Dr. Homero Castaneda has been appointed a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Committee on Connector Reliability for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations. Castaneda is an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University and director of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s National Corrosion and Materials Reliability Center.
As oil and gas industry exploration has extended into deeper water and more hostile environments in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and other offshore (domestic or global) areas, it has become challenging and increasingly difficult to manage the safety of workers, risk and environmental concerns. Barrier and control failures account for nearly two-thirds of all offshore loss of well control (LOWC) events to date, among which there have been a number of cases associated with fastener/bolt failures.
The ability to accurately assess and verify the integrity of design, manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection processes for fasteners currently being used or being developed is essential for preventing LOWC and managing worker safety and protection of the environment. The NAE committee was created to help with these concerns.
“This is very important to our country in terms of science and technology,” Castaneda said. “The science behind performance and reliability of connectors for offshore platforms. And the technology--why are some things happening, what can we improve or what things should we understand? In my opinion, it could impact the world.”
Castaneda said he and other committee members have visited different companies and viewed offshore systems to help understand them better and assist with their areas of expertise.
“My expertise is in corrosion so I can address corrosion issues for that system,” Castaneda said. “And I think that at the same time, I can collaborate with my colleagues here at (Texas) A&M. I know there are many experts here that can contribute to improve that system.”
The committee will also conduct a public workshop and follow-on consensus study to address these reliability issues associated with the connectors and other fastener systems used in critical safety components and equipment for offshore oil and natural gas operations.
Castaneda received his bachelor’s degree in chemical metallurgical engineering and his master’s degree in materials science from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1994 and 1997 respectively. He received his doctoral degree in materials science and engineering from Penn State University in 2001.
Castaneda has 15 years of experience using electrochemical and nondestructive techniques to monitor interfacial phenomena in materials and theoretical modeling of corrosion processes for different industries. He has been the principal investigator for multiple projects on corrosion science and engineering for the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation and several companies.
Before joining Texas A&M, Castaneda worked for five years at The University of Akron as an assistant professor, and before that at Battelle Memorial Institute as a senior scientist in the Advanced Materials and Pipelines Center in Columbus, Ohio. Before Battelle, he was the technical director of the Corrosion, Materials and Pipelines division in the Mexican Petroleum Institute for five years. He has authored and co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed papers in the areas of corrosion science and engineering, coatings degradation and reliability, materials characterization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. He has nine patents and copyrights.