Visiting Student Christian Wimmer from Leoben, Austria
In 2017 ANPERC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Leoben University in Austria to promote collaboration and student exchanges between the two universities. In April this year, ANPERC welcomed the first exchange student from Leoben. Christian Wimmer works as a Visiting Student in the EGEL group, supervised by Professor Santamarina and co-supervised by Dr. Thomas Finkbeiner. We asked him about his experience as a Visiting Student in KAUST in a short Q&A
ANPERC: Tell something about yourself. Where do you come from and why did you decide to come to KAUST?
Wimmer: I am from Austria and I am studying Petroleum Engineering at the mining university of Leoben. Taking the opportunity to stay at KAUST for five months as part of the VRSP program, allows me not only to work on my master thesis, it also gives me the chance to grow both personally and academically.
ANPERC: What were your first impressions of KAUST? And what were your expectations before you came?
Wimmer: KAUST is unique. It combines the mysteries of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with academic excellence in a multi-cultural environment, where internationally renowned scientists work together to tackle the challenges of the future. I am still impressed by the dedication of everyone involved and certainly could not expect the high level of professionalism at a university that opened less than ten years ago.
Christian Wimmer working in the ANPERC lab
ANPERC: Tell us something about the project you are working on in a nutshell
Wimmer: The significance of unconventional reservoirs in the oil industry is rising steadily. To be able to supply the continuously increasing demand for energy, it is vital to understand shale reservoirs. My thesis is called: "Hydro-mechanical behavior of fractured shale" and combines geo-mechanical and reservoir engineering elements.
ANPERC: What element do you particularly like in your studies at Leoben and how does this contribute to your success at KAUST?
Wimmer: The generally familiar environment between students and professors, as well as the vast industry experience of the personnel in charge are aspects that my home university can be characterized by. It certainly provided me with the theoretical expertise necessary to do effective research here at KAUST and to fully utilize its huge potential in resources.
ANPERC: What are your future goals? Or your future career path?
Wimmer: My future is yet to be decided. Before I came to KAUST, I was certain to start my career in industry, now however I really enjoy spending time in the labs here, so I may consider doing a PhD.
Thank you Christian for your time to answer our questions and we hope you enjoy the rest of your internship here at KAUST!
More information about our collaboration with Montan University Leoben in Austria here