DeepPower, Inc., the developer of a breakthrough geothermal drilling technology to access the Earth’s unlimited source of clean energy, today announced that CEO Andrew Van Noy recently spoke with geologist Dr. Diane Burns about the critical role that experts in the field play in understanding the challenges of drilling down to the level of super hot rock. During the conversation, Dr. Burns, the Department Chair of Geology and Geography at Eastern Illinois University, compared drilling for oil vs. drilling for heat.
Dr. Diane Burns, Ph.D., currently serves as the Department Chair of Geology and Geography at Eastern Illinois University. She was an Associate Professor at St. Lawrence University early in her career. In 2007, Dr. Burns transitioned to Eastern Illinois University to begin her 15-year tenure as an Associate Professor. Dr. Burns specializes in sedimentary geology and sequence stratigraphy with research interests in sediment transport and geomorphology in southeast Wyoming and East Central Illinois. Dr. Burns’ research involves macro- and microscopic analyses to unravel the paleo-tectonism of the Rocky Mountain Region. She also utilizes GIS analyses to follow the channel migrations of the Little Wabash River (IL) and their impact on land usage. In her spare time, Dr. Burns gives back to the greater geology community by serving on countless academic committees. From 2018 to 2022, Dr. Burns also served as the National President of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, the national earth science honor society. To thank Dr. Burns for her commitment to scientific research and education, Eastern Illinois University awarded her the Luis Clay Mendez Distinguished Service Award.
During her conversation with DeepPower CEO Van Noy, Dr. Burns emphasized the multidisciplinary nature of geology, “To be a geologist, you have to understand chemistry, physics, biology. . . it all folds into it.” The pair delved into the struggles between harvesting oil and drilling down to the level of super hot rock to exploit geothermal energy. “The technology will have to change [for the oil and gas industry],” she stated. To drill through hard rock, Dr. Burns noted, “You can use geologists to exploit [geothermal] because they can figure out the subsurface.”
Following the interview, Mr. Van Noy commented on the need for more geologists like Dr. Burns to share their expertise during the drilling process. “Dr. Burns’ expertise is critical to our ability to access geothermal,” Mr. Van Noy said. “Once you hit 400 degrees Celsius, a supercritical gas forms and experts like Dr. Burns understand the science behind it better than anyone else!”