University of Utah Engineering receives $10.75M grant

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The University of Utah’s College of Engineering and College of Mines and Earth Sciences, whose chemical engineering chair is led by an Indian American, has received a four-year, $10.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to create an Energy Frontier Research Center.

According to a university press release, the center will study how fluids interact with porous solids, vital research that could benefit the future production of oil, gas and other energy resources.

This is the first EFRC grant ever awarded to the University of Utah, the press release added.

“This goes to the heart of everything that happens in nanostructured materials. It goes to establishing how fluids reside in these materials and how they move,” University of Utah chemical engineering chair Milind Deo, is quoted saying in a press release.

The research will focus on how fluids like gas, oil and water interact with materials such as underground shale to improve the production of energy resources while also minimizing its environmental impact.

The group, to be called the Center for Multi-Scale Fluid-Solid Interactions in Architected and Natural Materials, will be a multidisciplinary effort involving researchers from the university’s departments of chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, metallurgical engineering, and the Energy & Geoscience Institute and will also include personnel from the Idaho National Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, U.C. Davis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Wyoming, the press release said.

The MUSE Center will be led by University of Utah Colleges of Mines and Earth Sciences Dean Darryl Butt and will be staffed by faculty from the College of Engineering including chemical engineering members Deo, Michael Hoepfner, Jules Magda, John McLennan, Swomitra Mohanty and James Sutherland, as well as Brian McPherson from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Pania Newell from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

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