Arie van Weelden Award

Young Professional Award

The Arie van Weelden Award is presented to a member of EAGE who has made a highly significant contribution to one or more of the disciplines in our Association and who qualifies as an EAGE Young Professional. The van Weelden Award consists of a medal and a certificate as well as a cash prize.

The Arie van Weelden Award 2017 is presented to:

Dario Grana

Though a young professional, Dario Grana’s career accomplishments would grace the CV of many a mature researcher. Dario is assistant professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming, after acquiring a BS in mathematics from the University of Pavia, Italy, in 2003, no less than three MS degrees from Pavia (mathematics of dynamic fluid flow), Milano-Bicocca (fault surface and drainage modelling) and Stanford (sequential Gaussian mixture simulation), and a PhD from Stanford in Bayesian methods for reservoir characterisation. Dario has authored and co-authored 15 peer-reviewed publications (13 as first author), a book chapter, and has co-authored a book, Seismic Reflections Of Rock Properties. He has 19 conference papers and 14 invited or keynote talks, with 18 EAGE contributions to First Break or annual meetings. His research topics include reservoir characterization; geophysical inverse problems; seismic history matching; stochastic data assimilation and geostatistics, and rock physics. Such is his capability that he has already won funding as either Principal Investigator, or co-PI, on five research projects, with two other grant applications in review. Dario has amassed significant teaching experience with ten taught courses under his belt and is Assistant Editor of Geophysics, Interpretation and Mathematical Geosciences. He supervises six PhD students and three post-docs, so is not short of things to do.

Dario has already received the SEG J. Clarence Karcher award and the Sclocchi award for the best thesis in Geophysics, and he has served on the technical committees for two EAGE workshops on Integrated Reservoir Modelling and Petroleum Geostatistics. He teaches an EAGE short course on Uncertainty Quantification and Modelling. From the best field ever of young professional nominations, giving optimism for the future of geoscience and engineering, EAGE is delighted to offer Dario Grana the 2017 van Weelden award.

Paris, 12 June 2017

Previous Winners of the Arie van Weelden Award

Joseph Doetsch

A physics graduate from Heidelberg, Joseph Doetsch achieved MSc degrees in physics from Uppsala and ETH, as well as a PhD in geophysics from ETH, where he won the ETH Medal for his outstanding thesis. His thesis research on constrained inversion for improved imaging of aquifer structures and processes has reaped five first-author and seven co-authored articles in the 3.5 years since he graduated. At ETH he is considered a rising star in near-surface characterisation, combining seismic, radar and resistivity using cross-gradients for better imaging and understanding of fluid mobility at shallow depths. Time-lapse monitoring of hydrological processes has been the stimulus for inverting multiple geophysical data types to derive a 3D property model of the complex near-surface. A joint inversion of three remote-sensing data types in 3D has been a challenging topic and Joseph’s result is believed to be the first time it has been achieved, improving the time-lapse imaging of a point source injected plume from a vadose-zone, water-injection experiment in the UK. He also found that by integrating structural boundaries (water-table and gravel/basal clay contact), determined from GPR reflections, in 3D resistivity tomography, a much higher resolution tomogram could be obtained, greatly improving image interpretability.

Joseph already has an exceptional list of publications and major contributions in books. Moreover, he has received the EAGE ‘Best of Near Surface 2010’ award and SEG’s ‘Best Paper Honorable Mention’ in Geophysics as well as the Young Scientist's Outstanding Poster award of the European Geosciences Union. He travels extensively to participate in fieldwork, to present at conferences and to convene workshops. He is already gaining a notable reputation as a teacher and collaborator. Joseph has demonstrated academic excellence and his remarkable combination of exceptional fieldwork with first-class physical and numerical understanding promises a long and distinguished career. We have no hesitation in selecting this Young Professional for the 2016 Arie van Weelden Award.

