Bob Hardage

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Bob Hardage
Bob A. Hardage headshot.png
PhD Physics
PhD university Oklahoma State University

Bob A. Hardage is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin. Hardage is in charge of the Bureau's Exploration Geophysics Laboratory, an Industrial Associates Program focused on developing seismic vector-wavefield technology for improved reservoir characterization and prospect evaluation. His technical expertise is in 3-D multi-component seismic technology, borehole geophysics, seismic stratigraphy, and reservoir characterization. Hardage received a Ph.D. in physics from Oklahoma State University. His previous experience includes 26 years of geophysical research and exploration management at Phillips Petroleum Company and at Western Atlas. Dr. Hardage is the author of many publications, including Vertical Seismic Profiling: Principles, the third and revised edition of which was published by Pergamon in 2000. He has also served as editor of professional journals, Geophysics (1993 & 1995) and Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering (1995 & 1998), and has edited books for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), such as Planning Land 3-D Seismic Surveys,[1] published by SEG in 2000. Dr. Hardage received a Special Commendation Award (3-D Seismic Technology) from SEG in 1998. He was also awarded the A. I. Levorsen Memorial Award for Best Paper presented at the 2001 Southwest Section, American Association of Petroleum Geologists annual meeting.

Dr. Hardage served as the 2011 SEG President.

Biography for SEG President-Elect Candidacy [2]

Bob Hardage holds a PhD degree in physics from Oklahoma State University. He worked at Phillips Petroleum 23 years, advancing from research geophysicist to exploration manager Asia/Latin America, followed by management positions at Western Atlas. He then established a multicomponent seismic research laboratory at the Bureau of Economic Geology, where he has been since 1991. He is noted for promoting the development and use of VSP technology during the 1980s and has published three books on VSP, crosswell pro‰ ling, and seismic stratigraphy. A fourth book on multicomponent seismic technology is now being reviewed by SEG.

Bob has been an SEG member for 44 years and has served SEG as Assistant Editor, Editor, First Vice President, Chairman of the Technical Program Committee for the Annual Meeting (twice), Honorary Lecturer, CE instructor, and chair of numerous committees. SEG has awarded Bob Special Commendation, Life Membership, and Honorary Membership. For the past four years, he has written the monthly Geophysical Corner column for the AAPG Explorer to aid cooperation between SEG and AAPG. This year, AAPG honored Bob with a Distinguished Service Award for promoting geophysics among the geological community.

Position Statement

My qualifications for serving the membership again can be summarized as “insights gained from many years of SEG service.” I \consider the following issues to be important:

  • Member services: SEG exists to promote the science of geophysics. If this objective is abandoned if member needs are neglected, or if decisions are made that inhibit professional growth of any members.
  • Intersociety relations: SEG must develop links with AAPG, SPE, and other professional societies that will expand applications of geophysics.
  • Governance: Any alteration in SEG governance is a serious matter. I intend to listen to all views and then proceed by considering the question, “Will restructuring SEG governance improve member services or assist professional growth of members?”
  • Exhibitors: SEG’s financial strength depends on revenues generated by exhibitor participation at our meetings. SEG must maintain and enhance exhibitor-friendly policies.
  • SEG Foundation: The Foundation is one of SEG’s greatest assets. I will support any action to assist Foundation
  • Financial stability: Careful stewardship is required to maintain, ensure, and protect SEG’s financial strength. Improper financial decisions reduce member services and impede the promotion of geophysics.

2009 SEG Honorary Lecturer, North America, BEG/SEG Joint Lecturer

Multicomponent seismic stratigraphy

A recording of the lecture is available.[3]

SEG Life Membership 2003 [4]

When thinking of those who have given long and exemplary services to SEG, Bob A. Hardage immediately comes to mind. Most recently he was the 2001 Technical Program chairman for the 71st Annual Meeting in San Antonio, an SEG Executive Committee member as editor in 1993-95, and SEG Publications Committee chairman in 1995-97. Bob’s service also includes membership on the Development and Production Committee, donor to the SEG Foundation, recipient of a Special Commendation in 1998, and co-editor of 3D Seismic Exploration. Bob has continuously demonstrated technical excellence throughout his entire career.

