ড.আবু রশিদ হাসানঃ I am the eldest of four sons and a daughter my parents had. My parents were avid readers, so reading –all kinds of materials, but mostly fiction – was the primary source of entertainment. Remember, in my boyhood there was no TV; I was 15 when we first had a radio. The habit of reading, and learning on my own, helped me become a better-than-average student. My father, a civil servant, was transferred to Karachi, Pakistan, when I was 12. I had difficulty learning Urdu, but managed because I started liking Urdu ghazels. We had a school for Bengalis with Bangla being the medium of instruction. After SSC though, I had to go college, where the medium of instruction was officially English, but not every teacher adhered to it. I did well in my SSC and HSC, and left my parents in Karachi with admission to EPUET. By the time I graduated, it was renamed BUET. I still visit BUET almost every year.
I married in 1973, and we came to Waterloo, Ontario later that year. I received the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship to work on my MS and PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. After finishing PhD, I joined the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks in 1979. My wife finished her BS and MS in computer science at UND. We have two sons – Arshad (1980) and Arif (1988). We moved to College Station, Texas in 2012.
ড.আবু রশিদ হাসানঃ In high school, I came across the phrase attribute to Archimedes, “If you give me a lever and a place to stand, I can move the world”. It fascinated me that human beings can apply simple scientific principles to develop complicated machinery. I liked math and science; I thought that would help me become a good engineer.
As to why chemical engineering, I am not sure even to this day. But, I am very happy I chose to pursue chemical engineering. It taught me to simplify apparently complicated systems and help me model things that – at least to me – look wonderful.
ড.আবু রশিদ হাসানঃ Petroleum – oil and gas (hydrocarbon) – occurs thousands of meters below earth’s surface. Petroleum Engineering teaches how to locate reserves of these oil and gas (reservoir engineering); how to drill holes (drilling engineering) to get to that petroleum; and how to move it the surface (production engineering). The materials that come up from the reservoir is appropriately called “crudes”, because these have many impurities. The crude must be refined (by chemical and other engineers) before it can be used.
ড.আবু রশিদ হাসানঃ Of the three primary specialties (reservoir, drilling, and production) of petroleum engineering, mine is production. Production primarily utilizes the engineering science of fluid mechanics – how much energy is needed to move fluids (liquids and gasses) from here to there. Fluids mechanics is taught in many engineering disciplines, including chemical. That’s the expertise I brought to Texas A&M Petroleum Engineering Department.
ড.আবু রশিদ হাসানঃ I really know next to nothing about oceans – oceanographers and marine engineers generally study them. However, huge oil reserves lie underneath many oceans – Gulf of Mexico, and off-shore Brazil are two examples. Many believe that oil reserves might be there below Bay of Bengal.
Producing (and drilling) from off-shore platforms require special methods and understanding of heat transfer caused by cold sea water. Many crudes contain wax and other chemicals that exist in a soluble liquid form at the high temperatures that crudes flow up the well. However, flowing through pipes that goes through cold sea water, might cause these chemicals to solidify, causing production problems. There are many other such issues for producing in off-shores. Estimating such cooling is my second area of expertise.
ড.আবু রশিদ হাসানঃ All my life I have only taught and performed research; I have never worked as a full-time employee for any oil company. But, as a contract researcher, I have helped such companies as Chevron, Shell, Hess, Schlumberger, etc. to more efficiently produce oil and gas and understand their production process better. The only organization other than educational, that I have worked for, is NASA. There too, my contribution was to offer better understanding related to heat transfer and fluid flow for various projects.
ড.আবু রশিদ হাসানঃ Since the day I became a graduate student in 1973, I have been studying and applying the science of fluid flow and heat transfer to all kinds of problems. Most (but not all) of those problems related to oil and gas production. My coauthor (Shah Kabir, an oil industry veteran and now a professor at University of Houston) decided we should write a book to offer a systematic approach to apply these principles. In the book, we have used as examples the various problems in oil/gas production that we have worked on. We published the first edition in 2002; the send edition came out in late 2018.
ড.আবু রশিদ হাসানঃ An old dog rarely wants learn any new trick. I plan to keep doing the same thing – apply principles of fluid flow and heat transfer – to new problems, of course. In particular, there are many heat-transfer related issues for off-shore production that needs serious attention. Recently, some very high quality temperature sensors have been developed by researchers that will allow more detailed analyses of heat transfer. Such analyses and modeling will help safer production from difficult situations.
ড.আবু রশিদ হাসানঃ That’s simple – follow your heart! You can spend hours on things you like to do that never tires you. And working hours on end is absolutely essential to make any meaningful contribution in any field. A friend of mine recently said he that knew he would be a successful chemist the day he figured out that he could learn on his own and learning has become fun.