Abstract: Oil and gas from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico flowed freely into the deep Gulf of Mexico for a period of 83 days after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) mobile offshore drilling unit. Satellite images showed a complex picture of oil on the surface, flowing and fragmenting under the influence of winds, waves and ocean currents, making predictions of its path and environmental impact hard. Even worse, after measurements of hydrocarbons in the air and ocean surface, some oil seemed to be missing. In this talk I'll discuss how the puzzle of missing oil was solved by an interdisciplinary research effort that involved engineers and biochemists from UCSB.
Bio: After receiving his MS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rijeka, Croatia in 1990, Mezic received his Ph.D. from Cal Tech in 1994 in Applied Mechanics. Before coming to UCSB in 1995, Igor was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Warwick, UK. Mezic was an Associate Professor in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University from 2000-2001. In 1999, Mezic was awarded the NSF CAREER Award for reserach on "Nonlinear Dynamics and Control from Microscale to Macrosale". He has 40 publications and has received 15 grants and industrial gifts. Mezic has graciously contributed his time and expertise to a significant number journals, panels, workshops, and conferences. Igor Mezix's research group at UCSB is centered round operator-theoretic approach to analysis of nonlinear dynamical systems, applications in microfluidics and (bio)-nanotechnology.