Fatima Alsakka recipient of 2023 Variperm Mousavi-Daneshmand Engineering Innovation Award

March 21, 2023

Research and Development Manager Vahid Fattahpour, VP of Manufacturing Tim Ottenhof, Fatima Alsakka, and Sand Control Manager Mahdi Mahmoudi.

Leduc, AB—Fatima Alsakka is this year’s Variperm Energy Services Mousavi-Daneshmand Engineering Innovation Award winner. Her work on automated data acquisition in offsite construction factories ensures the memory of former Variperm research partner Dr. Pedram Mousavi lives on.

The Mousavi-Daneshmand Engineering Innovation Award is a $2,500 award gifted annually to a student enrolled in a Masters or Doctoral program in the Faculty of Engineering. Selection is based on academic achievement and relevance of the student's research related to the areas of digitalization, data capture, application of data analytics for the energy industry, mechanical actuation systems, or wireless shifting technologies. This award was created to honour the work and research efforts of Dr. Pedram Mousavi and his wife Dr. Mojgan Daneshmand.

Research Overview
Alsakka’s current research is aimed at developing a digital management solution for offsite construction factories. The solution is designed to dynamically estimate and schedule production based on a continuous supply of information and data acquisition from the shop floor. Leveraging the power of computer vision technology, Alsakka and her collaborators devised a simple computer vision-based system which automatically acquires process time data without necessitating the significant set-up efforts typically required when deploying the technology. The system has demonstrated promising performance when applied to wall framing operations in an offsite construction facility.

Moreover, “as part of the digital management solution, we are developing a 3D virtual model that mimics the real manufacturing operations at the factory and simultaneously collects data," says Alsakka. “As such, the virtual model could be used to simulate future operations in order to estimate and schedule production, evaluate the current state of operations, and test changes to operations before they are implemented.” The solution will enable manufacturers to capture crucial insights into their production processes, thereby improving decision-making and performance.”


Alsakka is a PhD Candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Alberta. Working as a graduate research assistant at the University of Alberta, she also has ongoing collaborations with ACQBuilt, a leading offsite construction facility in Edmonton, Alberta, and the University of British Columbia.
Some of Alsakka’s most cited research include:

  • 3D concrete printing: machine design, mix proportioning, and mix comparison between different machine setups
  • Agent based modeling to optimize workflow of robotic steel and concrete 3D printers
  • Thixotropy and interfacial bond strengths of polymer-modified printed mortars
About Dr. Mousavi and Dr. Daneshmand

Dr. Mousavi, an electrical engineer, led an research group at the University of Alberta Faculty of Engineering focusing on wireless downhole power and data transfer. His team is developing intelligent wireless devices that will work toward making oil and gas operations safer and more cost effective.

Dr. Mousavi’s wife, Dr. Mojgan Daneshmand, was also an engineering professor with the electrical and computer engineering department at U of A. The couple's two daughters, Darina and Darya, were aged 10 and 15, respectively. The family was among 176 people killed on Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 that crashed after taking off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport outside of Tehran. All 176 people aboard the flight perished—of which at least 30 were from the city of Edmonton.

About the Mousavi-Daneshmand Engineering Innovation Award
The award received over 100 applications. The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research nominates each recipient and completes the process by administering the award to each successful recipient.

The Faculty’s review and selection process allows us to 'spread the wealth' to ensure various deserving students receive support, and that we target awards based on their unique criteria,” said Ashley Davis, Associate Director, Development at the University of Alberta. “Our Associate Chairs in each Department know many students and their work and can assist with this match-making process.”

Dr. Mousavi’s Variperm-partnered research project started in 2018 and focused on Wireless Data and Power Transmission through completion Liners especially for Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) operation. The results of the project could be useful with downhole monitoring in thermal wells, which is essential for the future of the thermal operations.

“His project was a part of a larger research program for downhole monitoring,” said Variperm Research and Development Manager Dr. Vahid Fattahpour. “Oil and gas production requires accurate downhole information, such as pressure, temperature, fluid profile, fluid regime, and solid ingress, from along the well to operate the reservoir. Current downhole monitoring systems usually lack continuous measurement along the well and/or coverage of the above-mentioned parameters.”

Variperm has partnered with University of Alberta since 2013 on projects.