Jun Kuang, fourth-year graduate student in chemical and biomolecular engineering, received second place in Ph.D. section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Student Paper Contest for the Gulf Coast region.
“It was a nice opportunity to interact with people in petroleum engineering,” he said. “I felt great presenting my work and exchanging ideas with judges and students from different universities. I hope more students from Rice can participate in this annual event.”
SPE coordinates 14 regional student paper competitions at the undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. levels. Students compete against others in their region for the opportunity to advance to the International Student Paper Contest, held during the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE).
Rice University was the host of this year’s Gulf Coast contest. Kuang said many students within the region traveled to present at the competition, and he was excited to hear about the work they are doing.
Advised by Francisco Vargas, assistant professor in chemical and bimolecular engineering, Kuang’s own research focuses on developing new techniques to solve asphaltene deposition problems in the oil production process.
“I developed a packed-bed system to determine the tendency of asphaltene deposition at high-temperature and high-pressure conditions,” he said.
Kuang hopes to work in the oil industry after graduation, and is looking forward to finishing up his research.
“I’m about to graduate by the end of this year, but I have enjoyed my time at Rice and the research I am doing here,” he said.