Craig Beasley

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Craig Beasley
Craig Beasley headshot.jpg
President year 2004
Membership Honorary Member
BSc Mathematics
MSc Mathematics
PhD Mathematics
PhD university North Texas State University

Craig Beasley completed BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Mathematics and then joined Western Geophysical in 1981. He served in several capacities in the Computer Sciences, R&D, and Data Processing departments including worldwide VP of R&D and worldwide VP of Data Processing in Western Geophysical and continued as VP, Data Processing after the formation of WesternGeco. He has received two Litton Technology Awards, a Performed by Schlumberger Silver Medal, the SEG Award for Best Presentation, and served as the Esso Australia Distinguished Lecturer. He received an Honorable Mention for the Best Paper in Geophysics. He is an Honorary Member of the Geophysical Society of Houston and Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. He has presented papers and published widely on a variety of topics ranging from prestack imaging, migration, acquisition, and the connections among acquisition, processing, and imaging. He was the 2004-2005 SEG President and the 2014 recipient of SEG Honorary Membership. Currently, he is Chief Geoscientist for WesternGeco, a Schlumberger Fellow, and the founding chair for the Geoscientists Without Borders committee and continues to serve on the committee.

SEG Honorary Membership 2014 [1]

Craig Beasley has made many contributions to SEG and to the geophysical profession. He has served as SEG’s President, First Vice President, and Distinguished Lecturer. Many members recognize him as the spark behind and the motivating force for the creation and continued contributions of the Geoscientists Without Borders program, which unites international university students in applying geophysics to address specific humanitarian projects in developing nations.

Biography Citation for SEG Honorary Membership

Contributed by Ken Larner

Growth — personal and professional. That’s what we seek for ourselves, family members, colleagues in our profession, and beyond. Although those characteristics were readily evident in Craig Beasley from when he started his career in the computer science department of Western Geophysical Company in 1981 to his leadership time as SEG President in 2004–2005, that pre-presidential period seems to have been just a warm-up compared with the creativity, innovation, and leadership Craig has brought to the SEG community since then.

Demonstrations of the growth of this mathematician-turned-geophysicist are: After earning a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1981 and joining Western, he served in several capacities in the computer science, R&D, and data-processing departments, including worldwide vice president of R&D and of data processing in Western Geophysical, and he continued as vice president for data processing after the formation of WesternGeco and later as chief geoscientist for the company. Since his recognition in 2002 as a Schlumberger (SLB) Fellow, Craig has eminently fulfilled the honor and challenge of that position.

Starting as early as 1985, he received numerous company awards, including Litton’s highest award, the Charles B. Thornton Advanced Technology Achievement Award for steep-dip technology in 1993. In 2001, he was awarded the Performed by Schlumberger Silver Medal. These awards followed from Craig’s numerous innovations for his company and for the exploration geophysics community. Among them are the development of the first commercial amplitude-preserving 3D DMO program, illumination analysis based on 3D DMO, anti-aliasing for Kirchhoff operators, algorithms for various forms of steep-dip migration (e.g., cascaded finite-difference and Stolt migration and modified residual migration — workhorses for steep-dip imaging for more than 10 years until the early 2000s), and migration from irregular topography.

In 1998, Craig pioneered the methodology of marine simultaneous sources, which he has continued to advance into the present, and most recently, he has published work on wave-equation receiver deghosting. In addition, he holds 19 patents covering this wide range of geophysical topics.

Recognized for his skills in presenting ideas and developments to the geophysical community worldwide, he has presented papers and has published widely on a variety of topics ranging from prestack imaging, migration, and acquisition to the connections among acquisition, processing, and imaging. He was Distinguished Lecturer for SEG and EAGE and was Esso Australia Distinguished Lecturer. This followed his having received the best paper award at the 1989 SEG Meeting (for migration from irregular topography). Those skills in oral presentation are complemented by his abilities with the written word; he twice received honorable mention for best paper in Geophysics.

Further service to the geophysics community through SEG includes 2001–2002 First Vice President and 2004–2005 President, SEAM board member, and organizer of numerous workshops and forums. Most notably, while he was SEG President, he envisioned, proposed, and founded the Geoscientists Without Borders (GWB) program after obtaining a $1 million founding grant from Schlumberger, which enabled the SEG Foundation to launch the program in 2008. Since then, GWB has many times over met its goal of promoting interaction of universities and industry by involving students in humanitarian applications of the geosciences worldwide. Craig’s involvement in GWB, from initial concept to formation, and his continuing involvement on the GWB Committee are prime demonstrations that he is a geophysicist/scientist/manager/leader who makes good things happen.

Craig not only believes in the internationalism of applied geophysics, he has lived its internationalism by, for example, repeatedly having chosen managerial assignments in Singapore and Brazil. It must be mentioned that while on such assignments, he has engaged in his loves of scuba diving and underwater photography.

