SEG® Announces 2016 Honors and Awards Recipients

University of Houston’s Arthur Weglein receives SEG’s highest honor

TULSA, Okla., 26 May 2016 — The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) has announced its 2016 Honors and Awards recipients. This year, SEG is bestowing its highest honor, the Maurice Ewing Medal, on Arthur B. Weglein, who holds the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Chair in Physics at the University of Houston where he is a professor in the department of physics and the department of earth and atmospheric sciences. Established in 1978, the Maurice Ewing Medal is awarded to a person deserving of special recognition through having made major contributions to the advancement of exploration geophysics.

Weglein and all other SEG 2016 award recipients will be honored during the SEG International Exposition and 86th Annual Meeting ( held 16-21 October 2016 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.

In 2010, Weglein received SEG’s Reginald Fessenden Award, which is given annually to a person who has made a specific technical contribution to exploration geophysics, such as an invention or a theoretical or conceptual advancement. Since his receipt of the 2010 Fessenden Award, Weglein’s work on the inverse scattering series (ISS) has made the leap from a conceptual advancement to an accepted practical solution, not only for multiple removal but also for other components of the seismic processing chain, such as wavelet analysis and depth imaging, particularly in complex geologic environments. This broad application has elevated Weglein’s ISS work to a major contribution to the science of exploration geophysics.

The research team of Laurent Sirgue of Total and Gerhard Pratt of Western University are the recipients of this year’s Virgil Kauffman Gold Medal, which is awarded to those who have made an outstanding contribution, either of a technical or professional nature, to the advancement of geophysical exploration. Sirgue and Pratt are recognized for their development of full-waveform inversion.

Honorary Membership this year is conferred upon Joe Dellinger, who has performed a number of unique services for SEG, to the applied geophysics profession, and to the scientific community at large. Dellinger started the SEG Online Governing Board in the 1990s, created the Software and Algorithms section of Geophysics in 2004 and still serves as its Associate Editor, and has published more than 50 papers in Society publications. His role in creation of SEG’s online presence has been critically important to the Society.

For 2016, the SEG Honors and Awards Committee, chaired by Klaas Koster, is recognizing three Reginald Fessenden Award winners. Steve Constable of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography is being recognized for his development of marine controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) surveying technology. Sheng Xu of Statoil and Gilles Lambaré of CGG are being recognized for their initiation of the concept of common-angle migration and for demonstrating the potential of this approach to seismic imaging. Also honored with the 2016 Fessenden Award is Bill Goodway of Apache Corp. for his development and promotion of lambda-rho-mu inversion technology. Because of Goodway’s efforts, this seismic-inversion concept has become a valuable exploration tool that has resulted in documented cases of improved drilling success.

Yves Lamontagne of Lamontagne Geophysics Ltd. is the recipient of the 2016 Cecil Green Enterprise Award. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated courage, ingenuity, and achievement while risking his or her own resources in developing a product, service, organization, or activity that has contributed to the industry. A brilliant technical innovator who has had a major impact on the mining exploration community, Lamontagne formed Lamontagne Geophysics in 1979 when he was just out of graduate school. The company has conducted successful surveys worldwide that have led to many deposit discoveries, which have subsequently been developed into mines with billions of dollars in economic activity.

The SEG Distinguished Achievement Award is given to a company, institution, or other organization for a specific technical contribution or contributions that have substantially advanced the science of exploration geophysics. The 2016 Distinguished Achievement Award recipient is OpendTect, an open-source seismic-interpretation system, which had nominations from several continents, mostly from prominent professors.

SEG’s Special Commendation Award was established to recognize deserving persons for meritorious services to the public, the scientific community, or to the profession of applied geophysics. Dennis Corrigan is awarded SEG Special Commendation for his contributions as a research leader in the 1980s at the ARCO geophysical research center in Plano, Texas. Corrigan had a profound positive impact as a collaborator and advisor to many ARCO geophysicists who have gone on to make significant professional contributions.

SEG awards Life Membership this year to Christine Krohn, formerly of ExxonMobil, Edith Miller of Chevron, and Misac Nabighian of Colorado School of Mines. SEG confers Life Membership on persons who have voluntarily rendered exceptionally meritorious service to the Society that, in the unanimous opinion of the Honors and Awards Committee and the SEG Board of Directors, warrants recognition.

