Ian is a physics honors graduate from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He began his geophysical career in 1968 by spending four years in the Middle East as a field engineer in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, and later as a seismic processor in Beirut, before moving to software development in Dallas, Texas. He joined the Technical Service Division of BP Exploration in London in 1978, and became manager of their geophysical operations in 1982. Other assignments included subsurface R&D manager, and eventually as BP's so-called "distinguished advisor" on geophysics, he was responsible for new technology and subsurface technology strategy during and subsequent to the Amoco and Arco acquisitions. Most recently, he has championed permanent reservoir monitoring and was the instigator of BP's first "Life of Field Seismic" project at Valhall in Norway. He has also campaigned for years for fundamental changes in land seismic systems which are now beginning to take place. He retired from BP at the end of 2002.
Ian is an honorary member of SEG and is a member of EAGE and the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. He was Vice-President of the SEG in 1992-93 (the first European to hold this role). He chaired the Advisory Committee of the EAGE and has served as a member of the UK's Earth Science & Technology Board of NERC. He was the SEG's inaugural Distinguished Instructor in 1998 with the course entitled "Time Lapse Seismic in Reservoir Management" which was taught to over 2000 geoscientists worldwide during that year. He still teaches an updated version of this course four or five times a year, usually for either the EAGE or SEG Continuing Education programs.
His interests are in most aspects of geophysics and he has contributed papers to SEG, EAGE, AAPG, and OTC on topics such as 4-D seismic, the downgoing vibroseis wavelet and marine seismic interference as well as several workshop and review papers. In "retirement" he consults widely around the industry in addition to some teaching assignments, and (for example) participated in Statoil's biennial review of their technology programs in 2010 and was one of the organizers of the EAGE's recent workshop on Permanent Reservoir Monitoring.