Ms. Anna Walter
School of Materials Engineering
Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Honors) and B.S. in Chemistry, University of Delaware
Project: Polymer Synthesis and Polymer Solution Rheology for Enhanced Oil Recovery
Project Overview: Traditional recovery methods leave the majority of oil in a given oil well untouched. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) uses various means to potentially double the amount of oil retrieved from an oil well. In alkali/polymer/surfactant EOR, base, polymer and surfactant are injected with water into oil fields to mobilize oil trapped in sedimentary rocks. The rheological properties of these solutions are directly tied to the efficacy of oil production. By utilizing commercial polymers and synthesizing model polymers, we can measure how chemical and structural parameters of the polymers influence the rheology of the polymer solutions, helping to predict better formulations for more productive oil recovery.
Bio: Anna graduated from the University of Delaware in spring 2014, earning an Honors Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, with minors in Materials Science and Engineering and Mathematics. In the summer of 2012, she participated in an NSF REU at the University of Illinois at Chicago working on the atomic layer deposition of yttria-stabilized zirconium oxide for use in solid oxide fuel cells in the Advanced Materials Research Laboratory. At the University of Delaware, Anna participated in undergraduate research studying the synthesis of high-order metal-metal bonds in the Theopold Group in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She spent summer 2014 interning at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory investigating the densification of silver-functionalized silica aerogels for the immobilization of radioiodine. Anna’s interest in polymers and soft materials led her to join the Soft Materials Mechanics Group in Fall of 2014. Outside of research, Anna sings alto in the All Campus and Community Chorale, participates in outreach with the Women in Engineering Program, is a member of the Graduate Mentoring Program, and is on the Safety Committee of the Materials Engineering Graduate Student Association.