Carl Heiland

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Carl Heiland
Carl A Heiland headshot.gif
Latest company Heiland Research Corporation
PhD Doctor rerum Naturalium
BSc university University of Heidelberg
PhD university University of Hamburg

Dr. Carl August Heiland (July 16, 1899- February 23, 1956) was a pioneering geophysicist.

Obituary [1]

Dr. Carl August Heiland died February 23, 1956 in Denver. His unexpected death following an embolism associated with a badly fractured ankle came as a shock to his associates and friends.

Early Years and Education

Dr. Heiland was born July 16, 1899, in Hamburg, Germany. He was educated at Wilhelm Gymnasium and the universities of Heidelberg and Hamburg, receiving the degree of Doctor rerum Naturalium in 1923.

Professional Career

Following two years in the geodetic and geophysical instrument department of Askania Werke in Berlin, he came to Houston as Askania's American representative in 1925.

At the instigation of the late Max Ball, Dr. F. M. Van Tuyl, and the late President M. F. Coolbaugh, Dr. Heiland joined the faculty of the Colorado School of Mines late in 1926. The following January he began the first formal course in geophysical prospecting to be given in the U. S. It considered the intricacies of the torsion balance and was followed by courses in magnetic, electric and seismic exploration.

He remained as head of the Mines geophysics department until 1948, when he retired from academic life.

After an association of several years with Plains Exploration Company, Dr. Heiland became co-founder and president of Heiland Research Corporation early in 1934. He remained as president of the corporation and its successor, the Heiland Division of Minneapolis-Honeywell, until his death.

Publications and Affiliations

Dr. Heiland contributed many technical papers throughout his professional life and authored Geophysical Exploration in 1940. Besides SEG, his society affiliations included Geological Society of America, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, Society of Economic Geologists, American Geophysical Union and the Seismological Society of America.

Surviving are his widow, Peggy, a daughter, Ann, and a young son, John.

As a pioneer of geophysical prospecting and one of its earliest teachers, his loss is felt by professional colleagues and former students throughout the world.


  1. Obituary, Geophysics, Vol. XXII, No.1, January 1957