As a public university, UC works in partnership with industry to utilize and commercialize university developed technologies, resources and knowledge. Since working for the US Navy, Gutmark has received several patents on propulsion systems. Gutmark’s 30 years of expertise in rocket and aircraft propulsion, combined with his many patents, attracted the interest of oil companies throughout the industry.
Halliburton, one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry, partnered with Gutmark to apply his research to oil drilling, essentially bringing the oil drilling field into the 21st century.
Current technology used throughout the industry hasn’t changed much since it was created by another aerospace pioneer, Howard Hughes, nearly 80 years ago. Gutmark’s advanced research applies new aerospace technology to improve all aspects of drilling function. Through his research, Gutmark has developed a game-changing drill bit.
Halliburton’s Drilling and Formation Evaluation Division partnered with Gutmark to design and construct a simulator for down-hole hydraulics. This simulator enabled testing of the efficiency of different types of drilling operations.
He describes, “My research involves both modern computational techniques and experimental validation. During drilling operation, special fluid is injected through the drill bit at the bottom of the well. This fluid has critical importance to the drilling operation in terms of controlling the rate of penetration, maintaining the well integrity, and ensuring reliable operation.”
Gutmark has applied his expertise to develop new nozzles that withstand high erosive forces. Using aerospace technology, he designed a revolutionary nozzle configuration that enables deflecting the fluid jets to any desired angle relative to the position of the nozzle, even in the reverse direction. This enables the jets to be pointed in a direction that eliminates drill bit erosion, optimizes cooling, lubricates the bearings, stabilizes the well’s walls and generates a swirl that accelerates the removal of debris in a smooth spiraling motion. These nozzles developed by Gutmark significantly increase the drilling fluid flow rate, flow energy, and rate of penetration when compared to existing technology.