Marcelo Benitez


​Ph.D. student - Santamarina Group

Research Interests

I focus on studying the interfacial phenomena in complex fluids, which include (surfactants, fluids with nanoparticles and crude oil) and the implications on the reservoir scale. Another field of my research is to advance the understanding of using CO2 for Enhanced Oil Recovery EOR and Carbon Capture Storage. I explore the couple processes happening at the reservoir under in-situ conditions. For that purpose, I used experimental techniques at high- pressure and high temperature. My ultimate goal is to provide physics-based solutions to the energy sector that would help the energy transition.


  • ​Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering, specialization in Drilling and Production from TU Clausthal in Germany. 2013 – 2015
  • Bachelors degree in Industrial Engineering, UTE in Ecuador. 2003-2008

Professional Profile

  • 2016 – 2018: Full-time Lecturer in Universidad Central del Ecuador.
  • 2010 – 2013: Operations Engineer in Nabors Drilling International, Quito- Ecuador.
  • 2009 – 2010: Field supervisor in Constructora Villacrés Andrade (Service Company) Quito-Ecuador.
  • 2007 – 2009: Different positions in SGS in the segment of Oil, Gas, and Chemicals, Quito Ecuador

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • Society of Petroleum Engineers – SPE
  • American Rock Mechanics Association - ARMA


  • 2022 - Dean's Award. Physical Science and Engineering KAUST.
  • 2018 - KAUST Graduate Fellowship. Full Ph.D. scholarship.
  • 2012 - Full scholarship from the Government of Ecuador "Becas Convocatoria Abierta" to study for a master's degree in Germany.
  • 2004 - Full scholarship from the Equinoctial University of Technology UTE to complete undergraduate studies.

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center (ANPERC)
  • Division of Phyiscal Science and Engineering (PSE)

Research Interests Keywords

Carbon captured storage and utilization CO2 EOR Complex fluids Drilling and production engineering,