SEG is honoring D. J. (Eric) Verschuur with the Virgil Kauffman Gold Medal in recognition of his outstanding work on surface-related multiple elimination (SRME). The outstanding work of Verschuur has resulted in a method for multiple prediction and elimination of surface-related multiples that is independent of velocity and thereby automatically can remove a large and troublesome class of multiples—those that are “surface-related.” His technique has become a standard in the processing industry in dealing with marine multiples, and it is particularly effective in the very important deepwater exploration plays and subsalt applications. Moreover, SRME forms the basis for further investigation of more complex types of multiples. Verschuur has developed the theory, published extensively on the subject, and provided code to the industry through his association with the Delphi Project at Delft University.
Biography Citation for the SEG Virgil Kauffman Gold Medal Award
Contributed by A. J. (Guus) Berkhout
With great pride, honor and pleasure, I write this citation for Dirk J. Verschuur, better known as Eric Verschuur. His excellent work on multiple removal, the topic of his PhD thesis, has had a big impact on the industry. Only very few students ever see their graduate work evolve into one of the standards in industry.
Eric Verschuur started as an eager student in my research group—the Laboratory of Seismics and Acoustics—within the Applied Physics Department of the Delft University of Technology. The subject of his master’s thesis was the analysis of impulse responses for the characterization of the acoustics of small concert halls. With this work, his interest in signal processing was born and the step toward analyzing echoes from the Earth was just a small one.
During his PhD research (1986-91), Eric demonstrated his outstanding talent by taking a theoretical concept and bridging the gap toward the application. With his smart implementation of the feedback model, a new tool emerged that changed industry’s approach to multiple removal. This all happened despite the criticism at that time that such an elaborate process would never be practical.
From 1992 until 1996, Eric Verschuur was selected for a fellowship by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences in order to further develop the multiple-removal algorithm. During this period, the first steps to imaging of multiples— a topic that has gained a lot of attention in the recent years—were taken. In 1997 he received SEG’s J. Clarence Karcher award in recognition of his successful work on surface-related multiple removal.
In 1997 he also became an assistant professor at the Delft University of Technology. He is now an associate professor there. Since completing his PhD, Eric has been fully involved in the Delphi research consortium. This consortium currently has 27 sponsoring companies from the upstream oil and gas industry. His work on multiples has always been one of the focal points in Delphi. Currently, Eric is one of the three project leaders within the consortium, focusing on the subjects of multiple scattering and structural imaging.
Eric Verschuur has been supervising graduate students for more than ten years, not only on multiples and migration but also in the fields of wavefield interpolation, near-surface problems, and velocity model estimation. These master’s and PhD candidates have greatly appreciated his stimulating role as a supervisor over the years. This has contributed to the fact that students from the Delphi consortium are highly appreciated as seismic experts by the international industry. As one of the driving forces within the Delphi consortium, Eric has regularly visited the Delphi sponsoring companies and worked with their experts on complex seismic issues. As one example, he designed practical workflows for internal multiple removal on land data, which are now successfully applied on a day-to-day basis.
Eric Verschuur is a scientist who excels in translating theoretical concepts into working algorithms that are used throughout the industry. We can expect many more valuable contributions from him in the years to come. He fully deserves this award.