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Pandemic Defense Trio

Covid19 may have changed the way ICMT functions, but our research goes on and our graduate students continue to transition to alumni. During the pandemic three PhD students have now successfully defended, Wei Gianna Zhang, Zheng Ma, and Fazlollah Madani Sani.

Gianna Zhang was first to complete, defending her dissertation on "Initiation and Propagation of Localized Corrosion of Mild Steel in Marginally Sour Environments"; her advisor was Associate Professor Dr. Marc Singer. Her groundbreaking work revealed that the root cause of pitting in marginally sour environments could be traced to the presence of minute concentrations of oxygen. This has resulted in her successfully publishing three papers in Corrosion Science in 2021 alone, including a pioneering study of mackinawite oxidation using in situ Raman spectroscopy, as well as a paper in Corrosion and presenting at CORROSION conferences. After defending she joined Schlumberger, working as a laboratory engineer in the corrosion group focusing on inhibitors and H2S scavengers.

Gianna in the field in Williston, ND
Next to defend was Zheng Ma, also advised by Dr Singer. Her dissertation work was on, "Precipitation Kinetics of FeCO3 and FeS on Steel Substrate". Her research was driven by the fact that precipitation of corrosion product layers, their characteristics, composition, and kinetics, plays a key role in governing corrosion behaviors. She probed this using a multi-pronged analytical approach involving electrochemical measurements, conducted in conjunction with utilizing a quartz crystal microbalance, as well as a variety of microscopic and spectroscopic techniques. Her work revealed that a better understanding of surface speciation was required, which led to development of a mechanistic model to predict uniform corrosion behavior of carbon steel in CO2 and H2S environments based on water chemistry; this modified model showed that the surface speciation can be significantly different from bulk speciation with or without polarization. In addition to presenting five papers at annual CORROSION/AMMP conferences since 2018, and placing in the Marcel Pourbaix Category for corrosion science at AMMP2021, she has published in Corrosion Science. Zheng has decided to extend her time at ICMT, and is currently engaged as a Post-Doctoral Researcher.

Zheng Ma
The most recent to defend of the trio was Fazlollah Madani Sani, working on "The Effect of Salt Concentration on Aqueous Strong Acid, Carbon Dioxide, and Hydrogen Sulfide Corrosion of Carbon Steel" and advised by Prof. Srdjan Nesic. His research culminated in the development of a corrosion rate prediction model valid for the H2O-NaCl-CO2-H2S system, at temperatures ranging from the freezing point upwards at elevated pressures, solution pH values from 1.0 up to 6.5, and NaCl concentrations between 0 wt.% to 20 wt.% (~4.3 m); the model being designed to capture non-ideality. Validation demonstrated that the corrosion rate prediction model could predict the experimental corrosion rates measured in this study with an average absolute accuracy of 13.5%. In addition to presenting at multiple CORROSION conferences, he has published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society on "An Electrochemical Study of the Effect of High Salt Concentration on Uniform Corrosion of Carbon Steel in Aqueous CO2 Solutions". He was recognized with the NACE Outstanding Student Award at CORROSION2020. Fazlollah is taking up a position with OLI working on water chemistry and corrosion modelling.

Fazlollah Madani Sani on his defense day
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