Romain Brossier

Dr Romain Brossier is a Young Professional who is already highly regarded as an emerging expert in high-resolution seismic imaging. Having completed a PhD at the university of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, he undertook a two-year post-doc at the Université Joseph Fourier, where he is now assistant professor. A large and rapidly growing publication list of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters testifies to his significant contributions in numerical methods for solving partial differential equations of wave propagation in the context of full-waveform inversion (FWI). Romain has helped to drive large-scale, non-linear optimization techniques, specifically using the low-memory version of the quasi-Newton Broyden-Fletcher-Goldfarb-Shanno algorithm, as well as improvements to truncated Newton methods. He has developed a hierarchical inversion procedure for imaging classes of elastic parameters and demonstrated its impact on synthetic elastic seismograms that include challenging surface waves. Romain has also investigated robust and/or more sophisticated cost functions, such as the L1 norm, as alternatives to the least-squares criterion, which is very sensitive to outliers.

Romain's contributions to applications ranging from laboratory-scale experiments, through near-surface FWI and to Valhall reservoir-scale imaging are shared through an impressive publication list, as well as his active participation at international geophysical conferences. His outstanding ability to mentor younger researchers is reflected in the number and quality of publications by the dozen students he has co-supervised or advised. His human qualities include a friendly and accessible attitude; he is always open to discussions and willing to share ideas with other researchers, a trait that has resulted in extensive collaborations in both academia and industry. Dr Brossier's remarkable academic achievements, his growing marks of esteem, and the scientific and human qualities already demonstrated by this Young Professional, amply merit the 2015 Arie van Weelden Award.

Mathilde Adelinet

Dr Mathilde Adelinet has performed a comprehensive analysis of elastic properties of basaltic rocks using both seismic data and laboratory measurements. Her PhD thesis from 2010 at the Université du Maine represents a uniquely important step forward in linking laboratory measurements on rock samples to seismic field observations, and exploiting this understanding in the analysis of seismic data. By measuring elastic properties of saturated basalt samples in the lab over a wide range of frequencies she was able to characterize their porous microstructure. In particular, the low-frequency measurements established a firm bridge between laboratory and field scales. Mathilde then developed an innovative method by combining seismic velocity tomography with elastic modelling to characterize porous rock microstructure from field data. She successfully tested the method at two field locations: one in Iceland and the other from the hot dry rock research site at Soultz-sous-Forêt in France. From the Icelandic study she found that crack density decreased with depth, outside the active hydrothermal areas, due to increased overburden stress and secondary pore-filling cement. By contrast, in the hydrothermal areas, she found that crack density may locally increase with depth, due to the presence of a deep reservoir with supercritical fluids under pressure.

At the Soulz geothermal site, Mathilde used shear-wave splitting analysis to monitor meso-scale cracks created in the reservoir by hydraulic stimulation. Mathilde has published several strong papers covering a wide range of geophysics and geomechanics that clearly demonstrate her breadth of understanding and excellent scientific skills. She is also active in supervision and teaching and is a source of inspiration for colleagues.

Nina Gegenhuber

Dr Nina Gegenhuber is assistant professor in petrophysics at the Montanuniversität of Leoben where she currently manages the petrophysics laboratory. In 2011 she defended her PhD thesis, 'A petrographic-coded model - Derivation of relationships between thermal and other physical rock properties' with great success. The petrophysical coded model concept - developed to estimate thermal conductivity from seismic wave velocity - gives a powerful instrument to derive relationships between different rock properties using a modular concept. The resulting model, linking petrophysical, log and seismic data, can then be used in thermal modelling and maturation studies, even when no direct measurements of thermal conductivity are available. This research has resulted in an impressive number of conference presentations and peer-reviewed papers. While completing her thesis, Dr Gegenhuber developed her own lecture notes and laboratory exercises to teach the university's Petrophysics I course, in which her enthusiasm for the subject is transferred strongly to her students. For her research achievements and for her stimulation of young geoscientists we are delighted to present Dr Nina Gegenhuber with the van Weelden Award for 2013.

