Hometown: Tehran, Iran
MS, Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
PhD Candidate, Petroleum Engineering, USC
In my Master’s studies, I was doing civil engineering. USC has a good program for petroleum engineering, so I wanted to combine them both to address some concerns regarding environmental resources for the U.S. economy.
USC has the SCEC – the Southern California Earthquake Center. My work is in induced seismicities, which is creating earthquakes. There are more than six hundred scientists and students involved in SCEC, and more than sixty institutions all over the world taking part. Its headquarters are at USC. This is an opportunity that I can’t have anywhere else. I can also talk to professors at the Department of Petroleum Engineering. It’s a very multidisciplinary area for me to research on! So I can pick people and knowledge from different areas; at USC, you can use many available resources and combine them into a nice PhD work, and learn a lot in the process.
I work at the Induced Seismicity Consortium. There are many things we work on. Shale gas is one of them that affects the U.S. economy. We want to make sure that we address the public concern about safety in terms of seismic activities, and essentially give them a blueprint or a solution to problems that might arise. We tell them, ‘If you do it this way, you may not get induced seismicities’, or the causes and main problems that can affect the public. We also have industry members with whom we work getting the data. It’s a very open forum for concerns. Also, publication agencies and governmental agencies ask us for data on the industry in years to come, and have a scientific discussion on that and address issues that might arise.
The head of the department in the petroleum engineering program, Dr. Ershaghi. He just got an award from the National Academy of Engineers. It’s a high honor, both for the school and for himself. He is a big influence on all the people that are in the program. We look up to him. I think he is a great mentor! He is always caring, and you can always talk to him. He is a very positive person. I am very fortunate to have him as the head of the program.
I really like going on hikes or go to the beach. I also like the gym – the USC gym is really good. I try to go there a lot. Just hanging out with friends is nice too. My brother is also in town, so we hang out together.
Every class you learn different pieces and bit of your field of study. It’s also very personal because I really like Dr. Ershaghi. He has a course onReservoir Characterization. There is a multidisciplinary aspect of the course; you are not just focusing just on one area (a lot of graduate courses can be like that). This course was a larger, broader view from different aspect of reservoir characterization. He has more than forty years of experience in the industry, so a lot of people cannot teach that kind of course because they don’t have that experience. So that course coming from him was a really good and interesting experience for me.