The Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC) sponsored a workshop in Paris, France with seventy participants from numerous countries including France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Japan, England, Scotland, Qatar, Belgium, Egypt and the USA in attendance. A networking and dinner cruise on the Seine kicked off the two day event. On Tuesday, June 16, Jean Francois Minster, Senior Vice President of Scientific Development, TOTAL, greeted the guests at TOTAL’s Le Spazio facility and officially opened the conference; an oil field primer presented by AEC members Dan Georgi (Baker Hughes) and Willem Schulte (Shell) followed. Jay Kipper and Sean Murphy reviewed the background and mission of the AEC and discussed the plans for continued research and funding for 2009. The morning session concluded with a panel Q&A discussion between AEC members and the audience.
The afternoon session featured Ralph Kling of Crossbow Technology, who challenged the audience with a new approach to realizing the promise of autonomous self-forming, self-healing mesh wireless sensor networks. Dean Neikirk (Univ. Texas), Joyce Wong (CalTech), and Howard Schmidt (Rice Univ.) followed with technology overviews of their current research projects for the AEC. The final three presenters on the agenda are exploring radically different applications of nano scale technologies. Kazukiko Matsumoto (Osaka Univ.) is exploiting the unique properties of carbon nanotubes to develop a whole new class of extremely sensitive biochemical sensors for detecting antibodies, proteins, glucose and specific cancer antigens. Christian Joachim (CEMES-CNRS/Toulousse) reviewed the challenges and his successes in constructing single molecule machines. Finally, DK Arvind (Univ. Edinburgh) provided glimpses of the potential power and application of "Specknets", minute semiconductor grains that can sense and compute locally, and communicate wirelessly.
The dialogue between the Petroleum E&P and the Nano scale research communities during this two day event was invaluable and helped to further clarify the technical goals and potential nano scale solutions solicited through the 2009 Request for Proposals (available on this website). Special thanks to BEG employees David Chapman, Sharon Campos and Natalie Silva, whose planning and coordination helped to make this workshop successful.