio. He has taught courses ranging from freshman tools to senior process design as well as thermodynamics at every level. He has worked with the NIST lab in Boulder and ChemStations in Houston. He holds a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.
He is the coauthor with Carl Lira of Introductory Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics, the lead author of the Thermodynamics section of Perry’s Chemical Engineering Handbook, and the lead author of the forthcoming Sixth Edition of The Properties of Gases and Liquids. He has authored over 85 papers ranging from work on equations of state and databases for the American Petroleum Institute’s Databook to recent work on supercritical pretreatment of biomass, thermodynamic perturbation theory, and molecular simulation of transport coefficients at high pressure.

Dr. Hilal Ezgi Toraman

Pennsylvania State University, USA

Biography: Hilal Ezgi Toraman, Virginia S. and Philip L. Walker Jr. Faculty Fellow, joined the Department of Chemical Engineering and John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at the Penn State University as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Fall 2019. Her research is co-funded by the Institutes of Energy and the Environment at the Penn State University. Dr. Toraman has been recently named the Virginia S. and Philip L. Walker Jr. Faculty Fellow at the Penn State University for her contributions in teaching, research, and service as a Fuel Science Faculty. Prior to joining the Penn State faculty, Dr. Toraman served as a postdoctoral researcher with the Delaware Energy Institute at the University of Delaware under the guidance of Dion G. Vlachos. She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Ghent University in 2016 under the guidance of Kevin M. Van Geem and Guy B. Marin (2012-2016). Dr. Toraman’s research was in the field of thermochemical reaction engineering for upgrading complex feedstocks such as biomass and plastic waste. Her PhD was supported by Ghent University Graduate Research Fellowship. She continued her research in experimental and computational investigation of shale gas conversion to fuels and chemicals between 2017 and 2019 in the group of Dion G. Vlachos at the Delaware Energy Institute. Her expertise is reaction kinetics, advanced analytics including comprehensive gas chromatography, detailed fuel characterization, microkinetic modeling, and data science. Her main areas of interest are process development for upgrading of unconventional feedstocks such as shale gas, biomass, and plastic waste through fundamental understanding of the reactions. She has given more than 20 oral/poster presentations and invited talks at national/international conferences and universities and published 11 peer-reviewed articles.

Prof. Herman Potgieter

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Biography: Herman Potgieter currently holds a joint appointment as a professor at Manchester Metropolitan University in the Department of Natural Sciences and in the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. As an experienced materials scientist and trained metallurgist and chemist, Herman has worked in a number of research areas dealing with, amongst others, stainless steels, platinum group metals, cement and cementitious materials, polymers, water treatment, waste management and metals extraction. He specialises in corrosion of stainless steels, extraction of metals from ore and waste sources and in the utilisation of fly ash.
Herman’s career spans time at various organisations in the public (25 years) and private (14 years) industry, such as The Uranium Enrichment Corporation of South Africa, Council for Mineral Technology, Pretoria Portland Cement Co. Ltd., University of Pretoria, University of the Witwatersrand and Tshwane University of Technology. He has contributed to numerous local, national and international conferences and seminars, regularly acts as reviewer for a number of different journals and has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal papers, 3 book chapters, 2 patents, 40 conference papers and a number of popular and technical papers. A total of 11 Ph.D and 39 master’s degree students have successfully completed their research projects under his supervision. Ten postdoctoral researchers have worked with and were supervised by Herman during his academic career.


Prof. Kun Sang Lee

Hanyang University, South Korea

Biography: Dr. Kun Sang Lee is currently a Professor of Petroleum Engineering at Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea. He graduated with BS and MS in Mineral and Petroleum Engineering from Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea. He completed his PhD in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystem Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A. Dr. Lee joined the Department of Earth Resources and Environmental Engineering at Hanyang University in 2011. Prior to joining Hanyang University, he worked as a research specialist with Kumho & Co. and a professor in the Department of Energy and Environmental Engineering, Kyonggi University, Suwon, Kyonggi, South Korea. Dr. Lee has published more than 21 books, 12 book chapters, and 150 peer-reviewed journal papers and participated in several industrial projects on enhanced oil recovery, unconventional reservoirs, and environmental applications. He was an Editor-in-Chief, Geosystem Engineering and is a Topic Editor-in-Chief, MDPI.


Mr. Heikki Jutila


Biography: Mr Heikki Jutila has gained experience in the upstream oil and gas industry since 1982. He is one of the founding directors of Fenno Caledonian Oy – a company specialising in geothermal application in energy transition to a low carbon circular energy. He is other roles include Principal Petroleum Engineer at ABIS Energy an Aberdeen based management consultancy. His career started with Shell in 1982 where he gained his formative education in oil & gas exploration and production activities. His career took him via Neste Oy, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, and several smaller companies to his current interest in applying upstream oil & gas technology in energy transition. His experience covers technical expertise in petroleum reservoir engineering in addition to having experience in leading engineering teams working in the upstream oil and gas industry. He has also managed a small exploration company with licences in Sudan. He has published several papers in professional publications and has been awarded patents in completion and reservoir surveillance technologies.


Assoc. Prof. Japan Trivedi

University of Alberta, Canada

Biography: Dr. Japan Trivedi is a professor of Petroleum Engineering and the director of 'Enhanced Oil Recovery - Reservoir Simulation' (EORRS) group at the School of Mining and Petroleum, University of Alberta, Canada. He has authored more than 130 research papers including 52 conference papers. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering. Dr. Trivedi has served on the technical committee of several international conferences, and program committee of SPE Canada Heavy Oil Technical Conference since 2016 and Canadian Chemical Engineering Conferences since 2014. His areas of expertise include chemical and gas EOR, surfactant-polymer chemistry, closed-loop reservoir management, CO2 sequestration, and applied machine and reinforcement learning applications. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Alberta, Canada.


