Richard Verm

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Richard Verm
Richard Verm headshot.png
Membership Life Member

Richard Verm is being honored by the Society with Life Membership for his contribution to the development of the Society’s electronic services. This has been an ongoing process that began in the mid-1990s and continues today. In 1995, Richard was on the SEG Ad Hoc Computer Review Committee that initiated the network development of the SEG Business Office and its ultimate linking to the Internet. Following this service, Richard became the first Chairman of the Ad Hoc Online Governing Board and developed the procedures and policies needed to establish this as a Standing SEG Committee. During this time, SEG has seen the institution of many online services such as Geophysics Online, EdgeNet, Annual Meeting Abstract Submission and Registration.

Biography Citation for SEG Life Membership

Contributed by John W. C. Sherwood


One of those rarities, a Texas born “good old country boy,” Richard Verm was brought up with country living but his intellect and wide ranging interests took him to a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from prestigious Rice University and later to Geosource and work in the Research and Development department of Petty Ray Geophysical. With his interests in exploration activated, it is no surprise that he soon paralleled this with studies leading to a PhD at the Allied Geophysical Laboratories at the University of Houston. His technical talents and an obvious ability to interact with coworkers and sponsors led to his appointment as codirector of the Image Processing Laboratory.

In 1981, Fred Hilterman shifted his main activity from the University of Houston to cofound Geophysical Development Corporation (GDC). Due to Fred’s familiarity with Richard’s qualities, one should not be surprised that he soon actively recruited Richard and other excellent students to join GDC. It thereby became my good fortune and privilege to become associated with Richard. In the years through to around 1995, it is true to state that GDC would not have prospered without Richard providing the main hands and conduit between research concepts and their practical digital computer production implementation and visualization in such diverse areas as vertical synthetic profiles, well log analysis and associated regional studies, synthetic seismograms, seismic amplitude variation with offset, cross plotting, etc. Ad infinitum. With the dependence of GDC on key personnel, I must admit to having had considerable apprehension and misgivings when Fred and Richard became the general chairman and vice-chairman for the 1995 SEG Annual Meeting. SEG was now also receiving the benefit of Richard’s enthusiasm and unselfish help, particularly when coupled with his concurrent pioneering contribution to the Society’s electronic services for which he is being honored today.

My apprehensions were due to Fred Hilterman earlier having generously offered to forgo Richard’s help for a couple of months in order for Richard to design and build GDC’s first 3D seismic processing system, Ethos! Fortunately for SEG and GDC, Richard’s prodigious capabilities enabled him to cope with his wide variety of commitments and even maintain a semblance of sanity. Ethos was a resounding success and Richard was sufficiently relaxed and generous to be general chairman of the 1999 SEG Annual Meeting and also to accept nomination and eventual election to secretary-treasurer of SEG in 2000.

Richard and Claudia, a psychologist in Houston, are blessed with two wonderful children, Rebecca and Raymond. Claudia is extremely generous in helping Richard and even encouraging of his joy of running 5Ks, 10Ks, and marathons with the Bayou City Roadrunners. Fun running is “hashing” with friend and ex-associate Wayne Lauritzen and the Hash House Harriers. I was often entertained with their diabolical plans for future meetings and particularly with accounts of the highlights of previous runs involving false trails, dead ends, and imaginative trickery—this being followed by barrels of beer and socializing with peers and fellow enthusiasts.

Given Richard’s ready acceptance of responsibility, his enthusiasm, and his wide range of experience and technical knowledge, I am sure that he will long continue to provide outstanding contributions to our profession.