It is a joy to be associated with people who are upbeat seemingly all the time — there are so relatively few such individuals. Craig is of that species. In the many years that I’ve known him, from his first days at Western, he has conveyed an ever smiling, joking outlook whether meeting with company clients, participating in an SEG organizing activity, presenting a lecture to a small or large audience, or playing blues/rock piano in the Presidential Jam Session (of which he is a founding member, along with Mike Bahorich and Peter Duncan) at the SEG Annual Meeting, now a fund-raising event for the SEG Foundation.

Whatever he is doing, as serious as might be the task at hand, he is having fun. He’s jamming — combining spontaneity and thoughtfulness. Fortunately for exploration geophysicists, that zest for life and travel has brought much benefit to exploration geophysics and to the geophysics community worldwide. So this award of Honorary SEG Membership to Craig might be thought of as an award for having fun.

Fall 2009 SEG Distinguished Lecturer

Lessons learned from simultaneous source investigations

Dealing with external interferences imposed on a desired seismic signal is fundamental to achieving the goals of a seismic survey. Whether it be related to Earth transmission effects or external noise, this is the stuff of acquisition, processing and, ultimately, interpretation of seismic data. From time-to-time, geophysicists have taken a different point of view and have attempted to use interfering "noise" as usable signal with mixed results.

Recently, there has been renewed interest in this topic—in particular for the case of deploying and activating multiple seismic sources that intentionally interfere with one another. While long a topic of research and field practice for land vibrator acquisition, so-called simultaneous source (SimSrc) acquisition is relatively new to the world of impulsive sources as are commonly used for marine acquisition. Proposed and demonstrated 10 years ago, the subject of marine SimSrc has lain fallow until the recent uptake of wide-azimuth marine surveys. Typically, in a wide-azimuth marine survey, multiple marine vessels are deployed to achieve efficient acquisition and sufficient azimuth and fold.

The desire to make better use of these vessels and, at the same time, to achieve better coverage has driven geophysicists to pursue SimSrc for marine acquisition. The benefits promised by SimSrc are substantial. Some topics under consideration are reduced shot spacing, unlimited record length, increased sampling in the azimuth domain allowing azimuthal analysis, faster acquisition (particularly for VSP), improved land acquisition with new technology derived for marine, reduced undershooting time, and other safety benefits. In this talk I will discuss the achievements of SimSrc and the challenges that remain for both land and marine if it is to become a mainstream acquisition methodology.

Additional Resource

A recording of the lecture is available.[2]

Biography for SEG President-elect Candidacy 2004

Craig J. Beasley, a member of SEG since 1983, has participated actively in the Society by serving on Technical Program committees and organizing and speaking at workshops and round tables. Over the years he has chaired technical sessions and presented papers at SEG meetings and has spoken at local and international society meetings. He was SEG's representative to the AGI and most recently has served on the 2001-2002 Executive Committee as first vice president.

Early Years and Education

Craig completed degrees in mathematics from the University of Houston (BS, 1974), Emory University (MS, 1977), and North Texas State University (PhD, 1981). In 1981, he joined Western Geophysical and served in several capacities in the Computer Sciences and R&D Departments. From 1990 to 1999, he held the positions of R&D manager, Far East in Singapore, worldwide R&D manager and vice president, Research and Development. From 1999 to 2002 he served first Western Geophysical, then WesternGeco, as vice president, Data Processing. In 2002 he was named Schlumberger Fellow.

Honors and Awards

Craig was awarded the Litton Advanced Technology Achievement Award (1985), Litton's Charles B. Thornton Award (1993), and the Performed by Schlumberger Silver Medal (2001). He received the award for Best Paper at the 1989 SEG meeting and holds 11 patents covering a wide range of geophysical topics. Beasley was the Esso Australia Distinguished Lecturer for the year 2000. He is a member of SEG, EAGE, GSH, ASEG, AAPG, and is a life member of Southeast Asia Petroleum Exploration Society.

"Craig Beasley, 1989"

Honorable Mention (Geophysics) 1989

K. L. Larner, Craig Beasley and Walt Lynn received 1989 Honorable Mention (Geophysics) for their paper In quest of the flank,[3]

Honorable Mention (Geophysics) 1987

Ken Larner and Craig Beasley received 1987 Honorable Mention (Geophysics) for their paper Cascaded migration: Improving the accuracy of finite-difference migration,[4]


  1. SEG Honors and Awards Ceremony in Official Program and Exhibitors Directory, SEG Denver 26-31 October 2014 p.36-49.
  3. In quest of the flank, GEOPHYSICS 54(6):701.
  4. Larner, K. and C. Beasley (1987) Cascaded migration: Improving the accuracy of finite-difference migration, Geophysics" 52(5):618.

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