Thermophysical properties - Metrology - CCUS - Energetic Transition - Resonant Cavities

David Vega Maza

Engineering Fluid Thermodynamics TermoCal BioEcoUva
My research career

Being a Senior Industrial Engineer with a major in Automation and Electronics, resonant acoustic modes in gases aroused my curiosity and passion for research in thermodynamics. My career was directed to unite that passion with the pleasure of teaching.

After two stays at Imperial College London (ICL) and a Master's degree at UVa, I obtained a PhD with European mention and extraordinary award in engineering. After a happy postdoctoral stay at NIST (USA), I packed my bags back to ICL in 2010, with the feeling that I would develop my career abroad. And so it was for almost 11 years. After 2.5 years at ICL in the Chemical Engineering department, I got my first permanent academic position at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, gateway to the world of subsea engineering in the North Sea. As a lecturer and then Senior Lecturer, I was enthusiastically involved in teaching, research and university administration, with colleagues and students from all corners of the world. In addition to broadening my field of research, I coordinated a multidisciplinary group of more than 30 academics working on CO2 Capture, Transport and Storage (CCS). I was also for years a board member leading the joint action of 4 Scottish universities and a UK research center working on CCS. I also coordinated the world's first and only Masters in decommissioning of offshore platforms and subsea structures.

And when I was already wearing the Highland Outfit, the opportunity arose to return to the TermoCal group, through the Beatriz Galindo Senior competitive call. Rigorous research in thermophysical properties and metrology, true passions, were calling me back. And here I am, back home.

My research

My research is focused on the following lines within the field of Energy Engineering:

1) Thermophysical properties and phase equilibria of liquid and gaseous multicomponent systems.

2) Fundamental metrology in the quantities temperature, pressure and humidity.

I specialize in measurements with very low uncertainty and perfectly well characterized, and in the development of consistent prediction tools necessary for the development of advanced molecular models of fluid engineering, robust standards, traceable measurements, and new experimental techniques with boundary uncertainty and/or extreme conditions. These tools aim to increase our scientific knowledge base, strengthen metrological reliability, and help solve scientific-technical problems in the new sustainable energy transition paradigm. Measurements of sound velocity, heat capacity, density, viscosity, phase equilibria, dielectric constant, surface tension, Zeta potential, over a very wide range of pressures, temperatures and compositions, build the backbone of my work. My thermodynamic background is enriched with contributions from infrared spectroscopy, interface properties, surface-fluid interactions in porous media, and detection and cleanup of contaminants in underwater energetic structures.

My research activity is applied in the following fields

1) CO2 capture, use and storage -CCUS-.

2) biofuels.

3) hydrogen production, transportation and storage.

4) new temperature and humidity patterns.

5) long-term monitoring of energy structures in the marine environment.

My vision is to demonstrate by example, together with my collaborators, that rigorous basic science, precise experimental measurements and their interpretations are as necessary now as ever to provide our societies with rational tools to face unavoidable problems such as the climate crisis, the unsustainability of our production models, and the integration of a stable, affordable and clean energy system.