Prof. Bahtiyar Ünver

Hacettepe University, Turkey

Biography: Professor Ünver has more than 35 years of experience in working in industry, academic research, teaching and consulting to mining industry and tunneling. His principal expertise and research interests lie in coal mine design, strata control and numerical modelling in mining and tunneling. He obtained his PhD from Nottingham University, UK. He has worked in underground coal mines for 5 years. He supervised 8 PhD and 25 MSc dissertations. He has led and worked in very many scientific and industrial projects. He is the writer of about 100 papers. Prof.Dr. Ünver is currently the Chair of the Mining Division of Hacettepe University.


Dr. Florence Vermeire

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Biography: Florence Vermeire is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Green group. She is working on pharmaceutical discovery and synthesis planning and predicting chemical properties with the aid of machine learning.
She received her Diploma and Ph.D degree in Chemical Engineering from Ghent University. During her Master studies she did two internships at Proviron and Total-Lukoil Zeeland Refinery. For her Master dissertation she performed research in the field of polymer design on nitroxide-mediated (co)polymerization. Florence did her Ph.D at the Laboratory for Chemical Technology under the guidance of prof. Kevin Van Geem and prof. Guy Marin. For the acquisition of experimental results, she spent three months in the group of dr. Frédérique Battin-Leclerc at LRGP in Nancy and one month in the group of prof. Fei Qi at NSRL in Hefei.
For her thesis, Florence studied the gas-phase decomposition and oxidation chemistry of biomass-related model components. The investigated model components are representative for fractions available in biodiesel, oxymethylene ether fuel additives, bio-oil and a bio-naphtha produced from lignocellulose biomass. She used a combined experimental, quantum chemical and computer-aided automatic kinetic modeling approach. Experimental measurements were done on three different units, a tubular reactor with a dedicated analysis section involving GCxGC, a jet-stirred reactor with online GC and a tubular reactor connected to SVUV-PIMS. Microkinetic models are developed using the software Genesys. During her thesis, Florence highly contributed to improving the thermodynamic and kinetic databases by performing quantum chemical calculations. These were done using Gaussian v09 or v16 on the high-performance computing infrastructure at Ghent University.

Assoc. Prof. Takuya ITO

National Institute of Technology, Japan

Biography: Dr. Takuya ITO is a young Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at National Institute of Technology, Numazu College, Japan. He received his PhD in Engineering degree from Nihon University under Prof. Hirano in 2012. From 2013 to 2018, he conducted research on biomass gasification and liquefaction as an Assistant Professor under Prof. Kojima at Seikei University. Since 2018, he has been working at NIT, Numazu College, and is conducting chemical engineering education while continuing research on biomass energy conversion. He has been an editor of the Journal of the Japan Institute of Energy since 2014, an editorial board member of the International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology since 2018, and a permanent secretary of the Tokai Branch of the Chemical Society of Japan since 2020. He has been engaged in various contract/joint researches from/with national institutions and private companies. He has published 46 peer-reviewed articles and made more than 50 oral / poster presentations at national / international conferences, and has received several awards.


Dr. Zhongwei Chen

University of Queensland, Australia

Biography: Dr Zhongwei Chen is a senior lecturer in reservoir geomechanics at the University of Queensland (UQ). He received his PhD degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Western Australia in 2012 and joined UQ as an associate lecturer in early 2013.
His research interests focus on key technical challenges associated with the efficient and responsible extraction of geo-energy and geo-resources, including unconventional geomechanics (e.g., CBM borehole stability), the characterisation of coal and shale mechanical and petrophysical properties, fluid flow in fractured porous media, carbon geological sequestration, and the coupled computational modelling etc.
Since 2013, he has successfully secured more than 20 projects from various funding sources, such as the Australia Research Council (ARC), ACARP, Mining Education Australia, and a number of resource companies. He has received several research awards, such as the 2011 American Rock Mechanics Association Research Award for his work related to CO2 enhanced CBM recovery.
By June 2021, he has published 120 peer-reviewed publications and with >2,900 citations. Dr Chen is currently leading an unconventional geomechanics research team at UQ consists of three full-time postdocs and four PhD students.

Dr. Konstantinos Kotzakoulakis

SINTEF, Norway

Biography: Konstantinos Kotzakoulakis (Research Scientist in SINTEF) has a PhD in environmental modelling, and PostDoc in Physical Oceanography, modelling the effects of different environmental processes on the circulation of non-passive particles, including oil-spills in the ocean. He also has more than 10 years of professional experience in the oil industry as an R&D engineer and project leader developing petroleum reservoir fluids sampling and properties measuring techniques.

Dr. Xiangzeng Wang

Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group Co., Ltd, China

Biography: XiangZeng Wang is Chief Geologist of Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group Co., Ltd, China. He holds a PhD of Geological engineering from China University of Geosciences (Beijing),and has about 30 years experience in the exploration and development of ultra-low permeability and unconventional reservoirs. Dr. Wang led the first integrated full-process CO2 capture, utilization and storage project in China. By combining the low CO2 capture cost of coal chemical industry and CO2 enhanced oil recovery of low permeability oilfield, Yanchang Petroleum had built the first CCUS integration project independently operated by one single enterprise of Aisa.
Dr. Wang won three National Science and Technology Achievement Awards in China, 21 invention patents, 50 published papers. He is also honored with Li Siguang Geological Science Award in China, Sun Yueqi Energy Award and Outstanding Engineer Award etc.

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