University of Nottingham

The International Research Experience for Students (IRES) programme


The International Research Experience for Students (IRES) programme supports Virginia Tech (VT) engineering students in gaining international research experience. The programme is hosted by the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, USA in partnership with the University of Nottingham. GERC is one of five UK research groups who host students.

The programme is funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Award for a three year period (Summer 2014-2016)

The IRES programme provides eligible Virginia Tech engineering students with the unique opportunity to work on collaborative research. Students will investigate the critical research areas of next generation electrical power systems. This will involve developing environmentally-friendly transport systems and the human factors issues that accompany their use and adoption.

Virginia Tech

The programme has three phases:

1.   Pre-departure workshops at Virginia Tech including a three-week Research Planning Seminar

2.   A seven-week overseas research experience with GERC or one of the following internationally recognised research groups at the University of Nottingham

  • the Power Electronics, Machines and Control Research Group (PEMC)
  • the University Technology Center (UTC)
  • the Human Factors Research Group (HFRG)
  • Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering/ Polymer Engineering (Dept)

3.   Following the overseas experience, students will present their research findings at a student research symposium or professional conference

IRES Students 2016

GERC hosted 3 VT students on the 2016 IRES Programme; Kyle Louk, Casey Jennings and Charlie Schlosser.

Each student was supervised by a member of the GERC core staff.

  • Kyle Louk – Prof Matthew Hall; Professor in Materials Engineering & the previous Director of GERC
  • For his IRES collaboration Kyle characterised sorption behaviours of CO2 and SF6 on coal seams from Virginia, USA.
  • Casey Jennings - Dr Veerle Vandeginste; Assistant Professor in Geochemistry
  • For his IRES collaboration Casey worked on batch reaction models in PHREEQC; the basis for creating a 1D reactive transport model for predicting how CO2 will react with the water and coal in the reservoir.
  • Charlie Schlosser - Dr Donald Brown; Assistant Professor in Applied Mathematics
  • For his IRES collaboration Charlie worked to develop new research methodologies to analyse, understand and predict petroleum and natural gas reservoir behavior using state-of-the-art modeling and simulation software and robust statistical algorithms.

During their visit the students were given the opportunity to visit our GeoEnergy Test Bed (GTB) facility to see our first borehole being logged.



Our IRES students have blogged about their experiences on our GERC Diary

Read more about their research interests and the work they undertook in the UK in collaboration with GERC. Plus see what they got up to in their spare time including exploring in Nottingham, the rest of the UK and even further abroad



GeoEnergy Research Centre