Barbara Kutchko, senior research scientist at the National Energy Technology Laboratory, details her development of guidelines for the use of foamed cement in oil wells and how her work after Deepwater Horizon will prevent similar oil rig disasters in the future.
The “Sammie” awards are presented to federal workers who have shown great work in their fields. Several of the recently-announced 2018 finalists are scientists and engineers whose work benefits citizens across the country. Barbara Kutchko, Senior Research Scientist at the National Energy Technology Laboratory, is nominated for creating standards on the use of foamed cement in oil wells, in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. “The folks that I worked with, you know, they are the top drilling and cementing folks from different operators, service companies. These are the guys that are on the rigs. They did not want this to happen. They never want this to happen,” said Kutchko. “They were just as passionate as I was about doing what it takes… to make sure it never happened again. I came along with a research plan and they looked at it, we worked together to what I would call a common good, a common goal.”