Benzhong (Robin) Zhao, PhD (RECS 2013)

PhD Candidate, Civil & Environmental Engineering, MIT (2013), Assistant Professor, McMaster University (2020)

It was a great pleasure to have attended RECS 2013. I was introduced to the summer school by former RECS attendees and they told me many good things about the program. Hence, I had high expectations going into the program, and at the end, what I gained far exceeded my expectations.

My research in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT focuses on the flow behavior of CO2 after it is injected underground. Yet, I have never seen a  CO2 injection well in person, until RECS organized a field trip to the SECARB Citronelle storage site. There, we were given a tour of all the equipment required for a CO2 storage site (i.e. compressors, injection wells). To have witnessed this in person will enable me to design lab-scale experiments that are more representative of the field conditions.

Personally, the most rewarding aspect of RECS was the incredible group of researchers and professionals that I got to meet. Each participant comes from a different personal and technical background, which makes every conversation educational and refreshing. I was deeply inspired by everyone’s enthusiasm and passion to make a positive difference in climate change by making CCUS a commercially viable and technically sound technology. I am sure the RECS network will be productive and lasting for years to come.