MEM’s the word

Missouri S&T is the only university in America to offer mechanical earth modeling (MEM) as part of the undergraduate petroleum engineering curriculum. Now with a $225,000 gift from Chevron through its University Partnership Program, S&T is one step closer to establishing a MEM Center of Excellence to build the program.

20151026MechanicalEarthModeling0017“One of the strengths of our program is to include mechanical earth modeling into the undergraduate environment,” says Andreas Eckert (above), an assistant professor of geosciences and geological and petroleum engineering at Missouri S&T. Eckert teaches undergraduate courses in Finite Element Analysis and MEM.

The petroleum industry has extensively used mechanical earth modeling in the last 15 years, but there’s a gap between the industry and academia, Eckert says.

Eckert also teaches the graduate course Advanced Mechanical Earth Modeling 1, in which students compile and analyze numerical MEM data, using a variety of approaches to reach the same goal. They use seismic (fault) analysis; geological maps; well logging; and lab rock mechanics to test rock strength.

When all the data is gathered, they analyze it and produce 3-D earth models and numerical models that quantify subsurface stress environments of geologic structures. This knowledge can help predict where a well can be drilled safely or to assess risk of fracturing reactivation — that is, inducing an earthquake on a fault by changing the subsurface pore pressure — when fluids are injected or withdrawn.

“As a result, our students are well prepared for tasks such as hydrologic fracturing,” Eckert says.

Around the Puck

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

[Read More...]

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

[Read More...]

Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

[Read More...]

Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

[Read More...]

What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

[Read More...]