The J. Clarence Karcher Award is given in recognition of significant contributions to the science and technology of exploration geophysics by a young geophysicist. Recipients must be less than 35 years of age on November 1 of the year preceding the award’s presentation. Dario Grana of the University of Wyoming and Nishank Saxena of Shell International Exploration and Production are this year’s Karcher Award recipients. Both Grana and Saxena have published numerous papers on rock physics in peer-reviewed international journals as lead authors and published or contributed to multiple conference proceedings.

Roel Snieder and Estella Atekwana each are honored this year with SEG’s Outstanding Educator Award. Snieder is the W. M. Keck Distinguished Professor of Basic Exploration Science at Colorado School of Mines. Snieder has been committed over the past decade to using his talents to educate students and the public. He lectures to not only students in universities but also to representatives of local companies, international industry, public clubs, societies, schools, and other public forums on issues concerning the art of science, future energy portfolios, and how the public can interact and engage to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Atekwana, a regents’ professor of geology, Sun Chair professor, and head of the Boone Pickens School of Geology at Oklahoma State University, has strived to promote training and professional-development opportunities for students, particularly in the area of field research. In the opinion of the SEG Honors and Awards Committee, Atekwana’s mentorship skills in the field have resulted in a professional, nurturing relationship with her students.

The full list of 2016 SEG Honors and Awards recipients is:

  • Maurice Ewing Medal: Arthur B. Weglein
  • Virgil Kauffman Gold Medal: Gerhard Pratt and Laurent Sirgue
  • Honorary Membership: Joe Dellinger
  • Reginald Fessenden Award: Steve Constable, Gilles Lambare and Sheng Xu, and Bill Goodway
  • Cecil Green Enterprise Award: Yves Lamontagne, Lamontagne Geophysics Ltd.
  • Distinguished Achievement: OpendTect
  • Special Commendation: Dennis Corrigan
  • Life Membership: Christine Krohn, Edith Miller, and Misac Nabighian
  • J. Clarence Karcher Award: Dario Grana and Nishank Saxena
  • Outstanding Educator Award: Roel Snieder and Estella Atekwana
  • Best Paper in GEOPHYSICS: “A seismic vertical vibrator driven by linear synchronous motors,” Rik Noorlandt, Guy Drijkoningen, Johan Dams, and Rob Jenneskens
  • Best Paper in The Leading Edge: “Separated-wavefield imaging using primary and multiple energy,” Shaoping Lu, Dan N. Whitmore, Alejandro A. Valenciano, and Nizar Chemingui
  • Best Paper in Interpretation: Pending completion of the approval cycle involving both SEG and American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) leadership
  • Best Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting: “Dense sources versus dense receivers in the presence of coherent noise: A land modeling study,” Carl Regone, Michael Fry, and John Etgen
  • Best Poster Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting: “Quasi-P wave propagation with an elliptic differential operator,” Sheng Xu, Bing Tang, Jun Mu, and Hongbo Zhou
  • Best Paper Presented by a Student at the Annual Meeting: “Comparison and improvement of laboratory SIP and NMR models of permeability,” Gordon Osterman
  • Best Poster Paper Presented by a Student at the Annual Meeting: “Full-waveform inversion with sparsity constraint in seislet domain,” Zhiguang Xue

The list of SEG Honors and Awards recipients can also be found on the SEG website at (, and details on honorees, including their citations, will be featured in the November 2016 issue of The Leading Edge (

About SEG

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the international society of applied geophysics, is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the science of geophysics and the education of applied geophysicists. Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma and established in 1930, SEG connects the world of applied geophysics. The society fulfills its mission through its publications, conferences, forums, educational opportunities, and multiple website resources. For more information, visit  .


Our advertisers help SEG provide services to our customers. Please consider unblocking ads for our site.

This website uses cookies. If you continue without changing your browser settings, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy. You can disable cookies at any time. Learn more

We also use partner advertising cookies to deliver targeted, geophysics-related advertising to you; these cookies are not added without your direct consent.


8801 S. Yale Ave. Suite 500
Tulsa, OK 74137
Phone: 918-497-5500
Email: [email protected]

CONNECT with us

Don't miss a thing.

Visit your SEG Communications Center to update your communications preferences.

Don't have an SEG account? It's free to create one - and you don't have to be an SEG member.

Twitter facebook linkedIn instagram youtube
Featuring bonus content!