UH students aid in development of innovative technology for oil industry

No one can forget the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. For five UH students and their professor, this tragedy motivates their project to create a technology that will prevent future spills.

“Think of it like the iPhone. It was a big change from the flip phone with new features,” electrical technology senior and leader of the project Kiefer Duong said. “It is an innovative technology that could have prevented the oil spill in the Gulf.”

Those involved in the project include electrical technology seniors Kiefer Duong, Elizabeth Andrade, Austin Chang, Patrick Nguyen, information and logistics technology senior Alex OBrien and Mechanical Engineering Technology Instructional Assistant Professor Medhat El Nahas.

Blowout Preventer Technologies is the company associated with the UH student group  developing the technology. The students are also interns with the company and are focused on the development of a blowout preventer for the oil and gas industry.

According to Duong, this project is BOP Technologies’ product, and they will be marketing their product to various companies to be used in oil rigs. Members of BOP Technologies are working alongside the group including Jay Read, Founder of BOP Technologies and inventor of the Circular Intensifier Blowout Preventer.

“Over the last few decades, the BOP design has changed very little,” Duong said. “The BOP Technologies product is unique and remarkable due to increase in reliability, ease of maintenance and (increase in) performance, compared to traditional BOP’s. With the simplified design, it is able to operate at a higher performance level with less components, while being cost effective. This will save companies millions of dollars annually.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the total cost of damages Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused reached a total of $54 billion.

The group began this project in September, after reaching out to Khoa Pham, Vice President of Market Development and Strategy of BOP Technologies and now currently CEO of the company. According to Duong, Pham’s and Read’s team presented the idea to the group.

“Currently, we are aiding in the development of different aspects of their product,” Duong said. “They predict their product to be completed in about two years.”

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