Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Analysis and Impact of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2010 - DURI
Research area(s):
Science, technology, engineering
Project Description:
The recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has presented an unprecedented challenge and opportunity to all including Purdue students and faculty to contribute to addressing the challenges associated with the oil industry. The oil spill has triggered the need for expertise and capabilities to prevent such disasters from happening in the future and also the necessary tools and techniques to manage the situation during the pre and post crisis period. There are several questions that need to be answered: (1) is it safe to drill? (2) Is there a credible plan for plugging a blowout? (3) is the industry capable of cleaning up a catastrophic spill?, (4) how does the Gulf of Mexico disaster compare with other similar past disasters? (5) what are the social and economic impacts of these disasters? (6) what regulations and policies need to put in place to avoid future disasters. The project can involve one to three undergraduate students from different disciplines. Students will have an opportunity to work under the guidance of interdisciplinary researchers: engineering, science/technology and agriculture. The students will have an opportunity to actively participate in a ‘Oil Spill Research Workshop’ during Green Week (October 2010).
Expected Student Contributions:
The project can involve one to three undergraduate students from different disciplines. Students will have an opportunity to work under the guidance of interdisciplinary researchers: engineering, science/technology and agriculture. The students will have an opportunity to actively participate in an ‘Oil Spill Research Workshop’ during the Green Week (October 2010). Students will be working with Steve Werely, John Bickham and Pankaj Sharma. We will ask student(s) to do initially some literature survey and formulate a set of research questions. Student will then work on those questions. Both John Bickham and Steve Werely have labs and student can carry out studying the oil spill images and/or lab work depending upon his/her research interests. In addition, we have developed a list of over +30 researchers who have tools that addresses oil spill disaster. Undergraduate student(s) will have access to that net work. In brief, the network consists of research expertise in following areas: (Agriculture, Engineering, Science, Technology, and Veterinary Medicine) combustion, fluid dynamics and turbulent flows; diagnostic, prognostic, and systemic failure/safety/risk analysis; contaminant; transport; rheological properties of oil and oil-water mixtures; ecosystem management, environmental and natural resource economics; bio/environment/phyto-remediation, and toxicology pathology; (Liberal Arts, Health and Human Sciences, Management): communication, consumers, and tourism; health risk and hazard communication; supply chain management; economic, environmental and social impact; public policy analysis. At the end student will write a research paper and prepare a PPT presentation. We will be glad to work through academic units if student wants to apply for a grade.
Related Website(s):
http://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/energy/research/oilspill.php
Desired Qualifications:
3.0 GPA. We would like students from different disciplines to apply to participate in this interdisciplinary research project.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
12
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
No

Professor in Charge

Name:
Sharma, Pankaj
Deptartment/College:
discovery park administration

Student Supervisor

Name:
Pankaj Sharma
Title:
Associate Director/Prof. of Tech (courtesy)

Cooperating Faculty

Name:
John Bickham
Deptartment/College:
Forestery and Natural Resources, College of Ag
Name:
Steve Werely
Deptartment/College:
Mechanical Engineering, College of Eng