Yi Huang

In recognition of his pioneering research work about the use of well data to constrain 4D seismic responses. In a workflow developed by Yi the pressure-driven 4D seismic signature was linearly related to the cumulative injected or produced volumes from wells and thus, allows an optimised monitoring of changes within a reservoir. This workflow was successfully tested in the non-compacting Schiehallion oilfield and also in the compacting Valhall field. Thanks to the excellent results, Yi’s workflow is now in use by companies like BP Norge and Statoil, where BP has quickly implemented his cross-correlation procedures into their own software and workflows.

Marius Verscheure

In recognition of his new and very creative approach in the field of history matching for fractured reservoirs. The innovative features in this work entail the way in which fractures are accounted for
within the overall simulation workflow. Hence, he proposed a new stochastic simulation procedure to simulate sub-seismic fault networks that could be also modified while preserving the fractal
properties. He eventually integrated his methodology into matching workflows and was able to get objective functions (production data mismatch) more readily minimized. This work has been presented at several conferences and should be useful in the more detailed characterization of fractured reservoirs.

David Halliday

In recognition of his substantial and ground-breaking research work on the theory and application of seismic interferometry in seismology and seismic exploration. This work includes insights as to the relationship between seismic interferometry and optical theorem, as well as the prediction of seismic surface waves and development of methodology to suppress surface ground roll from seismic data. This practical application of seismic interferometry will improve land seismic acquisition. His progress and advances are all the more impressive in being achieved in a very short space of time within a Ph.D. timeframe and at a relatively young age (currently only 25); his work has thus far resulted in 10 publications, 2 extended abstracts and 2 patent filings.


Mariano Floricich

For his highly significant research work and ongoing insights in the quantification and interpretation of time-lapse (4D) seismic data in complex reservoir settings to maximize reservoir performance. His innovative techniques, which include the integration of time-lapse seismic with geological, engineering and production data within a probabilistic framework, have led to improved field and reservoir management.


Gilles Hennenfent

For an impressive series of geophysical accomplishments and innovative insights in the fields of seismic data processing using novel transform algorithms, such as the curvelet transform, and sparse optimization methods to address the problems of seismic data regularization and de-noising. This research has made a significant contribution to theoretical exploration seismology and has the potential to challenge the conventional approach to seismic acquisition.

Dirk-Jan van Manen

For his work in static correction of multicomponent seabed seismic recordings and his novel concepts for wavefield decomposition of seabed seismic data. His subsequent research work has resulted in fundamental new insights in the relation between reflection and transmission seismic data, with new findings in the areas of seismic interferometry and time-reversed acoustics. These findings offer a new perspective on forward modeling and inversion of wave propagation.

Philippe Nivlet

For an impressive series of achievements in the design and validation of original solutions to practical exploration problems, as manifested in his many presentations, publications and patented works. These valuable activities cover a wide range, from the use of pattern recognition in estimating uncertainties in seismic facies to time lapse, facies inversion, quantitative prediction of rock properties and other aspects of reservoir characterisation.

Remco Muijs

In recognition of major achievements in the field of multicomponent technology. He has taken the subject of wavefield decomposition, multiple suppression and imaging of 4C data to a new level of insight and potential application and has demonstrated key aspects of multicomponent recordings that cannot be achieved using conventional acquisition technology, thus further highlighting the extensive possibilities of this technology.

Antoine Guitton

For an impressive series of geophysical accomplishments and innovations of high quality in the fields of noise attenuation through multi-dimensional noise and signal separation and robust optimisation based on L1 and other norms and in integrating these works to achieve a number of very successful applications.

Paul Sexton

For his active presentations at EAGE conferences and his excellent contributions and enhancements in the field of depth imaging all of which stem from a base of scientific rigour, creativity and communication ability and from the energy and enthusiasm that he applies to the problems that confront him.

K. Schalkwijk

For her accomplishments in making the theory of elastic decomposition work on real data, as witnessed by her paper `Decomposition of Multicomponent Ocean-Bottom Data – Experiences in Application’, presented at the 63rd Meeting of the EAGE in Amsterdam.