Biography Citation for SEG Life Membership

Contributed by Robert J. Graebner

Thus far, Bob has successfully pursued three careers: first as a geophysicist for an oil company, then as a geophysicist for a contractor, and now as a researcher and educator at a university.

After completing a PhD in physics at Oklahoma State University in 1966, he joined Phillips Petroleum Company as a research geophysicist and subsequently worked there as director of seismic stratigraphy, chief geophysicist, and exploration manager of Asia and Latin America. In 1988, he moved to Western Atlas where he created a new business division that provided downhole services and became vice president of geophysical development for Western Atlas Wireline Services. He currently holds two positions at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas-Austin: as a professor of exploration geophysics and as a senior research scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG).

Bob’s contributions have been legion and range from his role as teacher, author, and lecturer to major involvement in SEG organizational and leadership functions. Over the last three decades, he has published more than 50 papers in various SEG journals on technical subjects. He created the course material and taught the first SEG Continuing Education course on vertical seismic profiling (VSP). His notes were expanded into a book that SEG published in 1981, the first in English on that subject. This book, now in its third edition, was followed in 1991 by Crosswell Seismology and Reverse VSP. Through his various endeavors, he has played a key leadership role in the introduction of VSP technology as a means for reconciling seismic and geologic data. In addition to the books on VSP technology, Bob authored Seismic Stratigraphy(1987) and coedited two SEG books, Reservoir Geophysics (1990) and 3D Seismic Exploration (2001).

Bob has generously undertaken numerous tasks in the professional affairs of SEG. In 2001, he was Technical Program Chairman for the 71st Annual Meeting in San Antonio. From 1991 to 1995, he was assistant editor and then editor of GEOPHYSICS, the latter position also including a two-year term on the SEG Executive Committee. He was chairman of the Publications Committee in 1995-97 and a member of the Development and Production Forum in 1990.

He has been an invited speaker at many professional geophysical gatherings around the world. Equally important, but perhaps indirectly related to SEG activities, are the many advances in geophysics which he has supported and to which he has contributed. For his efforts in moving 3D seismic methods forward as a tool for reservoir characterization and in transferring this technology to independent oil companies, he was honored by SEG in 1998 with a Special Commendation Award. He organized an industry-funded research consortium at BEG that focused on the general objective of imaging the subsurface with the full vector wavefield generated by multicomponent surface seismic and VSP data. He continues to teach a dozen or so courses and workshops each year in public forums on 3D seismic methods, seismic stratigraphy, and vertical seismic profiling.

From this brief sketch of Bob’s prolific and diverse accomplishments, both for SEG-related activities and the larger geophysical community, it is clear that he richly deserves this award. Apart from his intellectual prowess, those of us fortunate to know him well recognize him as a sensitive and understanding person and as friendly a person as you are likely to meet.

I am fortunate to have had the privilege of working with Bob from time to time as our careers intersected.

Honorable Mention (Geophysics) 1996

Bob A. Hardage, David L. Carr, David E. Lancaster, James L. Simmons Jr., Robert Y. Elphick, Virginia M. Pendleton, and Ronald A. Johns received 1996 Honorable Mention (Geophysics) for their paper 3-D seismic evidence of the effects of carbonate karst collapse on overlying clastic stratigraphy and reservoir compartmentalization.[5]


  2. Nominations for 2010–2011 Executive Committee The Leading Edge (2010) 29(7):860-864.
  4. 2003 SEG Annual Meeting SEG Honors and Awards Program
  5. Hardage, R. A. et al. (1996) 3-D seismic evidence of the effects of carbonate karst collapse on overlying clastic stratigraphy and reservoir compartmentalization, GEOPHYSICS 61(5):1336.

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Bob Hardage
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