A scientific panel of the National Academy of Engineering will conduct a separate investigation of what went wrong at the BP PLC drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

A scientific panel of the National Academy of Engineering will conduct a separate investigation of what went wrong at the BP PLC drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday the Obama administration has asked the organization, which is part of the National Academy of Sciences, to determine the root cause of the well explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig so that any mechanical failures can be addressed and not repeated.

Such panels are normally made up of national experts from academia, industry and the government. Salazar said the investigation will complement one already under way by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Interior Department.