F. Pivot and his co-author Oliver Balz

For their contribution to “deciphering AVO behaviour using massive seismic elastic modelling” to estimate the relationship between AVO attributes and key reservoir parameters.

* 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.

P. Bulant

For his contribution to the calculation of 3D travel times, presented at the 61st EAGE Conference in Helsinki, 7-11 June 1999.

T. Mueller

For his oral presentation ‘Common Reflection Surface Stack versus NMO/Stack and NMO/DMO/Stack’, presented at the 60th EAGE Conference in Leipzig, 8-12 June 1998.

N. Ettrich

For his paper ‘Efficient Prestack Kirchhoff Migration using Wavefront Construction’ This remarkably presented paper shows an original and efficient way to compute the Green's functions in prestack Kirchhoff migration. Co-author: D. Gajewski

S. Tillard

For her paper ‘Radar Experiments in Isotropic and Anisotropic Geological Formations (Granite and Schists)’ published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. 42, Number 6. This well documented work investigates isotropic and anisotropic sites using Ground Prospecting Radar and demonstrates that the non-conventional use of radar systems may improve data quality, and may also permit other information besides reflector depth, such as volume scattering and schistosity, to be found.

R. Mjelde

For his paper 'Reflection and Polarization of Tube Waves as Seen in VSP Data', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. 40, Number 6. This paper investigates tube wave propagation in the borehole, taking into consideration the tool coupling and the polarization of the wave. It clearly shows that tube waves can provide important information about the rock formation.

U. Spagnolini

For his paper 'Adaptive Picking of Refracted First Arrivals', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. 39, Number 3. This paper moves from a concise statement of theory through a clear exposition of implementation to a convincing illustration of application of an adaptive time picking procedure.

L. Zanzi

For his paper 'Inversion of Refracted Arrivals: A Few Problems', published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. 38, Number 4. This paper develops an integrated perspective of seismic refraction interpretation through a comprehensive analysis of the errors and problems of inferring near-surface information from refracted arrivals.


C. Fournier

For his paper 'Spontaneous Potentials and Resistivity Surveys Applied to Hydrogeology in a Volcanic Area: Case History of the Chaîne des Puys (Puys-de-Dôme, France)' published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. 37, Number 6. The paper combines careful thought about a geological problem with an innovative development of theory which is carried through to an excellent case history with clearly reported and practically useful results.

J. Douma

For his paper 'The Effect of the Aspect Ratio on Crack-Induced Anisotropy' published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. 36, Number 6, and his contribution to further work on elastic wave propagation in fractured media.

H. Granser

For his paper 'Gravimetric Apparent Density Mapping and its Relationship to Rock Sample Densities in the Eastern Alps' presented at the 49th Meeting of the EAEG in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, plus two other papers on the gravity method published in Geophysical Prospecting during 1987.


V. Richard

For his paper 'High Resolution Stratigraphic Extrapolation: a 1-D Inverse Problem', read at the 48th EAEG Meeting in Ostend, Belgium.

O. Holberg

For his paper 'Computational Aspects of the Choice of Operator and Sampling Interval for Numerical Differentiation in Large Scale Simulation of Wave Phenomena', read at the 47th EAEG Meeting in Budapest, Hungary.

A.T. Walden

For his June 1984 presentation of the paper 'An Investigation of Spectral Properties of Primary Reflection Coefficients'.

A.T. Basokur

For his paper 'Transformation of Resistivity Sounding Measurements Obtained in One Electrode Configuration to Another Configuration by Means of Digital Linear Filtering', published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. XXXI (1983).

L. Martineau-Nicoletis

For her substantial contribution to the paper 'Measured Anisotropy in Pierre Shale', co-authored by Dr J.E. White and Carol Monash and presented by Dr Martineau-Nicoletis at the 44th EAEG Meeting in Cannes, France.

