On 27th February, 33 PhD students of the third NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Gas cohort (2016), left their respective HEI’s and gathered together at Heriot Watt University for the first time since attending the NERC CDT Annual Conference and subsequent two week residential Environmental Impact and Regulation Module there in November, to undertake an intensive one week course on Petroleum Systems Analysis. The course, led by Andy Bell (Heriot Watt University Honorary Professor and Shell Lead of Global Geology Research/Manager of Integrated Charge Evaluation and Asset Geochemistry) and Erdem Idiz (Visiting Professor at Oxford University and formerly of Shell E&P), covered all elements of Petroleum Systems Analysis with a focus on the integration of basin modelling and geochemistry in charge risking.


Alex Svalova, a CDT student in the 2014 cohort studying at the University of Newcastle, is in a winning groove as she has been chosen to showcase her research at the UK parliament in Westminster on 13th March as part of the STEM for BRITAIN programme. Alex is joining 5 other PhD students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and will be presenting on her research title ‘Ultrasound spectrometry of the aggregation of asphaltenes during the formation of water-in-oil emulsions’ which uses petroleum chemistry to further understanding of how water and oil interact with the ultimate aim of improving the clean-up of oil spills.

Xiaodong Yang at the entrance to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Xiaodong Yang, who is now in his third year as a CDT student, has secured a position as a visiting researcher at the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, USA.

Callum Fry, a CDT student in the 2015 entry cohort studying at the University of Southampton, was selected to present a poster of his work at the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) fall meeting held in San Fransisco from 12 – 16th December 2016.  Callum’s PhD research topic is ‘High resolution 3D imaging of Polygonal Fault Systems’ under the supervision of Dr Justin Dix and Professor John Bull at Southampton and Professor Joe Cartwright at the University of Oxford.

AGU’s Fall Meeting is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. Now in its 49th year, Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space science community from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes @20,000 oral and poster presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published.  Congratulations to Callum! 

83 PhD students comprising the first three annual intakes to the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil & Gas were joined by a similar number of representatives from industry, academic partners, government and regulatory authorities for the CDT's 2nd Annual Conference held in James Watt Centre 2 on 7th November.