Oil and Gas

Exploration, Production and Recovery

Case Western Reserve University is applying nationally renowned research in polymer and materials science and harnessing partnerships with universities across the Tri-State Region (and beyond) to develop technologies to make oil and natural gas development, production and utilization efficient, safer, cleaner and more sustainable. Growth in the natural gas industry in the Utica and Marcellus Shale has increased the opportunity for research in the region, while long-term relationships with industry leaders up to the downstream sectors are leading to technological advancements in the utilization of petroleum and gas derivatives. Collaborations with oilfield service companies, chemical companies, operators, and other universities strengthen the focus on the challenging problems of the industry both in enhanced recovery and cost-effectiveness.


Case Western Reserve University Oil and Gas research builds on numerous strengths and assets: 

  • Harnessing polymer science for the development of production and completion tools in drilling and hydraulic fracturing 
  • Developing anti-corrosion and other anti-fouling technologies for oil and gas wells
  • Utilizing a multi-pronged approach to develop high temperature sensors
  • High throughput protocols: stress and standardized testing 
  • Studying functional mechanics of ceramic materials 
  • Cutting-edge microstructural characterization of fuel cell materials
  • Leveraging partnerships with Carnegie Mellon University, West Virginia University, and University of Pittsburgh through the Tri-State University Energy (TrUE) Alliance  


Opportunities for Oil and Gas Research include: 

  • Leveraging data analytics for improved understanding of well and well-production issues
  • Developing reliable high-temperature electronics and sensors 
  • Advanced non-metallic and poly composite anti-corrosion technology
  • New polymer additives and coatings for oil/gas field proppants, dosing and fluids
  • Carbon sequestration at the wellhead including acid well utilization
  • Power generation with no carbon dioxide emissions
  • Testing of solid-oxide fuel cells
  • State-of-the-art electron microscopy, micro-chemical analysis, and 3-D reconstruction of fuel cell materials
  • Regulatory and safety policy issues 

Potential Benefits

  • Sustainable benefit of the Utica and Marcellus Shale to benefit the region and Northeast Ohio
  • More efficient and more economic production from wells
  • Increased safety of oil and gas drilling
  • New chemistry and toughened materials for oil and gas exploration and production
  • In-depth, integrated studies of micro-structure-performance relationships in materials for hydrocarbon-based power-generation technologies
  • Reduced carbon dioxide emissions from the development, production and utilization of oil and natural gas 


Oil & Gas

  • Profile Photo

    Mark De Guire

    Associate Professor Emeritus, Materials Science and Engineering

    Analyzes performance of ceramics in energy applications, including fuel cells and oxygen transport membranes

  • Profile Photo

    David Schiraldi

    Professor Emeritus, Macromolecular Science and Engineering

    Develops bio-based, flame-retarded plastics, polymer aerogels and packaging materials; and studies properties of polyesters