Alfred Wegener Award

Award for Outstanding Contribution
The Alfred Wegener Award is presented to a member of EAGE who has made an outstanding contribution over a period of time to the scientific and technical advancement of one or more of the disciplines in our Association, particularly petroleum geoscience and engineering.

The Wegener Award consists of a medal and a certificate.

The Wegener Award 2017 is presented to:

Sebastian Geiger

Sebastian Geiger’s background from Freiburg (geology), Oregon State University (hydrogeology), Australia National University (mathematics) and ETH Zürich (computational geology) brings huge experience, so it is not surprising that he already heads the Carbonate Reservoir Group at Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, co-directs the International Centre for Carbonate Reservoirs in Edinburgh, and is Computer Modelling Group Foundation Chair in Carbonate Reservoir Simulation. Sebastian is an outstanding contributor to petroleum and reservoir engineering in both academia and industry. He has advanced fundamental understanding of multi-phase, multi-rate processes in hydrocarbon and hydrothermal reservoirs, and of methods to represent them efficiently in reservoir simulations.

A major achievement, with Stephan Matthai, has been the development of Complex Systems Modelling Platform code that uses an unstructured mesh to model realistic media, especially fracture systems, to simulate fluid flow and reactive chemical transport, and impact oil recovery from Middle East fractured carbonates. His 2004 paper in Geofluids represents a tour-de-force for its numerical sophistication and geological insight, defining characteristics of Sebastian’s research.

Known for his open, accessible teaching and supervision (25 current PhD students and post-docs, and 44 MSc students in the past 5 years), Sebastian excels in both teaching and research. Active in EAGE, SPE and Interpore, he is Associate Editor for Transport in Porous Media and Co-Editor of Petroleum Geoscience. To date, he has published 62 peer-reviewed articles and 55 conference papers, including 33 publications in Petroleum Geoscience, First Break and EAGE conferences. He is a member of the EAGE Oil and Gas Divisional and Reserves committees. His scientific leadership is reinforced by core values that set the highest ethical standards for young geoscientists and engineers. For his ground-breaking contributions Sebastian Geiger fully merits the 2017 Wegener award.

Paris, 12 June 2017


Previous Winners Of the Alfred Wegener Award

Kenneth Peters

 Kenneth Peters has had a long career in petroleum geochemistry, having worked in academia, government labs and both the oil company and service company sides of industry. He is one of the pre-eminent contributors to his discipline and is an established expert in source rock characterisation and analytical pyrolysis. With colleagues, he has published The Biomarker Guide, a classic reference work that defines the role that biomarkers play both in petroleum exploration and in understanding geological history and processes. Biomarkers help to genetically correlate petroleum samples and to interpret thermal maturity and the extent of biodegradation, and the guide documents most of the world's known petroleum systems. Dr. Peters was one of the first, in 1999, to publish a study that integrated sequence stratigraphy with petroleum chemistry, a discipline that, at the time, was not fully embraced by geologists. As asserted in a letter of support, Ken Peters’ research “contributed greatly to transforming organic geochemistry from a ‘nichescience’ into a leading field in the geosciences.” More recently, he has been involved in the numerical modelling of sedimentary basins and their petroleum systems in collaboration with Stanford University.

Dr. Peters has published extensively, co-authoring two Nature articles and has received best paper awards as well as the Alfred Treibs Medal of the Geochemical Society and the AAPG Honorary Member Award. Ken is an Honorary Teaching Fellow at the University of Aberdeen, one of Schlumberger’s NeXT instructors, a Fellow of the Geochemical Society, a member of EAGE, AAPG, GSA and ACS and a Consulting Professor at Stanford University, where he co-leads the Basin and Petroleum System Modeling Industrial Affiliates Program. For his groundbreaking contributions to petroleum geochemistry Dr Peters receives the 2016 Wegener Award.

Johannes Wendebourg

Alfred Wegener proposed continental drift before the age of 50 and Dr Johannes Wendebourg has made a similar, early impact on modelling sedimentary processes, petroleum systems and basins, in both academia and industry. In his PhD research at Stanford, he was a significant contributor to John Harbaugh's team developing simulation codes for dynamic, quasi-3D, geological process modelling of sediment transport, deposition and fluid migration. Joining IFP as a geological engineer, he used basin modelling to estimate reserves in the Paris Basin for the French government and collaborated with industry in basins world-wide. As manager for basin modelling he partnered with Total, Statoil and BP in developing basin modelling algorithms, workflows and uncertainty analyses.

With Shell in Rijswijk, Dr Wendebourg managed non-seismic research, covering geochemistry, basin modelling, petrophysics and potential methods including controlled-source EM. After assignments in Rijswijk and Houston, he moved to Total as head of petroleum evaluation where his expertise impacts on research planning, training, and petroleum systems evaluation throughout the Total group.

Johannes has contributed fundamentally new workflows for petroleum prediction and risk assessment on real data, with important achievements in understanding parameter sensitivity and uncertainty in modelling petroleum systems, hydrocarbon exploration and reserves estimation. Despite his managerial duties, Dr Wendebourg lectures both for Total and as external professor for the IFP school, ENSPM. He frequently shares his deep insights with papers at AAPG Hedberg Conferences, SPE, PESGB and, of course, the EAGE annual meeting.

Johannes is an associate editor of Marine Petroleum Geology and a member of the German GeoforschungsZentrum scientific committee. He also serves as an external examiner on PhD thesis committees. For service to both the science and practice of basin modelling and for his extra-curricular support to universities, journals and professional societies, EAGE grants the Alfred Wegener Award to Dr Johannes Wendebourg.

John R. Underhill

Professor John Underhill fully deserves the Alfred Wegener Award for his outstanding contribution to the development of seismic interpretation methods that help us to understand how sedimentary basins form and evolve, and their application to the search for hydrocarbons. As a geologist with enormous expertise in structural and stratigraphical analysis, and in sedimentology, John has built a deserved reputation for innovative basin analysis, and finding new solutions to established problems. Of particular note are his contributions to revealing the development of the Triassic basin in the northern North Sea, with its potential as a new hydrocarbon play, and his compelling argument for salt withdrawal as the origin of the Sole Pit crater in the southern North Sea, previously thought to be an impact structure.

Another area of John’s interdisciplinary geo-research that has received widespread attention has been an assessment of the geological, geomorphological and geophysical evidence for relocating Odysseus' homeland, ancient Ithaca. His communication skills are renowned, whether with the media (as with the ancient Ithaca narrative) or with industry, or with academia. John has been recognised as a distinguished lecturer by the AAPG, the Geological Society of London and, not least, the European Association of Petroleum Geoscientists.

He has also provided outstanding service to a broad geological community, including the UK Parliamentary Group for Earth Sciences, and as President of EAGE in 2011-12. John was recently appointed to the newly created Shell Chair of Exploration Geoscience at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, where he is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He continues to serve both EAGE and GSL as a co-editor of the journal Petroleum Geoscience which, due in no small measure to his unstinting efforts, enjoys record impact factor, record subscriptions and global readership.


Wojciech Górecki

In recognition of his outstanding achievements over four decades of academic research and organisational activity in the field of petroleum geology and exploration in Poland and his innovations in renewable geothermal energy.

Professor Gorecki’s long and distinguished career has been characterised by diversity and multidisciplinarity. This has embraced hydrocarbon exploration in different challenging settings in Poland, including tight Rotliegendes gas and Lower Palaeozoic shale gas, as well as in the exploitation of geothermal aquifers. While much of this research has centred on Poland, he has also worked overseas, including Libya and China, where he has fostered interdisciplinary research teamwork and professional cooperation within the petroleum industry.

In addition to mentoring and teaching successive generations of research students he has published very extensively and has contributed to more than 150 papers, books and monographs, along with six geothermal atlases; his work has been recognised by awards both at home and abroad.

His approach and ideas have done much to aid the introduction of modern geoscientific methods and practices in Poland and he has been involved in creating strong and friendly links with many petroleum and geoscientific institutions worldwide. He has also played a key role in the Polish Geosynoptics Society (GEOS), an organisation affiliated to EAGE and has encouraged Polish participation in EAGE events. EAGE is pleased to be able to honour such an innovative geoscientist.

Henning Omre

In recognition of his exceptional achievements in the field of geostatistics, and his involvement in the application of innovative geostatistical techniques to the progression and development of petroleum reservoir modelling. Early in his career, Henning was involved with the development and spread of object-based reservoir modelling, in particular for fluviodeltaic reservoirs, such as the Brent Formation in the North Sea. He went on to make a highly significant contribution to the quantification of uncertainty associated with reservoir modelling, using a Bayesian approach to kriging. Latterly, he has been extensively involved in the application of stochastic inversion techniques to lithofacies modelling. His work has been published extensively and recognised internationally.
Currently Professor of Statistics at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway, he has worked in many places worldwide from Australia and the USA to China. He has been involved with Joint Industry projects with major oil companies; and his enthusiastic and charismatic approach has been integral in the education of his many research students.


Francois Roure

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the understanding of thrust belts and foreland basins, and to the effects of tectonism on fluid movement. His work has been an excellent example of EAGE's goal of a multidisciplinary approach to the study of rocks and their fluids.
From his early highly original and innovative work based on deep seismic imaging of the deep structure of the Alps, the Apennines and the circum-Mediterranean, he has extended his field of interest and expertise to most other major structural provinces worldwide. In addition he has developed a particular interest in the relationship between tectonics, basin development and fluid movement. He has published very extensively.
He has forged strong bonds throughout both academia and industry over the past 30 years, and has served very extensively indeed on numerous technical committees and consortia, both in France and internationally, funded variously by governments or oil companies. He has served as an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer.

Carlo Doglioni

Carlo Doglioni specialises in structural geology, plate tectonics, crustal structure, subduction and volcanism, focusing on the circum-Mediterranean region. He has had a distinguished career in academia and research since 1981, at several universities in Italy, as well as being a visiting researcher at Basel, Oxford and Rice Universities. In addition to winning awards in Italy, his widely published research has been recognised internationally. In 1994 & 2005 he was AAPG Distinguished Lecturer and in 2004 he received the Spendiarov Award from the Russian Academy of Sciences.

No candidate was selected for the award this year

Jonny Hesthammer

In recognition of his achievements as an educator in rekindling student enthusiasm for the geological, geophysical and reservoir technology aspects of oil and gas operations, and as a researcher focusing on the use of electromagnetic and seismic data for hydrocarbon detection.

No candidate was selected for the award this year.

Patrick Corbett

In recognition of his fundamental role in integrating the various geoscience and geo-engineering disciplines, particularly sedimentology, reservoir geology, well testing, petrophysics and reservoir engineering and for his very significant contributions in the study of depositional environments, flow patterns and permeabilities and the use of statistical methods in reservoir studies and characterisation.

Andrew Hurst

For his valuable and prolific contributions in the fields of sedimentology and petroleum geology, particularly in sediment distribution in deep-water basins, allocyclic and autocyclic controls on sedimentation, mineral stability as a provenance indicator, heavy minerals in sandstones and their use in lithostratigraphy, risk analysis and economic evaluations, sensitivity of engineering parameters to geological characteristics and related fields.

Emiliano Mutti

For his worldwide contribution to sedimentary dynamics of turbidites and their reservoir characterization during the last half century. His pioneering work has had a significant impact on petroleum geosciences. His broad international outlook and his attachment to the human values and “natural” geology are highly appreciated by all communities who have worked jointly with him.

K.J. Weber

(Condensed citation): In recognition of his numerous and outstanding
contributions in his various roles at Shell, as a Professor at Delft and
Associate Professor at ENSPM (IFP), at Heriot Watt and Imperial College, at
TNO (Delft) and ITC. His efforts in bringing different disciplines together
with practical solutions to very complex problems (e.g. the layer cake/
jigsaw/labyrinth classification for reservoirs) have been extremely

* As from June 2001, all award titles will refer to the year in which they are presented to the winners, and no longer to the year in which the winning poster/paper was presented.

K. Glennie

(Condensed citation): For lifetime achievements in closely integrating
Sedimentology and Petroleum Geology and indirectly spurring the welfare of
the UK and Scotland.

B.M. Durand

in recognition of his contribution to the integration of Organic Geochemistry as an essential tool in Basin Assessment, and of his contribution to the integration of Petroleum Geosciences and Engineering for Reservoir Characterization.