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Centennial Session: Passing the Wisdom of the Past to the Young Minds of the Future

Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)

Tuesday, 28 September 2021, 1:20 p.m.–5:20 p.m.  |  Denver, ColoradoMile High Room 2-3 - Colorado Convention Center

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Location: In-Person – Colorado Convention Center (Speakers presenting in-person and online)

It is most appropriate that we hold this session to commemorate the pioneers of exploration seismology --- Ludger Mintrop, Reginald Fessenden, and Clarence Karcher. The three-hour session is in two parts: Presentations by invited speakers (an hour and a half duration) followed by a panel discussion (an hour and a half duration). The session will be chaired by Fred Hilterman and Lee Bell.


Fred Hilterman
Lee Bell
Oz Yilmaz


James Knapp
Distinguished Chair of Geoscience, Boone Pickens School of Geology, Oklahoma State Univ.
1:30 pm – Karcher and 100 Years of Reflection Seismic
David Monk
Founder, Monkgeo LLC
1:40 pm – The Story of Land Acquisition
Craig Beasley
CEO and Chairman of the Board, Beasley Geophysical
1:50 pm – The Story of Marine Seismic Acquisition

Craig completed B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics and then joined Western Geophysical 1981. He has spent his entire 35-year career in Schlumberger companies and their antecedents serving in various technical and management positions including VP for R&D and VP, Data Processing. He has received technical and honorary awards from entities such as Litton Industries, Schlumberger and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, among them the SEG Award for Best Presentation. He has twice received honorable mention for the Best Paper in Geophysics. He is an Honorary Member of the Society of Exploration Geophysics (SEG) and of the Geophysical Society of Houston, is a life member of SEAPEX and is a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. He has presented papers and published widely on a variety of topics ranging from prestack imaging, migration, acquisition and the connections between acquisition, processing and imaging. He pioneered Simultaneous Source technology and has recently worked in broadband seismic techniques and new methods for sparse inversion. He was the 2001-2002 SEG 1st Vice President and the 2004-2005 President of the SEG. He served as the Fall 2009 SEG Distinguished Lecturer as well as the 2000 Esso Australia Distinguished Lecturer and as 2014 EAGE Distinguished Lecturer. He was the Founding Chair of the SEG Committee for Geoscientists without Borders (GWB). In 2018, in recognition of his work in founding GWB, the SEG established the Craig J. Beasley Award for Humanitarian Geophysics. He has enjoyed postings in Singapore and Rio de Janeiro and now is in Houston, recently retired as Chief Geophysicist for WesternGeco and Schlumberger Fellow (Emeritus). In retirement, he has served as the General Chair for the 2017 SEG Annual Meeting in Houston and sits on several boards including the SEG Foundation. In 2018, he was elected President-elect for the Geophysical Society of Houston. He and Betsy are enjoying retirement and are pursuing their passion for diving, underwater photography and video. Together, they were founders and co-chairs for the first Houston Underwater Film Festival, planned for 2020 but held in 2021.

Oz Yilmaz
Chief Technology Officer, GeoTomo
2:00 pm – A Brief History of Applied Near-Surface Seismology
Mike Graul
President, Texseis, Inc
2:10 pm – The Story of Seismic Data Processing
John Sherwood
President, Geo-Ex-Machina
2:20 pm – The Story of Seismic Imaging I
Jon Claerbout
Professor Emeritus, Stanford Univ.
2:40 pm – The Story of Amplitude Interpretation
Leon Thomsen
Research Professor/Chief Scientist, Univ. of Houston/Delta Geophysics
2:50 pm – The Story of Anisotropic Earth
Alistair Brown
Consulting Geophysicist, Retired
3:40 pm – The Story of Seismic Interpretation
John Castagna
Professor, Univ. of Houston
3:50 pm – The Story of Amplitude Interpretation

John received his doctorate in 1983 from the University of Texas at Austin where he studied under Milo Backus. He worked for various Atlantic-Richfield subsidiaries from 1980-1996 in research and operations. He was a professor at the University of Oklahoma from 1996 until 2003 when he joined the University of Houston.

Mihai Popovici
CEO and Chairman, Z-Terra Inc.

Alexander Mihai Popovici is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman at Z-Terra Inc., a provider of state-of-the-art geophysical and geological technology, services and software for the upstream oil and gas industry. He holds Ph.D. (1995) and M.Sc. (1990) degrees in geophysics from Stanford University, and an equivalent B.S. (1986) in geophysical and geological engineering from University of Bucharest, Romania. He escaped from Romania in 1986 and spent a year in a refugee camp in Austria. Dr. Popovici was co-founder and CEO of 3DGeo Inc. He is the Honorary Consul of Romania in Houston. He has ten patents in the field, over 100 publications in conference proceedings, books, trade journals, and research reports and has given numerous invited talks at conferences, geophysical associations, and geophysical workshops. He has been a member of the SEG Research Committee, served as Associate Editor (Seismic Migration) for Geophysics, and is past Chairman and founding board member of Geoscientists Without Borders, an SEG Foundation program that funds humanitarian applications of geophysics around the world. He served on the SEG Board in 2017-2019 as Vice-President and was the 2017 SEG Houston Technical Program Chairman.


Centennial Session:  Passing the Wisdom of the Past to the Young Minds of the Future
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th St
Denver, Colorado 80202
United States

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