Guojian Shan

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Guojian Shan
Guojian Shan headshot.png
PhD university Stanford University


Guojian Shan received his PhD at Stanford University in 2008. The impact of his work to date has been in several areas: (1) wave-equation migration of steeply-dipping reflectors using one-way wave propagation; (2) efficient numerical methods for one-way wavefield propagation in anisotropic media; (3) velocity estimation using information from steeply dipping events; (4) tilted-coordinate plane-wave migration; (5) tilted transverse isotropic wave-equation migration; and (6) imaging multiples as useful signals. Guojian has already authored or co-authored six papers in GEOPHYSICS (five as first author and two as second author) and 16 expanded abstracts.

Biography Citation for the J. Clarence Karcher Award

Contributed by Biondo Biondi and Jesse Lomask

Guojian is the ideal geophysics student and colleague. His strong intellect, creativity, and mathematical skills are supported by an energetic and cheerful personality. He is a team player in the truest meaning of the term. He is always willing to lend a helping hand to his colleagues, without asking anything in return. His contributions to seismic imaging and to the exploration industry are already substantial, and we know that many will follow in his career. He is one of the few gifted geophysicists that can fully master the development of an imaging algorithm in all its phases, starting from the initial formulation as mathematical equations, the translation of the equations into a computer algorithm, the implementation of the algorithm as effi cient computer code running on modern architectures, and fi nally the testing on fi eld data and fi ne-tuning of the software to become an industrial tool useful for real-world applications. Guojian started his PhD program at Stanford in the fall of 2001, but he had already entered the community of “contributing geophysicists” during his MS studies under the supervision of Guanquan Zhang at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing by publishing an innovative abstract on 3D one-way wavefield continuation for the 2001 SEG Annual Meeting.

While at Stanford, he developed an ingenious method for using the one-way wave equation to image steeply dipping refl ectors illuminated by overturned waves. The idea is simple in its essence, but very powerful in its consequences. The Earth’s responses to plane-wave sources are synthesized from the recorded data, and then each is propagated into the subsurface on a Cartesian mesh tilted by the take-off angle of the corresponding source plane wave. This rotation enables the accurate imaging of steeply dipping reflectors while maintaining the computational efficiency of one-way propagators. Guojian went on to develop numerical algorithms for efficient one-way propagation in tilted transverse isotropic (TTI) media. His implicit finite-differences algorithms were the fi rst one to be published that enabled one-way wavefi eld-continuation in TTI media. These two innovations led him to publish a paper that earned Honorable Mention as a Best Paper in GEOPHYSICS in 2008. Guojian has already achieved a prolific publication record. He has authored or co-authored six papers in GEOPHYSICS and 16 expanded abstracts for presentations at SEG meetings. At Chevron, he has continued his work on wavefield imaging and developed several applications based on two-way propagation applied to reverse time migration. He is currently working on velocity estimation using wavefi eld operators. We are confi dent that he will invent creative solutions for this particularly challenging problem.

At Stanford, he was well suited for the lifestyle of a graduate student. To balance the long hours and hard work, he often explored the Bay Area and was quick to build relationships with other students. As a testament to his team-player abilities, he played a vital role in maintaining the research group clusters. In his current position at Chevron as a research geophysicist, he maintains the highest standards of quality. His skills as a geophysicist have been put to good use and the impact of his labors always reaches far within his corporation and the industry as a whole. He has quickly evolved from a student coding proof-of-concept ideas to a full-fl edged practitioner creating industry grade applications that rival or exceed any other state-of-the art applications.

Guojian now lives with his wife, Yulin Xuan, who holds a PhD in mathematics from Princeton University, and their young son Luke. He tackles the challenges and pleasures of raising a young family with the same energy and enthusiasm that he dedicates to geophysics.