Visible & Invisible Light for Energy Production

Event date: 09/13/2015 Time: 11 - 12:30

The talk will be delivered by Dirk Smit, Vice President of Exploration Technology R&D and Shell Chief Scientist for Geophysics

Light has been a vital to enable life on our planet, and has been a crucial factor in the evolution of mankind. Indeed light has been an important driver of industrial processes as long as humanity exists. This is not surprising as light is a cornerstone of the visible part of our Universe and at the origin of many basic processes that take place in our universe both a large scale as well as at small scale affecting our daily life. Remarkably, the understanding of the basic physics of light and how it may be used in simple engineering processes is of relatively recent origin. In fact effective application of uses of light at a large scale to the benefit of mankind has only been possible thanks to scientific breakthroughs by Maxwell, Edison, in the 19-th century and by Feynman, Bardeen and others in the past century. Perhaps even more remarkable is that many of these basic scientific breakthroughs have lead to even more refined engineering applications such as computers of which the uses have lead in turn to more sophisticated understanding of light processes and possible applications not otherwise possible. This is also true in the Energy industry, where advances in material sciences and chemical engineering often enabled by processes enabled by hydrocarbon fuels are now leading low cost electricity generation using solar-voltaics. In this talk I will discuss various aspects of our understanding as well as applications of light – both visibile and invisible – and how they have enabled significant achievements in energy production from fossil fuels today as well as from renewable sources in future. I will discuss in particular how advances in modern science and engineering of what in essence are “light-based” processes have started to change the energy industries like Shell and how crucial they will be to supply energy to future generations.

Event location:

Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre, Tech Building 1, Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP)


Organizers and sponsors: