Wei Zhang receives 2020 Nico van Wingen Memorial Graduate Fellowship

March 02, 2020

Penn State doctoral student Wei Zhang has been awarded the Nico van Wingen Memorial Graduate Fellowship in petroleum engineering. The Nico van Wingen Memorial Graduate Fellowship is funded by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Foundation to support students who are pursuing doctoral degrees with the intent of a career in academia. Zhang, a doctoral student in energy and mineral engineering in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, will receive $5,000 per year, for a maximum of four years.

“I believe the award is well-deserved. Wei has the great potential of becoming a pioneering applied scientist in his research field,” said Amin Mehrabian, assistant professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering in the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, and Zhang’s adviser.

Zhang was nominated for his research on developing applied analytical solutions for coupled fluid flow and solid deformation in porous rocks of the subsurface while accounting for the nonlinearities arising from dependence of rock permeability to rock solid stress.

“I feel really glad and honored to be recipient of the SPE Nico van Wingen Fellowship this year. I also felt a bit surprised when I got this news because the selection for this fellowship is very competitive. I would like to thank my adviser, professor Mehrabian, for providing helpful and detailed guidance on my research. Also, I would like to acknowledge professors Luis Ayala and Hamid Emami-Meybodi for their kind support on the preparation of my application materials. Also, I want to thank my colleague, Fengyuan Zhang, who offered valuable suggestions on how to write the Statement of Purpose for the application,” said Zhang. Fengyuan Zhang was the 2019 recipient of the Nico van Wingen Memorial Graduate Fellowship. 

“I am thrilled that Wei has been awarded the Nico van Wingen fellowship and congratulate him on this recognition. This is a great achievement for both him and the department. I am certain the fellowship will have a definite impact on Wei’s research in continuing his already successful graduate work. He is making all of us very proud,” said Hamid Emami-Meybodi, assistant professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering and the faculty adviser of the Penn State SPE chapter. 

Zhang will officially receive the Nico van Wingen Fellowship award at this year’s SPE annual Technical Conference and Exhibition scheduled for Oct. 5-7  in Denver.

Nico van Wingen, the fellowship namesake, played a major role in the development of oil production technology in the United States, Austria, Canada, West Germany, Iran, Turkey and Venezuela. He was active on many SPE committees and won the Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal and SPE Distinguished Member award in 1985.

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Last Updated March 02, 2020