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Petroleum Engineering Student Lands Valuable Internship

August 2, 2017
Juan Acosta poses for a photo at an oil and gas processing facility.
UW student Juan Acosta has received a hands-on education with a regional oil and gas technology company, Colorado Engineering Experimental Station Inc. (CEESI). It is the world’s largest commercially available gas-flow test facility. (Juan Acosta photo)

Armed with the confidence that comes from a University of Wyoming education, Juan Acosta landed a valuable internship with an established company this summer.
Acosta, a petroleum engineering student, has been getting a hands-on education with a regional oil and gas technology company, Colorado Engineering Experimental Station Inc. (CEESI). It is the world’s largest commercially available gas-flow test facility and is located in Nunn, Colo., about 80 miles southeast of Laramie. Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Acosta will be a senior this year at UW and says he chose UW because of its excellent petroleum engineering program.
“So far at CEESI, I have gotten to learn a lot and it is incredible how people have been there for me to help me adapt to a new environment,” Acosta says. “There are many skills that I have gained working here like managing my time, organization, improving my problem-solving skills, as well as working with different programs and projects.”
CEESI’s employees saw Acosta’s potential almost immediately.
“Juan interviewed for the internship in May, and immediately impressed us with his eagerness to learn and his eagerness to work,” CEESI engineering staffer Eric Harman says. “His UW course load is impressive and he has impressive grades to match. On the first day, Juan showed up ready to work.”
His early impression at the company was strong, as he developed a customized plotting program that can interface with the company’s software. Throughout his time in the internship, Acosta says he has improved his understanding of how gas and oil flows and functions together. Colorado Engineering Experimental Station Inc.
Acosta hasn’t just developed software and analyzed data during his time at CEESI. Earlier in the summer, he worked with Josh Kinney, director of the CEESI’s Multiphase Test Facility, to test and characterize a pump that will be used in new multiphase expansion project. 
“Juan learned how to use clamp-on ultrasonic meter technology and was a part of the team that analyzed our pump efficiency data,” Kinney says. “Later this summer, Juan will be testing a $1,000,000 multiphase meter that will sit on the ocean floor and measure oil, water and natural gas simultaneously by using a variety of technologies.”
CEESI, with offices in Colorado and Iowa, operates five major test facilities: high-pressure natural gas, wet gas/multiphase, multi-viscosity oil, high-capacity air and water. It provides calibration and engineering services throughout the world, offering a wide range of flow rates, temperatures and pressures. CEESI’s technical staff has more than 500 years of combined flow measurement experience and helps shape standards used in the oil and gas industry.
“I think the biggest benefit of my UW education as it relates to this internship was strong time management,” Acosta says. “As a student with a job, I always had to make sure I could handle both things and still have time for myself. My classes in chemical and petroleum engineering also were very important for this experience with a company that has a principal function of testing and calibration of meters that work with oil and gas.”

Thanks to a strong showing of work ethic and knowledge, Acosta will have the opportunity to do more work with the company in the future.
“If we can persuade Juan to work with CEESI this fall during his senior year, he will be a part of the team that is developing a physical model linking flow turbulence to ultrasonic metering errors in custody transfer measurement,” Harman says. “We are lucky to have Juan, and I hope CEESI can hire more UW interns in the future.”

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