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Our new research scientist, Adrian Ambrus. Photo: IRIS

Meet Adrian


Meet Adrian and find out what inspired him to become a scientist and what he is working with.

Name: Adrian Ambrus

Age: 29

Education: Adrian has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin (UT) where he was part of the Rig Automation and Performance Improvement in Drilling (RAPID) group. While he was a student at UT, Adrian did internships with Verdande Technology and Intellicess, a technology startup based in Austin, Texas. At Intellicess, Adrian assisted in the development of a real-time data analytics engine for drilling data validation, automated rig activity and drilling problem identification. Adrian's research interests include modeling and control of drilling processes, machine learning, and Bayesian statistics.​

IRIS Energy Department: Research Scientist in the Drilling and Well Modelling Group.

What inspired you to become a scientist?
“I have been interested in science, particularly math and physics since elementary school.  I enjoyed reading books and magazines about science, and learning far beyond what was required for the school curriculum. I took part in numerous Olympiads and competitions in my home country (Romania), and by the end of high school I decided I should apply my skills to some science or engineering field. Once in university I chose Mechanical Engineering as my field of study, but kept a strong focus on the scientific side, always looking for new solutions to complex engineering problems. After getting Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Drexel University, I ended up pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). It was there I met Dr. Eric van Oort, one of the world-class researchers in drilling, along with Dr. Mitch Pryor and Dr. Pradeep Ashok, both coming from a robotics background. Intrigued by how drilling and robotics / automation concepts can come together, I decided to join their recently formed group focused on drilling automation. The time I spent at UT inspired me to stay in the field as a research scientist, which led me to where I am today.”

What do you like/dislike about your job?
“I like the fact that I am working in a team with very diverse backgrounds, who all join their skills in resolving some of the most challenging problems the oil and gas industry faces today. I’ve been impressed by the talent and knowledge in the Drilling and Well Modeling group, and the easy going and helpful nature of my colleagues.”

What are you working on right now?
“The project I working on is called Smart Auto ROP. The main objective of this project is to design a machine control system capable of automatically determining and optimizing the (e.g. weight on bit, top drive RPM, pump rate) during a drilling operation. The system needs to accommodate adverse drilling conditions, such as vibrations, poor cuttings transport, or rig heave. A secondary objective is to infer geological parameters such as rock strength and use this information in rate of penetration (ROP) models, as well as in identifying transitions between hard and soft formations. The algorithms will ultimately be tested on the Drilltronics system in collaboration with Sekal.”

What has been your best IRIS moment so far?
“Having only been in IRIS for a month now, I would say the best moment was the warm welcome by everyone in the office, and also being able to represent IRIS at the SPE Offshore Energy conference in Aberdeen.”
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