IEAGHG CCS Summer School 2013

University of Edinburgh PhD students Laura Herraiz and Paul Tait attend the prestigious IEAGHG CCS International Summer School in Nottingham, 21-26 July 2013

All photos (except the bus photo) here are taken by Lori Gauvreau – Schlumberger (for IEAGHG)

The IEAGHG CCS International Summer School has been an annual event since 2007 giving selected students in the CCS field an opportunity to participate in a week of presentations and discussions from international experts in CCS. The programme covers the full chain of CCS; providing up-to-date information in each field; including technical information on capture technologies, storage site selection, capacity and modelling, wellbore integrity and transport; as well as other issues such as regulations, health and safety, and public communication. Taking place in a different country every year, the 2013 Summer School was hosted in the UK at the University of Nottingham in partnership with the Engineering Doctorate Centre in Efficient Fossil Fuel Energy Technologies.

Paul and Laura, PhD students at the University of Edinburgh and members of the UKCCSRC Community Network were given the opportunity to attend this event and here’s their account of the week.


For us, the IEAGHG CCS International Summer School was an enriching personal and professional experience.  The presentations and panel discussions led by experts allowed us to enhance our technical knowledge and understanding of the whole CCS chain.  A wide variety of topics within the CCS field were covered; not only technical aspects on capture, transport and storage, storage site selection and monitoring, but also regulations and legislation, economic and financial aspects, health and safety issues and public engagement and communications and NGO perspectives. At the end of the week we were aware of the fact that large scale CCS deployment constitutes a large scope project and involves numerous areas of impact.

Additional activities with a likely important contribution to large scale CCS deployment were also included in the program, such as enhance oil recovery and CO2 utilisation, as well as an overview of the possible role of non-conventional fuels in the future global energy scenario.


It is also important to highlight the networking opportunities and knowledge transfer that this international school provided. We met young researchers and professionals with highly diverse backgrounds who, like us, just started their careers in the CCS field. We also had the chance to talk to industry professionals and researchers with a wide range of experience who provided us with useful information about potential career paths and how large companies view CCS.

We believe that the valuable advice from experts as well as discussions with other students provided us with interesting perspectives and new ideas which will have a positive impact on our own research.


“Interesting presentations”, “networking opportunities”, “great time” … but nobody told us how exhausted we were going to be!

Encouraging the active participation of the students, teams composed of students and mentors (experts) were allocated short research activities. Each group had to develop a presentation over the course of the week in answer to a question related to current issued within the CCS field. It was an interesting activity to enhance our knowledge in one particular CCS aspect, create group discussion and formulate strong arguments to defend our ideas in the final presentation. The mentors played an active role in supporting our activity as they were willing to help at any moment and provide valuable advice.


A field trip was scheduled in the middle of the week which included the following visits: E.ON’s Technology Centre at the Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station, the UKCCSRC Pilot-scale Advance Capture Technology (PACT) facilities at Beighton, the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) at Buxton and the British Geological Survey (BGS) site at Keyworth. These visits were chosen the range of activities being developed by industry, universities and research institutes in the UK. They were also intended to provide an overview of the active role and desire in the UK of eventual large scale CCS deployment.

Although we were set tight schedules, an unforeseen event changed the plans of one of the buses when it got stuck in a narrow road on the way to Buxton, giving that particular group the chance of enjoying the British countryside and reinforce networking whilst having a drink in a vintage English pub!

On the final afternoon of the week we finally had time to relax and enjoy the city of Nottingham and the good weather were had been having during the week.  The overseas and non-Nottingham based students had an opportunity to visit the sandstone caves underneath the city with local tour guides who delighted us with amusing experiences from their childhood in the city while others went to the park to play football in the sunshine and chilled out at a nearby pub. This was followed by the awards ceremony and the final dinner. This continued into a night out in Nottingham city centre for some of us which was a great way to blow off steam after a long week of hard work and a chance to get to know our new friends a bit better outside of the world of CCS!


In conclusion, the IEAGHG International Summer School was an interesting and motivating experience, highly recommended to all PhD students starting your research career in the field of CCS!  

[IEAGHG CCS Summer School 2013 Students representing the scale of the wellbore]                            


For details about IEAGHG CCS Summer School programme and the application process, visit their webpage and also look out for announcements once the 2014 details are released.