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Franz-Josef Ulm to give talk on gas shale

Date: December 2, 2015

Time: 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

Location: Bowen Hall Auditorium

Professor Franz-Josef Ulm, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presents “The Unconventional Science and Engineering of Gas Shale.”

The talk is sponsored by both the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM) and the Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM).

The host is Professor Claire E. White, department of civil and environmental engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.

There will be a light lunch for seminar attendees provided beforehand at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium.

Abstract:  While shale gas has fundamentally shifted the energy matrix of the United States, the science and engineering required for shale gas exploration are still in their infancy. Through three examples, I will show in this talk that the shifts of paradigms that are required for an economic, safe and sustainable gas shale exploration, can be achieved through rethinking some of the fundamentals of shale gas exploration: (1) risk of fracture design of cement wells required for minimizing leakage; (2) understanding of transport properties in the nanoporous disordered kerogen that defies classical Darcy-based conduction laws, and which is required for a sustainable asset management; and (3) the increase in fracture resistance of the organic-inorganic composite (kerogen – clay) that need to be understood for a sound choice of stimulation operations beyond brut-force hydraulic fracturing. The common denominator of the three shifts of paradigms is the integration of out-of-the-field sciences such as glass physics and carbon sciences, into the domain expertise of subsurface geosciences and geomechanical engineering.

BioFranz-Josef Ulm is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Co-director of the joint MIT-CNRS Lab MultiScale Material Science for Energy and Environment; and faculty Director of Concrete Sustainability Hub@MIT. He received his undergraduate education in Civil Engineering at the Technische Universität München (1990), his PhD from Ecole des ponts et chausses, France (1994); and his Habilitation degree from Ecole normale superieure de Cachan (1998). He joined MIT in January 1999.