Horst Rüter

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Horst Rüter
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SEG Special Commendation 2001

SEG honored Horst Rüter for his many contributions not just in seismology but in other fields of geophysics as well. Rüter has provided substantial contributions to under-standing problems related to the transmission of seismic waves in cyclic layered media and, in particular, in-seam seismology. His contributions went far beyond theory; he led the development of the first certified “intrinsically safe” seismic recording instrument for use in coal mines. In addition, he contributed extensively to the development of instrumentation in the wide-ranging fields of electromagnetic, core and borehole measurement, and making significant contributions to geothermal applications and high-temperature instrumentation. He has effectively served the academic community, including encouragement of students, committee participation, and editorial contributions on international journals. He also helped found the Environmental Section of the German Geophysical Society and made many other contributions to European and international geophysics. For his pioneering work in many diverse areas of geophysics, Horst Rüter is awarded the Special Commendation from SEG.

Biography Citation for the SEG Special Commendation

Horst Rüter received his Diplom-Geophysiker from the University Münster, Germany , in 1968 . His thesis covered anisotropic wave propagation in natural ice crystals. He earned a doctorate (1975) in geophysics at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, for developing innovative data acquisition, processing and interpretation techniques for shallow reflection seismology.

In 1968 Horst joined Deutsche Montan Technology (DMT), world-renowned as the leading research institution of the German coal mining industry. Horst was a pioneer in modern seismic exploration techniques for hard coal mining. Thus, one of the first 3D onshore seismic surveys (1975) was conducted under his scientific guidance. High resolution techniques, specific layout-designs, and the first computer-aided interpretation system to explore cyclically-layered deep- coal deposits are highlights of his outstanding career. Methods he established are today accepted as geophysical standards. In addition, Horst introduced modern well logging methods for black coal mining. Furthermore, he developed entirely innovative digital well logging tools, such as an acoustic televiewer or specific methods to survey deviated slim drill holes.

Horst always liked to apply geophysics in deep coal mines. An excellent example of his underground activities is called in-seam seismology. He was the first to record Airy phases in channel waves, the only useful information carrier in the in-seam seismology-technique.

In addition to surface and underground seismic, Horst pioneered engineering and environmental geophysics in Germany. He organized seminars and meetings in these fields for more than one decade. As a result, today we find research groups at many German universities dealing with engineering and environmental geophysics.

Horst spent 26 years as the head of DMT’s geophysical department. Under his leadership more than 100 third-party-funded research projects were successfully performed. He developed his institute into the most important private geophysical contractor in Germany and offered a great variety of methods to mining and civil engineering.

Because of his geophysical experience which he transferred to students of the Ruhr-University and further universities and because of many mutual research projects between DMT and additional universities Horst was given the title of Professor of the Ruhr-University in 1987.

Horst is a member of many scientific societies such as SEG, EAGE, ASEG, SPWLP, and the German Geophysical Society (DGG. He is currently a vice president of the DGG and the Geothermal Society (GTV). He is a foreign fellow of the Indian Geophysical Union and a member of the Siberian Academy of Engineering Sciences. For many years he served as the editor in chief of Applied Geophysics.

He has written more than 50 scientific papers and is coauthor of the Handbook of Geophysical Exploration, Seismic Coal Exploration, In-Seam Seismics, published by Elsevier. For 20 years he was a member of the scientific team, organizing the Mintrop Seminare, the most successful continuation program for exploration geophysicists in Germany .

Horst retired from DMT in 2001. However, he continues to teach and to do research, presently with a focus on active and passive borehole seismology, exploration of spontaneous combustion in coal seams, and exploration of geothermal resources.

I think we are very fortunate that Horst Rüter acted and still is busy in geophysics. Students, associates, colleagues, his former company and clients, and all professionals who worked with Horst benefited from his knowledge and charm. His personal attributes make him a most pleasant person to work with.