Jay W. Miller was honored by the SEG with the Reginald Fessenden Award in recognition of "his imagination and inventiveness in developing multiplexed telemetry in field seismic systems"
Biography Citation for the Reginald Fessenden Award
Contributed by J. E. White
The Society of Exploration Geophysicists honors John William Miller with the Fessenden Award for 1978, in recognition of his imagination and inventiveness in developing multiplexed telemetry in field seismic systems. His many friends join in congratulating Jay Miller on this occasion, well aware of his many other contributions to seismic field techniques and his unfailing support of the SEG.
J. W. Miller is a graduate of Rice University, with a Master's degree in electrical engineering and physics. After completing his naval service as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve, he began his professional career on a Magnolia seismic crew in 1948. In 1953, he helped organize Globe Exploration Company, Inc., and under his leadership as president, the company gained an industry-wide reputation for state-of-the-art instrumentation and field procedures. After five years as a subsidiary of Shell Oil
Company, Globe Exploration was acquired in 1969 by Mr. Miller and associates and reorganized as Globe Universal Sciences, Inc. In 1976, Mr. Miller acquired full ownership of the subsidiary of Globe Universal Sciences known as GUS Manufacturing, Inc., which in 1977 became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anaconda Company. Under Mr. Miller's management as President and Chief Executive Officer, GUS Manufacturing has developed and now markets the twin-lead telemetry system which is primarily being honored by this Fessenden Award.
Jay Miller has accumulated more than 20,000 hours of flying time in the process of flying payroll out to Globe crews in the early days, inspecting terrain for geophysical operations in Alaska, and commuting to Houston, Midland, and El Paso from his ranch near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Jay and Patricia Miller have generously opened Washington Ranch to guests from many countries, to friends throughout the oil business, to educators, and student groups, to geologists on field short courses, far exceeding the legendary West Texas hospitality. In addition to serving as the base for Miller's geophysical business, Washington Ranch produces oil, gas, and Charolais cattle. In the course of his business, Miller travels extensively in Africa, Europe, and the Middle and Far East, as well as the Western Hemisphere.
In 1948, Jay Miller's thesis at Rice University dealt with the characteristics of seismic reflections from gas reservoirs which are now generally known as Bright Spots. In the early 1950's, Globe crews with 48 channels of broad band instruments showed that "absurdly large" shot and geophone patterns could get data in the Delaware basin, where earlier efforts had failed. In 1956, all Globe contract crews began recording the horizontal stacking (CDP). In 1962, the Globe analog processing center was operating with computer controlled settings of all parameters, and in 1965, Globe received the first nonmilitary IBM 360 and used it for general purpose seismic processing. Subsequently, Globe personnel were involved in the first general solution migration program. Although the Fessenden Award appropriately honors J. W. Miller for his part in the development of seismic telemetry, it is clear that he has consistently anticipated valid industry needs and has made early contributions to the implementation of new techniques to meet these needs.
In addition to providing seismic crews with state-of-the-art instrumentation and capabilities, Miller's innovative leadership and personal example of complete dedication to the task at hand have done much to continuously redefine state-of-the-art in geophysical exploration.