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Wereley receives award for response to oil rig explosion

Steven Wereley
Steven Wereley
Steven Wereley, professor of mechanical engineering, recently was given the U.S. Geological Survey Director's Award for his work in helping with the response to the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill off the coast of Louisiana.

Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, said in the letter notifying Wereley of the award that his assistance was instrumental in answering key questions regarding the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, whether the well maintained its structural integrity, and the safest and most effective way to kill the well.

"I was extremely fortunate to be able to call upon talented and dedicated people like you to help answer these questions," McNutt said. "Under difficult circumstances, you and the other team members set your personal and professional lives aside to tackle these challenges. Your answers and insights helped guide important decisions and made a very real and positive difference during the response to this unprecedented oil spill event.

The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and subsequent fire and spill killed 11 workers and injured 17 others. The rig burned and sank, and started a massive oil spill about 40 miles off the southeast coast of Louisiana. The environmental disaster is considered the largest in U.S. history.