BATON ROUGE – Today, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) visited Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where among other stops, he toured the LSU Petroleum Engineering Research, Training and Testing (PERTT) Laboratory. The laboratory is an industrial-scale facility with full-scale equipment and instrumentation used for research and to train future petroleum engineers on modern petroleum technologies.
“For Louisiana to prosper, we need to adapt to the new economy,” said Dr. Cassidy. “In a variety of ways, we saw today how LSU is seizing the opportunity and developing the potential to help our state transition the way we must.”
According to LSU, PERTT is used as an essential asset in the development of petroleum tools used in drilling and production for both land-based and offshore use. It also provides industrial customers the opportunity to demonstrate their tools and technologies at a lower cost rather than using a working rig. As a result, many cutting-edge developments are first tested at the laboratory. Undergraduate students also use PERTT to learn about field operations and blowout prevention.
Cassidy himself helped secure $1 million in community funding for LSU’s new Cyber-PERTT initiative in the U.S. Department of Energy’s FY23 Senate Appropriations bill. Together with Radiance Technologies, PERTT is proposing the integration of a flexible and comprehensive cyber physical architecture into their laboratory. The goal is to develop a full-scale, de-risked industrial cybersecurity “sandbox” platform to analyze, test, demonstrate, research and train to defend digital attacks on physical energy infrastructure.
During the tour, Cassidy was joined by Dr. William F. Tate, IV, President of the Louisiana State University system, and Dr. Karsten Thompson, Department Chair of Petroleum Engineering.
“We welcome Senator Cassidy to campus to examine the impactful research conducted by our outstanding faculty,” said President Tate. “Senator Cassidy champions LSU in the nation’s capital by recognizing our research portfolio and helping to attain federal funds in support of our effort to secure Louisiana’s future. We’re thankful for the Senator’s commitment to his alma mater, and we look forward to his continued partnership in advancing the Scholarship First Agenda.”
“We appreciate Senator Cassidy taking the time to visit the PERTT lab today,” said Dr. Thompson. “It was an opportunity to showcase current R&D projects we are conducting for industry sponsors, and to update him on the state and federal investments that will occur over the next two years for CCUS-related infrastructure at the lab.”
While at LSU, Senator Cassidy also toured the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, and the Food and Animal Science Laboratory Building in the College of Agriculture. In 2021, Cassidy helped LSU receive an $11 million grant to establish a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence that will be used to create a Center for Preclinical Cancer Research, based at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Finally, Cassidy has been a supporter of federal funding for the College of Agriculture, ranging from money to help address the Roseau Cane scale insect pest infestation, to support for parish-based programs and initiatives out of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture in the Regular Order Yearly Agriculture Appropriations Bill.