Microwave Water Cut Sensors for Oil Industry: From Design to Deployment in the Field

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Modern industries are adapting smart ways of monitoring their processes to ensure smooth operations. Sensors that can detect and communicate the process information are essential ingredients of any IoT-enabled network. Since billions of such sensor nodes will be required in the future, low cost will be an important feature for these devices. Consistent with the above-mentioned trends, the oil industry is also adapting smart monitoring and actuation mechanisms for its day-to-day operations. 

This talk will be focused on developing low-cost sensors, which can increase oil production efficiency through real-time monitoring of oil wells. The mechanism behind the development of low-cost & printed microwave sensors will be introduced followed by a number of applications where these sensors can be utilized. A specific application to measure the composition of production fluid will be described in detail. Unique benefits of Microwave DMOR technology, utilized in the sensors, will be explained in comparison with existing technologies.
All the steps to take an electrical sensor from the lab to an oil field environment will be discussed in sequence. Design aspects for practical usage of the sensor in an actual oil field will be discussed. The talk will be summarized by highlighting the future work which could further improve this technology.

Brief Biography

Muhammad Akram Karimi received the B.Eng. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan, in 2013, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, in 2015 and 2019, respectively.

He has been an Intern with Mentor Graphics and worked as an Embedded System Developer with MicroTech industries. He is the Co-Founder of KAUST based startup company called Saher Flow Solutions, which aims to digitize oil and gas industry through innovative wireless multiphase flow sensors. He is also working in close collaboration with Saudi Aramco. He has developed a field ready TRL-8 grade prototype of a 2-phase flow meter which has been tested in multiple oil fields of Saudi Arabia. He is actively researching on innovative sensing techniques to enhance the operating envelope of the multiphase flow meter. He is the Lead Inventor in more than ten patents and has published over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers. His research interests include design and testing of microwave sensors for industrial applications. He was a recipient of multiple academic, research, and entrepreneurial awards throughout his career. He was a recipient of the Best Student Paper Award at the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in 2016, 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Award at IMS 2019, the ADIPEC Breakthrough Research of the year award in 2019, the King’s Prize (on behalf of King of Saudi Arabia) in 2020, the ADIPEC Young Technical Professional of the Year in 2020 and IEEE Technical Achievement Award (Early Career) in 2021. He received two gold medals from the University of Engineering and Technology during his B.Eng. degree.

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