Augusta was selected for her project, “Rheological Characterization of Attapulgite Nanoclay Modified Cement Slurries for Oil Well Applications.”
She worked in the Civil Engineering and Mechanics Laboratory at Columbia University under the mentorship of Dr. Shiho Kawashima to conduct a project that analyzed oil well cementing practices, particularly those linked to the 2010 Gulf spill. The blowout was caused by the poor mix design of the cement in the well, so she tested a novel cement design modified with nanoclays. Her results indicate that cement slurries modified with these nanoclays show great potential for offshore oil wells.
Each semifinalist receives $1,000, plus an equal amount for his or her school. Forty finalists, to be chosen on Jan. 20, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in March, where they will appear before judging panels to vie for additional prizes, including the top three awards of $150,000 each.
Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie, Elmont Memorial Principal Kevin Dougherty and members of the district’s administration commend Augusta on this prestigious achievement.