SEG is honoring Andy Hildebrand, Bob Limbaugh, John Mouton, and Roice Nelson with the Enterprise Award for founding Landmark Graphics, which revolutionized the manner in which seismic data are interpreted. Roice Nelson was a visionary who built the first interpretation ‘workstation’ out of cardboard and managed to convince others of its potential. John Mouton and Andy Hildebrand provided the scientific and programming expertise that made this vision a reality. Bob Limbaugh sold the dream to clients and venture capitalists alike, providing the financial fuel that got Landmark through the crucial first years.
Biography Citation for the Cecil Green Enterprise Award
Contributed by Tom Wright
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden
As Robert Stone Limbaugh begins each new enterprise, the beat may be so faint we mere mortals rarely hear a thing. The frequencies Bob is tuned to are likely too high, possibly too low. But we would do well to join the parade and keep step as best we can until we too sense the beat. Startled are those who never hear. Foolish are those who refuse to listen. But those who do will be at least entertained and enlightened, very possibly enriched.
If you are left-handed and have a degree in electrical engineering, email, do not fax, your resume to Bob Limbaugh immediately. As we all know, left-handed, double-Es are the most desirable, brilliant, and capable employees—with the most promise.
Bob hails from Birmingham, Alabama, born 13 November 1937. Despite all medieval attempts to correct it, he is left-handed. He has a degree in electrical engineering from Auburn, did graduate work at the University of Alabama, and is a member of the Eta Kappa Nu electrical engineering honorary fraternity. Yes, he is a rocket scientist. Vector to Alabama’s Army Ballistic Missile Command Redstone Arsenal, circa 1960 and you would find Bob testing rockets and assisting in the development of the first helicopter gunship: the Huey Cobra.
At NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Bob helped build the Saturn V (under Von Braun), developing innovative instrumentation for measuring seismic, vibration, and acoustic responses.
A turnaround has to be easier than a start-up. Right! Even Bob can be surprised. Yes, Virginia, turnarounds can be much, much more difficult than start-ups. But people now believed in Bob’s vision. Even if the vulture capitalists did not follow, suppliers did. And Tom Barrow did. So taking two moribund divisions of GeoQuest International, Bob founded GX Technology in 1988. Modeling and depth imaging—the missing links in seismic interpretation—were the vision.
Today, