Damir Karimov, a graduate student in Petroleum Engineering at SMG, proudly presented Nazarbayev University at the 2019 Russian and Caspian Regional Student Paper Contest on 22 and 23rd of October, 2019 in Moscow, Russia. Damir was selected as the only student from Kazakhstan to participate in the contest and won the first place with his presentation on “Optimization of Smart Water Composition for the Potential Synergy with Polymer Flooding” in a highly competitive contest among the top students from the Caspian Region. His presentation was about the potential effect of combining two independent methods and the development of a hybrid low salinity water/polymer flooding method to enhance oil recovery. As Damir says, the study focused on experimental work to evaluate synergy between low salinity water and polymer flooding in carbonate formations. Through a series of experiments, he determined the optimum concentration of active ions in Caspian Base Water that increases the effectiveness of polymer in the hybrid low salinity water-polymer flooding technique. As a result of his win, Damir received an excellent opportunity to present the region and the Nazarbayev University at the 2020 International Student Paper Contest at SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) in Denver, Colorado.