FIRP Lab is a unique facility at the Universidad de Los Andes. We consider ourselves a supporting facility of the industrial and productive sector, bringing knowledge to understand phenomena and know-how to solve actual problems.
History of FIRP Laboratory
The Laboratory of Formulation, Interfaces, Rheology and Processes (FIRP); originally Interfacial Phenomena and Oil Recovery (Fenómenos Interfaciales y Recuperación del Petróleo, in Spanish); began its activities 39 years ago in the month of October 1978. FIRP Laboratory is a research group attached to the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Los Andes, in the city of Mérida-Venezuela. It is dedicated to fundamental to applied research, professional training in the field of Interfacial phenomena, surfactants and their applications, and the development of solutions for the national and international productive sector. At the beginning of the 1990s, the basic research of the FIRP group made it clear that the phenomenology of emulsified systems could be described in the same way as oil, be it a crude oil, an organic solvent, or lanolin, olive or flaxseed oil.
Consequently, it became clear that the developed know-how could be used to solve a wide variety of problems in various sectors. When the FIRP Lab received the Fundacite award-grant in 1995, it was in a period of change and expansion both in number of members and topics.
At the end of the 90s, researchers from the School of Chemical Engineering (ULA, Mérida) were working on other problems due to an increase in the demand for support from the oil industry, particularly in the matter of drilling mud, asphalt emulsions and oil dehydration. It was then that the FIRP group changed its name, and FIRP became the abbreviation of Formulation, Interfaces, Rheology and Processes, which allowed internationalizing the name and expanding the theme, in particular to emphasize “Formulation” that had become a field in which the laboratory was recognized nationally and internationally, and “Processes” that denotes the applied and pragmatic orientation of the group’s policy. The originality of the FIRP group lies in its organization and functioning with certain business characteristics, atypical in a university environment.
Industry - University Relationship
We have an employment and academic relationship with both the university and the industrial union, through our various departments of technical development, equipment and conferences. For more information, refer to the sections indicated below:
Products for learning and training: bibliographic support (FIRP notebooks, presentations, general bibliography), as well as open access publications. Our industrial partners have preferential access to our electronic bookstore.
Non-Conventional University Products: support services in research, development and innovation, for the productive sector, continuous training and extension courses for know-how transfer, training and internship for the productive sector.
Research and development projects, oriented to the training of our professionals in the different areas that comprise the knowledge of our laboratory through all our years of experience.
An important feature in this type of training corresponds to “in-house” courses with programs designed “on demand” and confidential, for industrialists who ask for training with a strong know-how component.
Products for learning and training: bibliographic support (FIRP notebooks, presentations, general bibliography), as well as open access publications. Our industrial partners have preferential access to our electronic library, in particular they receive guidance on what to read and in what order to solve a problem.
We offer support services in research, development and innovation, for the productive sector, for Venezuela and abroad. In the FIRP laboratory, we are a group of more than 20 professors from the ULA, engineers, pharmacists, chemists with competence and experience in various areas of knowledge, some with previous experience in the industry.