UW’s Piri Named Wyoming Excellence Chair in Petroleum Engineering

A University of Wyoming professor who is an international leader in the study of the flow of fluid in porous media has been appointed to a prestigious endowed professorship at UW.

Mohammad Piri was recently introduced to the UW Board of Trustees as the Wyoming Excellence Chair in Petroleum Engineering, recognizing his global acclaim and impact on the Wyoming economy.

“Dr. Piri leads a large team of graduate students doing innovative research that is drastically expanding the boundaries of our understanding of how multi-phase fluids behave in oil and gas reservoirs,” says Mark Northam, director of UW’s School of Energy Resources. “The results of his experimental and computational research hold the promise of significantly higher ultimate recoveries of oil and gas from both conventional and unconventional reservoirs. Dr. Piri richly deserves the recognition that comes with the award of a Wyoming Excellence Chair.”

The 2006 Wyoming State Legislature established the Excellence in Higher Education Endowment, which included a $70 million endowment to create senior faculty positions for highly distinguished scholars and educators at UW. The legislation states that the endowed positions must expand university instruction and research in disciplines related to economic and social challenges facing Wyoming.

“The UW Wyoming Excellence Chairs are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in their fields,” UW Interim Provost Maggi Murdock says. “Dr. Piri’s appointment recognizes both his major international profile and his contributions to scientific discovery that are of great importance to Wyoming.”

Piri heads the Hess Digital Rock Physics Laboratory at UW, which studies interfacial and pore-scale transport in porous media. This work is critical to understanding how fluids, such as natural gas, flow through pores in geologic formations. He also co-directs the Center for the Fundamentals of Subsurface Flow, a multidisciplinary team of UW faculty members who conduct broad research leading to computer simulation of fluid flow in porous media.

Piri’s research has resulted in significant collaborations with private industry, which is interested in better understanding characteristics of oil and gas reservoirs, and how to effectively improve recovery using existing recovery processes and technology.

Piri received his Ph.D. in petroleum engineering at England’s Imperial College London and engaged in post-doctoral studies at Princeton University.