Necati Gülünay

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Necati Gülünay
Necati Gulunay 2018 headshot.png
BSc Physics
MSc Physics
BSc university University of Istanbul, Turkey
MSc university University of Colorado at Boulder

Necati Gülünay is a Turkish-American exploration geophysicists who specializes in signal processing research. He received a BS (1968) in physics from the University of Istanbul, Turkey, and an MS (1970) in physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He did further graduate work in the same university until 1974 and completed there all requirements of PhD except thesis. He taught physics in Turkey from 1974 to 1977 and then joined the Turkish Petroleum Corporation in Ankara in 1977 as a seismic analyst. He joined Geodigit in Denver,Colorado as a geophysicist in 1980. He joined Petty-Ray, Geosource as a senior geophysicist and group leader in 1982. He was later promoted to research scientist (1984) there and then was elected as senior member of the technical staff in HGS (1989), which became Western Geophysical in 1994, where he continued as a senior research geophysicist. Western Geophysical soon became WesternGeco under Schlumberger. He retired from WesternGeco and joined CGG Houston as Expert Geoscientist in 2003. He later served CGG in Egypt as the MENA research manager (2006-2013). Afterwards he returned to CGG Houston and worked as a member of the Colleborative Land Exploration and Acquisition Research (CLEAR) team which was centered in Massy, France. He retired from that position in 2015. Recently he is a consultant to Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).

He is a joint author on three US patents in f-k domain trace interpolation of aliased data and one US patent on 3D Radon Transform. He is also the author of one US Patent on Diffracted noise attenuation. He is the researcher who worked on f-x domain noise removal (after random noise removal of Canales) and popularized the method under the name FXDECON (see SEG 1986). He is a member of SEG and EAGE. He has received SEG Reginald Fessenden Award in 2018.

Biography Citation for SEG 2018 Reginald Fessenden Award [1]

By Ruben D. Martinez

Necati Gulunay is presented with the Reginald Fessenden Award for his work in methods for seismic data denoising and interpolation. His algorithms have been adopted worldwide and are central to workflows for seismic data preconditioning. Gulunay’s research and implementation reflects the symbiosis between geophysics and electrical/communication engineering. He extended the f-x deconvolution method to an f-x-y deconvolution approach, making it commercial in 3D. He also developed innovative implementations of the interpolation of seismic data in the f-k domain and f-x and f-x-y prediction error filters, making these algorithms highly effective and accurate. His methods have become ubiquitous within our industry, with almost every seismic processing toolkit including some version of his technique.

I met Necati Gulunay in the early 1990s when we both became part of the research and development group of Halliburton Geophysical Services. At the time, Necati and I worked together developing signal processing algorithms for signal-to-noise enhancement. I enjoyed having long technical discussions with him. He showed a lot of passion for his ideas. But the ideas were never just ideas; he had the unique ability to make those ideas work in practice. This made him a well-rounded geophysicist and highly respected by signal processing experts around the world.

In the 1980s, Necati invented and implemented a method for surface consistent decomposition of statics using diminishing residual matrices. This efficient algorithm was later adopted by the industry. More recently, Necati developed a novel method for statics preserving projection filtering.

One of Necati’s most important contributions to the geophysical industry was his f-x deconvolution approach (known in the industry as fxdecon) for random noise reduction. Later, he extended his f-x deconvolution method to an f-x-ydeconvolution approach, making it commercial in 3D. In these algorithms, he proposed innovative implementations of f-x and f-x-y prediction error filters. This made the algorithms highly effective and accurate.

Necati’s effort to reduce noise in seismic data continued. He developed algorithms based on Radon transforms in the tau-p (linear) and tau-q (parabolic) domains for noise and multiple attenuation. He also pioneered techniques for seismic acquisition footprint removal and seismic marine crew interference suppression, which were employed by the industry.

Necati’s innovative mind has never stopped producing excellent practical implementations of his ideas and concepts. Another major accomplishment was the original research and development work he did on f-kx-ky seismic interpolation. This work yielded several U.S. and international patents and technical papers published in recognized geophysical magazines.

Many other contributions on high-resolution velocity analysis and gather flattening are documented in numerous papers he has published.

Necati’s contributions are not limited to signal processing research and development, he has also served the SEG membership.

Until recently, Necati was one of the associate editors of Geophysics. He coordinated submissions in the area of signal processing. Necati’s signal processing knowledge and understanding helped authors improve their manuscripts and technical content based on his critical reviews and comments.

Necati was also the SEG coordinator of the Global Affairs Committee for Europe in 2006 and for Africa in 2007. He was the technical chair for the 2012 Istanbul SEG meeting and one of three organizers of an SEG research workshop held in Antalya, Turkey in 2007.

Necati’s contribution to the industry and to SEG makes him a strong candidate to receive the Reginald Fessenden Award. We honor this outstanding geophysicist who has given so much to our geophysical community and society.

It has been my distinct pleasure and honor to write this citation for this well-deserved award.

Honorable Mention (Geophysics) 2003

"Necati Gulunay, 2003"

Necati Gülünay received 2003 Honorable Mention (Geophysics) for his paper Seismic trace interpolation in the Fourier transform domain,


Gülünay, N. (2003) GEOPHYSICS 68(1):355

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  1. The Leading Edge Volume 37, Issue 11