Tayfun Babadagli

Tayfun Babadagli

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Alberta

Chair title

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Unconventional Oil Recovery

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 2011


The NSERC Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in Unconventional Oil Recovery is a major research initiative undertaken by the University of Alberta in response to developing ecologically viable technologies for extracting or tapping unconventional oil reserves and resources.

The Chairholder, Tayfun Babadagli, is a tenured full-time professor at the University of Alberta. Dr. Babadagli is an internationally recognized scholar in the area of oil recovery and reservoir characterization. Since joining the university in 2002, he has established the Enhanced Oil and Gas Recovery and Reservoir Characterization (EOGRRC) research group. The focus of this research group has been on pore to giga scale investigations of thermal and solvent applications in light oil/heavy oil/bitumen recovery and the optimization of these techniques considering the reservoir heterogeneity (mainly fracture structures).

The Chair's program will provide considerable long-term benefits to the department, university, province, and the international oil sands community. The IRC will enable the University of Alberta to develop strong and diverse centre of excellence in natural resources/energy engineering research area, and will directly and indirectly provide support to the programs of other researchers working on unconventional oil recovery while strengthening the status of the University of Alberta.

The Chair's program will greatly impact the Albertan and Canadian economies. With conventional oil recovery in decline, the future of the oils industry in Canada depends on efficient production of heavy oil bitumen reserves. The research program will develop efficient in-situ techniques and improve the efficiency of existing techniques for tapping into 85 percent of Canada's unconventional oil reserves, which currently remained untouched because of the limitations of traditional surface mining and extraction.

New techniques and research data will be developed to use minimal amounts of steam and reduce the environmental footprint and cost for companies. This will drastically increase the revenue generated by oil sands production for the country and, more specifically, Alberta. This will also place Canada as a world leader in heavy oil and bitumen recovery techniques.

Sponsoring companies will benefit from the program through in-house, research-based tutorials, annual consortium conferences and, most importantly, technology transfer. Field evaluation opportunities from consortium members will be pursued first. This will get more companies onboard to support the developed technologies. Equally important, the Chair's program will help to actively recruit top students to petroleum engineering and enhance the profile of the program.


  • Schlumberger of Canada Limited
  • CNRL/Canadian Natural Resources Limited
  • Suncor Energy
  • Petrobank
  • Sherritt International
  • APEX Engineering

Contact information

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Alberta
School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering - Markin/CNRL Natural Resources Engineering Facility
9105 116TH ST
Edmonton, Alberta
T6G 2W2

Tel.: 780-492-9626
Fax: 780-492 0249


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