Carlos Torres-Verdín

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Carlos Torres-Verdín
Carlos Torres-Verdin headshot.png

SEG Honorary Membership 2017

Carlos Torres-Verdín is receiving Honorary Membership for his long and dedicated support of applied geophysics through exceptional research, outstanding education, and service to SEG. Over a long and meritorious acaemic career, Torres-Verdín has distinguished himself among his peers through numerous technical advancements, most notably in the areas of processing modeling and interpretation of borehole geophysical measurements, understanding the interaction of borehole measurements with multiphase flow in porous media, and of laboratory measurements to quantify fluid transport in shales. In addition to being an innovative and engaging university educator, he regularly provides courses for industry professionals. He has published 51 papers in Geophysics, eight in Interpretation, and nine in The Leading Edge (TLE). His lengthy record of service to SEG includes coeditor and editor of several special sections of TLE, working as associate and assistant editor for Geophysics, and serving on the technical program and organizing committees for the Annual Meeting and several workshops.

Biography Citation for the SEG Honorary Membership 2017[1]

by Zoya Heidari

Carlos Torres-Verdín is not a typical geophysical engineer, or a typical academic for that matter. When he was a teenager, he craved to be a physicist but became a geophysical engineer instead when an accident forced him to postpone his entrance to the National Polytechnic Institute in his native Mexico (circa 1978). It was this serendipitous event that will mark his professional life forever, but he has never looked back in regret. While physics continues to be his spiritual magnet, his home will always be applied geophysics. And even though he has a number of important technical contributions in electromagnetic geophysics to his credit, his greatest achievements are in multidisciplinary geophysics, where he has advanced new methods to integrate traditional geophysical concepts with geology, fluid flow in porous media, materials science, and modern instrumentation and data processing. All these contributions carry the mark of an inquisitive mind that sees no knowledge boundaries and that is avid to use deep physics intuition to comfortably move anywhere from quantum mechanics to elasticity theory. During his 9- and 18-year-long industry and academic career, respectively, Carlos pioneered several methods for multiphysics interpretation of borehole geophysical measurements acquired in vertical and deviated wells that are currently being used by service and operating companies alike. He is the founder and director of the most successful university-based research consortium on formation evaluation since 2000, with an average of 23 industry members during the past five years. Carlos is also a passionate teacher, a dedicated student mentor, and an exceptional role model and caring mentor for many geoscientists and petroleum engineers in our industry and academia. He has outstanding talent and skills to express highly technical material in an understandable way for students while keeping the course content interesting and informative for varied professional audiences. He has delivered dozens of industry courses to educate young professionals and experienced petroleum engineers and geoscientists. I am one of the 65 students who have thus far received a graduate degree under his direct research supervision (28 PhD and 37 Master’s students). He has a unique model of research supervision and leadership, which motivates and challenges his students to be independent, questioning, self-confident, and creative. His former students are among the top petrophysicists in the petroleum industry; some of them are currently serving in important managerial positions in major oil and gas companies, and three of them have joined the professorial ranks in other universities.

Carlos is a scholar of extraordinary insight whose publications and achievements have been recognized by sister technical societies such as EAGE, SPE, and SPWLA. His dedicated volunteering service to SEG has come in multiple and diverse ways; he is always happy and honored to lend a hand to SEG and is never short of time or words to motivate young minds to find their professional niche in applied geophysics.

Carlos enjoys life in the outdoors (with Patagonia being his greatest naturalist love) and has completed 20 marathons and more than 230 half marathons. He teams up with his wife, Laurel Treviño, on sustainable ecology and sustainable home living projects on their land, as well as on the conservation and propagation of native Texas vegetation. Carlos is quick to credit Laurel for having instilled in him a genuine love and appreciation for evolutionary biology, ecology, and sustainable agriculture, all of which have influenced his way of thinking and his research projects in many unsuspected ways. He also credits his only long-time hero, Richard Feynman, for teaching him that questioning, deep thinking, and back-of-the-envelope calculations can be as much fun as climbing mountains. Lastly, Carlos insists that this award would have never been possible without the work and enormous talent of his graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and former mentors. I am honored to provide this citation for this well-deserved award to Carlos Torres-Verdí.


  1. (2017). ”Honors and Awards.” The Leading Edge, 36(10), 806–819.