Heriot-Watt student wins Most Outstanding Student Award

Luc Steel, PhD student at Heriot-Watt University, has been awarded the Most Outstanding Student Award at the 8th Interdisciplinary Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) Summer School, which was held in Austin, Texas.

He is doing his PhD in Chemical Engineering and is jointly supervised by Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer and Prof Eric Mackay from the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering (School of Engineering and Physical Sciences) and the Institute of Petroleum Engineering.

Most-outstanding-student-award(1)He is studying CO2-brine interactions using North Sea oil well data, with respect to geological storage of CO2 and enhanced oil recovery, and is a member of the Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage (CICCS), which was formally opened by the Chancellor in June last year.


The Summer School is organised by the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme (IEAGHG) and getting selected is a very competitive process.

This year, from over 140 applicants, 47 students were selected, travelling from 21 different countries, resulting in a truly international Summer School. In addition to the students there were over 30 speakers who attended, giving presentations on a wide variety of topics within CCS, including storage, policy, economics and public engagement.

Of the 30 plus speakers there were 20 dedicated Expert Mentors, who are leading experts in their fields and were present for the entire week so students could benefit from their knowledge and key insight into CCS. 

Every year two students are awarded the Most Outstanding Student Award, which is decided by the Expert Mentors, and this year’s winners were Luc and Grace Womack (Drexel University, USA). Luc has also been invited to attend next year’s Summer School as Student Mentor.

Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, said:

“This is indeed a very fine accomplishment for Luc as the IEAGHG Summer School is very competitive and highlights Luc’s hard work and dedication to his PhD studies. Luc’s award reflects on the outstanding quality of our PhD students here at Heriot-Watt University.”

Pictured are (l) Tim Dixon from IEAGHG presenting the Awards to Luc Steel (Heriot-Watt University) and Grace Womack (Drexel University, USA)

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