SEG honors distinguished members

11 September 2008—John Sherwood, who has achieved eminence as a researcher and entrepreneur, has been selected to receive the 2008 Maurice Ewing Medal, the highest honor given by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG).

Sherwood is a native of the United Kingdom but has spent most of his professional career in the United States. He began his career in applied geophysics in the 1950s and played a major role in helping Chevron make the transition from analog to digital seismic data. Sherwood became director of research at Digicon in the 1970s and achieved international repute with his research into migration which ultimately resulted in a famous dip-moveout program known as “Devilish.”

Sherwood’s research continued to provide the scientific underpinning for a steady stream of innovative commercial geophysical applications in the succeeding decades. In addition, he was involved in founding two very successful companies, Geophysical Development Corporation (sold to Geokinetics in 1998) and Applied Geophysical Services (recently acquired by PGS).

SEG is awarding its second highest honor, Honorary Membership, to four past presidents who have made distinguished contributions to the Society and to the SEG Foundation over a period of decades. They are Lee Lawyer (1987–88), Rutt Bridges (1997–98), Brian Russell (1998–99), and William N. (“Bill”) Barkhouse (1999–2000).

SEG annually presents two awards for a specific technical innovation. This year the Virgil Kauffman Gold Medal is being awarded to Carl Regone and John Etgen for demonstrating the value of wide-azimuth seismic acquisition which has led the geophysical industry into a new era of acquisition and imaging in deep water.

The Fessenden Award will be given to Paul M. Krail and Dwight V. Sukup for pioneering work in multi-azimuth seismic acquisition, a technique that has led to superior results when attempting to image below salt.

The Cecil Green Enterprise Award will be presented to Billy F. Mitcham Sr, founder of Mitcham Associates. His company, now Mitcham Industries, has grown from a one-room operation to a public company with a market capitalization of $180 million and annual worldwide sales of $70 million.

These and SEG’s other awards will be presented at SEG’s International Exposition and 78th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, 9–14 November 2008. The meeting’s technical program will feature approximately 700 oral and poster presentations. The sold-out exhibit floor, which will have booths from 300 companies, has long been unrivaled as the world’s premier showcase of state-of-the-art geophysical technology and instrumentation.