Episode 206: Arthur Cheng on His SEG Journey from Student to President

Arthur Cheng, who became the first Chinese president of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, talks about his journey from being a student to becoming the president of the Society. He shares some of the highlights from his five decades of being a member and what his role as a barrier-breaker means to him. 

Arthur reflects on his early days as a grad student and how he overcame his fear of giving talks. He also talks about the wide range of exploration geophysics beyond oil and gas. Additionally, he shares how SEG is adapting its programs to cater to younger members, offers advice to students, highlights the importance of volunteering, and shares his vision for the future of SEG.

Seismic Soundoff · 206: Arthur Cheng on His SEG Journey from Student to President

Episode Chapters

  • (01:22) Congratulations on 50 years of being an SEG member
  • (02:49) SEG focuses on exploration of water resources, sustainable energy supply
  • (09:57) The SEG volunteer role most instrumental in helping Arthur reach the presidency
  • (10:52) What it means to be the first Chinese president of SEG
  • (11:33) If you had to describe your journey in one word, what would it be and why?
  • (12:17) Current challenges for SEG

Episode References

Guest Bio

Arthur C. H. Cheng received a bachelor’s degree with distinction in engineering physics from Cornell University and an ScD in geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1978. He is an adjunct professor in the Earth Systems Science Programme at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is a co-founder of the Sustainability Geophysics Project with Yunyue Elita Li. Before taking his current position, he was a National University of Singapore (NUS) professor.

He co-founded the Earth Resources Laboratory at MIT, where he was a principal research scientist and project leader for the Borehole Acoustics and Logging Consortium from 1983 to 1996. He worked in various managerial and consulting capacities for Western Atlas, Baker Hughes Inteq, SensorWise, RockSolidImages, and Halliburton Technology before returning to academia at NUS in 2014. He has published more than 150 papers and holds 29 patents. He has co-authored two books on borehole acoustics.

Arthur has served SEG in many capacities: on the SEG Council, the Board of Directors, as chair of the Research Committee, and as organizer of multiple workshops. He was also a SEG Advanced Modeling Corporation (SEAM) co-founder. He is the immediate Past Editor for GEOPHYSICS, a mentor and sponsor of SEG’s EVOLVE program, and vice chair of the SEG Foundation Board of Directors. He received the Life Membership Award from SEG in 2013, the Distinguished Technical Achievement Award from the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts in 2015, the Formation Evaluation Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers in 2016, and Honorary Membership from SEG in 2021.

Episode Keywords

Geophysics, Exploration, SEG, Oil And Gas, Sustainability, Carbon Capture, Sequestration, Energy, Water Resources, Graduate Students, Annual Conference, Presentations, Volunteering, Workshops, Students, Membership, Programs, Conventions, Exhibitors, Marketing

Show Credits

Seismic Soundoff explores the scientific value and usefulness of geophysics.

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Zach Bridges created original music for this show. This episode was hosted, edited, and produced by Andrew Geary at TreasureMint. The SEG podcast team comprises Jennifer Cobb, Kathy Gamble, and Ally McGinnis.

Transcription and episode summary support provided by Headliner.

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