Kyle Chakos


Shell International Exploration and Production monitors offshore drilling operations by collecting and transmitting drilling data to an onshore operation center in real time. While this data is used to monitor the safety of conditions on the rig, Shell has theorized that the data could be used to detect how effectively drilling is proceeding. In this project, our team has designed and implemented a model and methodology to automatically determine whether drilling is proceeding optimally and to produce real-time suggestions to improve drilling rate. Our report discusses our methods of analyzing the data, determining the optimality of drilling rate for particular data points and making suggestions to increase the drilling rate of penetration (ROP). We analyze the method by applying it to two data sets corresponding to offshore vertical well drilling with an under-reamer. Finally, we discuss the results of testing this method on a third preexisting data set and propose possible methods for future testing by Shell.


Transport through the stratum corneum (SC) is affected by varying conditions such as skin hydration, SC geometry, and drug polarity. Using COMSOL, commercially available Finite Element Modeling (FEM) software, to examine changes in drug transport in response to changes in transport path (transcellular versus intercellular) and in geometry, including different sizes and shapes of corneocyte and strain applied to the SC. These changes in geometry and permeation pathways of SC are simulated as finite element models to predict the transport behavior of skin in in vivo.

Soft Corals

Sarcophyton glaucum is a species of soft coral found in the Indo-Pacific region notable for pharmaceutical relevance of its metabolites. However, isolation of desired compounds has been inconsistent due to the variation in types and amounts of metabolites present between individuals within the species. Recently, DNA sequencing has shown that this so-called species actually includes at least seven genetically distinct but morphologically identical “cryptic” species. Our hypothesis was that the types and amounts of metabolites present within an individual of S. glaucum depend on which of the seven cryptic species the individual belongs to. Metabolites within each coral sample are extracted and separated into three fractions differing in polarity. Chemical profiles of each fraction are obtained and then compared between samples to identify differences that could distinguish between the seven cryptic species within S. glaucum.