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Dr. Florin Esanu

Alberta Research Council Logo In 2001, members of the oil industry in Alberta approached the Alberta Research Council (ARC) and research scientist Dr. Florin Esanu to begin researching a ceramic composite effective in the prevention of corrosion in oilfield equipment. Esanu, who was then involved in researching ceramics for another purpose, was initially skeptical that they could offer what was being requested. However, interested in attempting it, he made the necessary shifts in his research to do so.

Two years later, Esanu and his team have created a ceramic composite so advanced it cannot even be categorized among existing types of ceramic compounds. The impact of this invention promises to be astounding, saving hundreds of millions of dollars in oilfield equipment replacement costs as well as preventing the money lost during the downtime.

Bob Franke, IPC general manager, and Florin Esanu (in the background).In November 2002, a patent application was filed and while the details of the ceramic composite coating are still under wraps, ARC and Edmonton’s International Polymers Canada (IPC) have since signed an agreement allowing IPC exclusive world rights to marketing this technology.

Esanu, who was born and educated in Romania, joined ARC in September of 1999. His interest in ceramics and chemistry was sparked when he noticed all of the research opportunities available to the field while attending the Polytechnical Institute of Bucharest. His formal education culminated in 2000 when he received his PhD in chemistry from the University of British Columbia.

Florin Esanu (on left) with IPC general manager, Bob Franke.Esanu attributes his success in the field to hard work and the mentors who have guided him. He remembers Horia Balasoiu, the talented professor who opened his eyes to the wonders of scientific research. As a young student, just out of university, Esanu was chock full of ideals. He recalls the supervisor at his first paid position (with the Romanian research company, Procema SA) Mannuela Magiopol, who helped him to understand that applied research was quite different than what he had experienced in school. Upon moving to Canada, Esanu was working with two more people who had a profound effect on him—his graduate advisors at the University of British Columbia, Dr. George Oprea and Dr. Tom Troczinsky.

Although he is not sure what the future has in store, Esanu looks forward to continuing research on ceramic coating technology. As far as he is concerned, the possibilities for development are virtually limitless.

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