E. Loinger

In recognition of his paper 'A linear Model for Velocity Anomalies', presented at the 43rd Meeting of the EAEG in Venice, Italy.

O.E. Naess

In recognition of his paper 'Superstack', presented at the 39th Meeting of the EAEG in Zagreb, Yugoslavia.


B.L.N. Kennett

In recognition of his paper 'The Suppression of Surface Multiples on Seismic Records'. This paper was presented at the 40th Meeting of the EAEG in Dublin, Ireland.

P. Hood

In recognition of his paper 'Finite Difference and Wavenumber Migration', presented at the 39th Meeting of the EAEG in Zagreb. Dr Hood's presentation sets an excellent example for our Society when measured by any standard. His treatment of a difficult and topical subject reflected the original research effort that he personally has applied in this field. He is to be congratulated for a 'first' presentation at an EAEG meeting that was well conceived, supported by proper scientific reasoning and executed with considerable poise and persuasion.

T. Lee

In recognition of his two papers 'Transient Electromagnetic Response of a Sphere in a Layered Medium' and 'Sign Reversals in the Transient Method of Electrical Prospecting (one-loop version)', published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol XXIII (1975), September and December. Mr Lee's approach is considered unique, and may open new perspectives.

D. Patella

'On the Transformation of Dipole to Schlumberger Sounding Curves', published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. XXII (1974), June, pp. 315/329, and previous work on the interpretation of induced polarization vertical soundings reported in the September 1972 and June 1973 issues of the same journal.

R.G. Geyer

'Transient Electromagnetic Response near a Faultzone', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. XX (1972), December, pp. 828/846.

S.K. Gupta and L. Martel

'Onde Amortie de type Raleigh à l'Interface de Deux Milieux Solides à Fort Contrast de Densités et de Vitesses'.

S.M. Deregowski

'Optimum Digital Filtering and Inverse Filtering in the Frequency Domain', presented at the 32nd Meeting of the Association in Edinburgh, Scotland.

R.J. Phillips (co-authors H.F. Morrison and D.P. O'brien)

'Quantitative Interpretation of Transient Electromagnetic Fields over a Layered Half Space', published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. XVII (1969), March, pp. 82/101.

J.A. Hileman (co-authors P. Embree and J.C. Pfluger)

'Automatic Static Corrections', published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. XVI (1968), September, pp. 326/358.

G.E. Watkins (co-author G.M. Habberjam)

'The Reduction of Lateral Effects in Resistivity Probing', published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. XV (1967), June, pp. 221/235.

R.A. Wiggins

'?-k Filter Design', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. XIV (1966), December, pp. 427/440.

S. Jain

'Some Remarks on the Magneto?telluric Method of Geophysical Prospecting, published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. XIV (1966), June, pp. 143/148.

S. Guha

'Model Seismic Investigations on Refracted Waves', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. XIII (1965), December, pp. 659/664.

D. Denham

'The Use of Geophone Groups to improve the Signal-to-Noise Ratio of the First Arrival in refraction Shooting', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. XI (1963), December, pp.389/408.

H. Burckhardt

'Some Physical Aspects of Seismic Scaling Laws for Underwater Explosions', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. XII (1964), June, pp. 192/214.


M. Lavergne (co-authors P. Bois, J. Chauveau and G. Grau)

'Some Methods of obtaining Synthetic Seismograms' and 'Possibilities and Limitations of Synthetic Seismograms', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. VIII (1960), March, pp. 260/314 (in French).

V.L.S. Bhimasankaram (and B.S.R. Rao)

'Manganese Ore in South India and its Magnetic Properties', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. VI (1958), March, pp. 11/24.

W. Lode

'Die Darstellung von Tiefenlinienplänen beliebig gekrümmter Reflexionshorizonte unter Einschlusz der Strahlenbrechung im Raume', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. V (1957), June, pp. 135/141 (in English).

E.W. Carpenter

'Some Notes concerning the Wenner Configurat', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. III (1955), December, pp. 388/402.