February 02, 2005 —
Co-Esecutive Directors Iraj Ershaghi (left)of the Viterbi School and
Hauser of ChevronTexaco at the center's newly opened offices on the
third floor of Tutor Hall. (photo: Irene Fertik)|
Hauser, the i-field ("integrated field") Program Manager for CiSoft
sponsor ChevronTexaco*, spoke at a conference expected to be the first
annual series, in which Viterbi School faculty working on
CiSoft projects (19 are now involved) meet with engineers and
technologists from ChevronTexaco and other corporate sponsors of the
CiSoft was established in December 2003 and work on projects
started six months ago following an intense period of
what Hauser called "organized brainstorming." He and co-executive
director Iraj Ershaghi, professor of of the Viterbi School worked to define the
"It was a two-sided effort," said Hauser. "From the CVX [Chevron
Texaco] side, the question was 'what are our needs?' From the USC
side, it was 'what is our expertise?'"
Working with both Viterbi School and CVX participants, the effort
considered a wide range of possible research areas and business
and decided on focus on seven:
- Integrated Asset Management
- Well Productivity Improvement
- Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
- Embedded and Networked Systems
- Reservoir Management
- Data Management Tools
- Immersive Visualization
Hauser said that some of the problems chosen were those that it seemed
reasonable to expect usable results within a one to two-year time
frame. "This means, yes, we do expect to have this technology in use by
2006, either in pilot or full-scale application. Other projects will
target opportunities three- to five-year s out, he said.
Participants from all seven research areas presented reports for
discussion during the two-day event, which also included a keynote
speech "Technology Unlocking New Barrels" from ChevronTexaco Vice President
Roughly two to four Viterbi School faculty working on
each project for
each representative of CVX or other sponsors: Schlumberger, SAIC,
and Microsoft. In addition to Ershaghi,
Viterbi research faculty Joseph Bannister of the Information Sciences
Institute Networks Division and Ulrich Neumann of the Integrated Media
Systems Center sit on the six-member decision review board overseeing
projects.The other members are Alan G. Nunn Global Technology and
Strategy, General Manager at ChevronTexaco, and Warner M .
Williams of the ChevronTexaco's San
Joaquin Valley Business Unit.
The Center's yearly research budget is $2 million.
Ershaghi emphasized that the research effort was taking place in tandem
with the development of an educational curriculum to teach the emerging
techniques to engineers. Four new graduate courses on smart oil
production, PTE 586, 587,588, and 589, are now in the curriculum.
Hauser was enthusiastic about his experience so far working with the
Viterbi School. "It's been a refreshing change from our
short-term production world to be able to interact in a venue where we
can think more innovatively. USC has so far more than met our
*ChevronTexaco has changed its name since the publication of this story. It is now known as Chevron.