Luc T. Ikelle

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Luc T. Ikelle
Ikelle, Luc.jpg
Latest company Texas A&M University

SEG Reginald Fessenden Award 2023

Luc T. Ikelle was a professor of geophysics at Texas A&M University before joining Statoil and then founding his own company, Imode Energy. He has made major contributions to seismic acquisition and processing, especially through his publications including Coding and Decoding Seismic Data: The Concept of Multishooting, second edition; Introduction to Petroleum Seismology, second edition; and Introduction to Earth Sciences: A Physics Approach, second edition

Biography Citation for the Reginald Fessenden Award

by Yuefeng Sun

Luc T. Ikelle continues to make important contributions to the advancement of the geosciences, the education of geoscientists, and the development of tools for subsurface exploration through patents, papers, and books. He authored or coauthored Introduction to Petroleum Seismology, second edition; Coding and Decoding Seismic Data: The Concept of Multishooting, second edition; Introduction to Earth Sciences: A Physics Approach, second edition; Introduction to Multidisciplinary Science in an Artificial Intelligence Age: The Matter in our Universe, Biological Cells, and Plate Tectonics; Introduction to Multidisciplinary Science in an Artificial Intelligence Age: Chemical, Nuclear, and Thermonuclear Reactions and Oxygenic and Anoxygenic Photosyntheses; and Introduction to Multidisciplinary Science in an Artificial Intelligence Age: Properties of Matter, Elasticity, Permeability, Porosity, Viscosity, and Wettability. These books are well structured and organized. They introduce complex concepts such as the inverse scattering problem, multidimensional and multicomponent data decomposition, spontaneous and man-made simultaneous sources of electromagnetic and seismic waves, and nuclear geophysics, seamlessly, from the first principles to the most advanced applications.

I found that the second editions of the Introduction to Petroleum Seismology, Coding and Decoding Seismic Data, and Introduction to Earth Sciences: A Physics Approach are three different books along with their first editions. They were my first encounter with books that are rich in basic and practical numerical codes for the geosciences. One can reproduce almost all of the key figures in the books and even organize the books’ codes into an integrated package for earth exploration. Users of the books, including students and educators, will be enriched and better prepared for modern scientific and technological challenges.

As a geophysics graduate of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, one expects Luc to be a rigorous applied-geophysics mathematician. In our field, he is rare, with his additional knowledge of physics, geochemistry, statistics, data science, and machine learning. He has used this combination to develop the first patent on multishooting acquisition and processing of seismic data, also known as simultaneous seismic sources. He recently remarked that the resemblance of present-day Titan (the largest moon of Saturn with liquid methane lakes) to the early time of earth when oxygen was almost absent, may form an alternative explanation for the location of oil and gas fields on earth.

Through more than 10 years of collaboration with Luc, I can testify that he is a serious scholar with high standards of professional and personal integrity, outstanding vision, and amazing leadership and management skills. He is one of my closest colleagues from whom I can trust and seek advice. Certainly, he is someone who I greatly appreciate and respect. His books were a part of the required courses for all of my students. His reputation is long and well established in both federal funding agencies and the petroleum industry. His contributions to education, geoscience, and subsurface exploration tools make him very deserving of this award