Inspired by Failure

Inspired by Failure

Acoustic Wells by Sebastien Mannai

June 12, 2019

Acoustic Wells was created by Sebastien Mannai as a robust solution to oil well pumping issues. This device is able to listen to how the fluid is flowing (or being inhibited from properly flowing) to diagnose problems in oil wells such as machine failure and other functional metrics. While he has leveraged machine learning in terms of the physical and acoustic modeling, the device comes from fundamental physics, meaning that it does not require a lot of data before implementation.
Sebastien has found the toughest part of this journey to be creating a device robust enough to be used in heavy industries and be accurate up to 99%. He has also been surprised to learn that a lot of the oil well machinery in the U.S. is several decades old, dating back to the 1940’s and earlier, and is very simple in design and function. He has also found out that there are over 1 million oil fields in the U.S., a significant portion of which are owned by independent producers.
Sebastien and his team won a $100,000 entrepreneurship competition and began to gain some recognition as a result. This has helped them overcome one of their previous challenges of reaching these large industrial complexes with the message about their product. Sebastien loves the diversity of his tasks as CEO of Acoustic Wells and he looks forward to the bright future for the company.

Key Quotes:
“I really enjoy the field of heavy industries – building something that has an impact.”
“If your model is based on physics, you don’t need a whole lot of data before you can start working.”
“The startup experience is an emotional roller coaster.”

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