Maria is a PhD student working on a multidisciplinary project as part of the International Centre of Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM) in collaboration with Imperial College London, Manchester University and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research investigates the aggregation and deposition mechanisms of organic molecules that lead to fouling in oil exposed surfaces.
Oil exposed surfaces are susceptible to carbonaceous deposits which in turn are responsible for compromising performance and reducing profitability across the hydrocarbons value chain. Thus, a better understanding of the processes leading to the deposition of these complex and heavy organic compounds is required, since it is unclear whether they primarily aggregate in the liquid phase or at the liquid-solid interface. In an effort to understand the mechanisms behind deposition, Maria uses different modalities of atomic force microscopy (AFM) to characterise the morphology and map the mechanical properties of relevant metallic surfaces post-mortem as well as model surfaces – pre-mortem and post-mortem.
Maria tweets at @MariaKaimaki