University of Houston physics professor Arthur B. Weglein, whose research has led to advances in the field of seismic exploration technology, will receive the Reginald Fessenden Award at the upcoming Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ annual conference in Denver.
The Fessenden award is given to someone who has made a specific technical contribution to exploration geophysics, such as an invention or a theoretical or conceptual advancement. It is one of the highest awards presented by the organization.
Weglein, who will receive the award this Sunday (Oct. 17), is the Hugh Roy and Lillie-Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Professor of physics and director of the Mission-Oriented Seismic Research Program (M-OSRP) at UH.
M-OSRP is a group of UH faculty members, researchers, staff and graduate students who are focused on fundamental advances in seismic processing and imaging that will benefit the energy exploration industry. M-OSRP, which is supported by the federal government and the petroleum industry, is based in the physics department but mentors students in several other departments.
The group’s goal is to more accurately locate and resolve images of what lies deep beneath the Earth’s surface and help recover hard-to-find oil and gas deposits. Research conducted through the M-OSRP has led to advances that have played a role in major offshore oil discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere.
In writing the award citation for Weglein, Robert H. Stolt, a preeminent exploration seismologist, said: “Art is very much a theorist, though he always manages to keep a toe dipped in reality. At a time when most ‘research’ is short term, Art’s horizon is far away, though he is never without clear objectives.
“Where success is certain, anyone may go. Art has shown a consistent willingness to swim in deep water, and has demonstrated his ability to do so,” Stolt wrote.
The Fessenden award was first given in 1961, when it was known as the SEG Medal Award. It was changed in 1977 to recognize the role of Canadian inventor Reginald Fessenden as the originator of the concept of reflection and refraction surveying in 1917.