Sam Gray, who recently retired as Senior Researcher, Subsurface Imaging, CGG, has been distinguished with the Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ (SEG) Maurice Ewing Medal “in recognition of his impressive work with major contributions in the areas of depth imaging, velocity estimation, and seismic modeling, his ability to convey complicated mathematical formulas behind seismic imaging, and inspiring newcomers to the geophysical industry to carry the torch to further advance imaging technology”.
The Maurice Ewing Medal is awarded from time to time to a person who, in the unanimous opinion of the SEG Honors and Awards Committee and of the Board of Directors, is deserving of special recognition through having made major contributions to the advancement of the science and profession of exploration geophysics.
After gaining a PhD in mathematics at the University of Denver in 1978, Sam worked for the US Naval Research Lab and then as an instructor at the General Motors Institute, now Kettering University. His career in exploration geophysics began in 1982 when he joined Amoco. There, he took the lead in giving the company a pioneering capability in 3D Kirchhoff prestack depth migration in the late 1980’s-early1990’s.
Sam moved to Veritas, now CGG, in 1999 where he played a pivotal role in developing true-amplitude migration, especially various key components of beam migration technology, as a member of the R&D team.
In 2010 his contributions to beam migration and other true-amplitude imaging issues were recognized with the SEG’s Reginald Fessenden Award. He also became the first author to win the combination of SEG awards for Best Paper in Geophysics (1999), Best Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting (2004), and Best Paper in The Leading Edge (2009).
In 2012 he was an SEG Distinguished Lecturer, presenting “A brief history of depth … and time seismic imaging.”
Colin Murdoch, Executive Vice President, Subsurface Imaging, CGG, said: “This SEG Medal is the latest in a long line of distinctions honoring Sam’s illustrious career.
The scale of his contribution to the advancement of geophysics cannot be overstated, particularly in seismic imaging, where he excelled at pioneering imaging technology that has benefitted our industry and our clients’ E&P efforts.
Although now retired, Sam continues to maintain a strong relationship with CGG and the industry and is universally respected for his sense of humor, natural talents as a communicator, and generosity in collaborating with others. As a leading light in our geophysical community, Sam fully deserves this new accolade.”