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Oil and gas depletion the focus of Curtin’s Fulbright Scholarship winner

Friday 01 March 2019 | By Lucien Wilkinson
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A leading geophysicist from the Michigan Technological University (MTU) has been awarded a prestigious scholarship to conduct research at Curtin University’s Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering this year.

Professor Wayne Pennington, a Research Professor of Geophysical Engineering who retired from his position as Dean of Engineering at MTU to focus his efforts on research and international collaboration, was last night awarded the 2019 Fulbright Scholar Award in Resources and Energy.

His research at Curtin, where he is based from February until June, will aim to improve existing methods of observing and measuring the depletion of oil and gas fields and the storage of carbon after removal from the atmosphere.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry congratulated Professor Pennington on being recognised with a scholarship from the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, which encourages and supports academic excellence, innovation and creativity.

“I am delighted to be welcoming Professor Pennington to Curtin as a result of this prestigious scholarship and look forward to seeing the results of his research into the depletion of oil and gas fields,” Professor Terry said.

“Professor Pennington’s research has important implications for the resources and energy sectors in Australia and globally, offering potential benefits for the community as well as industry.”

Professor Pennington said he was honoured to be awarded the 2019 Fulbright Scholar Award in Resources and Energy, which is funded by Curtin University and enables US scholars to undertake research at Curtin.

“It is a privilege to be awarded this scholarship and to be given the opportunity to further my research in Australia and be able to collaborate with some talented researchers,” Professor Pennington said.

“In my research, I will be using observations from existing sites with theoretical predictions and measurements taken in the lab to improve the way depleting oil and gas fields and CO2-sequestion is observed and measured.”

Professor Pennington holds a Professor Emeritus title from MTU and has gained experience throughout his career in academics, industry and government service.

The Fulbright Program was established in Australia in 1949 through a binational treaty between the Australian and US Governments. About 100 Australian-American Fulbright Scholarships are awarded each year.