Professors Mike Christie and Gary Couples along with Gordon Winton (Director of Business Development) hosted a visit from Prof. Julio Freitas and Prof Antonio Martinelli from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil on 12th March.
Brazil has created the "Science Without borders program" to stimulate worldwide research mobility.
Prof Martinelli's research group works with industry in Brazil on various projects focused on oil well building materials, heavy oil and advanced recovery. He had learned a little about the Institute of Petroleum Engineering and actively set up this initial exploration of potential future joint research initiatives with Heriot-Watt.
Concurrent with building research initiatives there is an aspiration to grow opportunities for both student and researcher interchange.
There are plans for a return visit later this year to continue the process of opening collaborative ventures, including a visit to the School of the Built Environment (SBE) to investigate mutual research into cements.
Prof. Couples has already established geomechanics research links in Brazil. When he is in Brazil to deliver his SPE Distinguished Lecture he hopes to reciprocate with a visit to the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte.