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30 November 2011

Homegrown Expert on Oil Booms (Skimmers)

Dear Reader,

Have you heard of Oil Booms? Actually most people may have heard of the Oil Boom in Texas at the early part of last century. It provided jobs and was the foundation of wealth for oil tycoons like John D Rockefeller. Unfortunately that's not what I have in mind. Today I'd like to inform you about an invention known as the "oil boom spill containment device".

From an article in Wikipedia:

A containment boom is a "temporary floating barrier used to contain an oil spill. Booms are used to reduce the possibility of polluting shorelines and other resources, and to help make recovery easier. Booms help to concentrate oil in thicker surface layers so that skimmers, vacuums, or other collection methods can be used more effectively. They come in many shapes and sizes, with various levels of effectiveness in different types of water conditions." 
Often the first containment method to be used and the last equipment to be removed from the site of an oil spill, they are "the most commonly used and most environmentally acceptable response technique to cleanup oil spills in the United States." 
Booms used in oil spills can be seen as they rest on the surface of the water, but can have between 18 to 48 inches of material that hangs beneath the surface. They're effective in calm water, but as wave height increases oil or other contaminants can easily wash over the top of the boom and render them less useful.
(Ref: Wikipedia, "Boom (Containment)", URL:

Here is an example of a commercial manufacturer and vendor of such oil booms: Canadyne Technologies Inc. which sells four types of "oil spill containment booms": pressure inflatable, self-inflatable, foam filled, and specialty.

You may also note that some of the articles referenced in the Wikipedia article refer to a certain Kaufui Wong. He is a lecturer at the University of Miami's School of Engineering. (Ref: University of Miami QEP Faculty Learning Community, URL: He earned his MS and PhD in Case Western Reserve University in the USA. He earned his B. E. (Hons) Mechanical Engineering from Universiti Malaya.

I was pleased to learn he was born in Malaysia. He wrote a book on "Thermodynamics for Engineers", available from Amazon. Below is an extract of the text of the website, "About The Author":
Kaufui Vincent Wong grew up in Malaysia and came to the United States in 1973. As a youngster, he wished to be an engineer because of his passion for mathematics, which was accomplished when he obtained the bachelor’s degree with honors in mechanical engineering at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1973. He obtained his PhD at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1976. 
His wish to teach engineering students from all over the world came true when he became a faculty member at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, in 1979. In 2000, he published his first book for engineering students. In 2003, he published his second textbook for graduate engineers. He has authored and coauthored over 160 technical papers. In the past decade, he has broadened his teachings by using mass media, including YouTube. He accomplished his personal goal of visiting all seven continents in 2001 when he completed his trip to Antarctica. 
(Source: Amazon, "Thermodynamics for Engineers (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Series)". URL:

He is also an inventor and his invention is patented as US Patent No. 7056059.

Click to visit his personal website.

Malaysia boleh!