University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


Cullen College Alumnus and Professor Featured in NAI Brochure for Subsea Drilling Invention


Audrey Grayson

Cullen College alumnus and adjunct professor of mechanical engineering Benton Baugh is featured in the 2013-2014 National Academy of Inventors brochure for inventing a current-secured drilling device called the “Drilling Riser Centralizer System.”

Baugh, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, serves as president of Baugh Consulting Engineers, Inc., which provides oilfield-related consulting, patent licensing and expert witness work.

One of the most vulnerable parts of a subsea drilling operation is the drilling riser, which is a conduit that provides a temporary extension of a subsea oil well to the surface drilling facility (or floating drilling rig). In strong winds and currents, the drilling riser becomes unstable and drilling operation must be halted until better weather conditions prevail.

With Baugh’s Drilling Riser Centralizer System, the riser can remain stable in ocean currents up to 2.88 miles per hour. This not only reduces the risk to the riser and rig, but can significantly reduce the number of lost drilling days due to bad weather conditions.

To view the full National Academy of Inventors 2013-2014 brochure, please visit




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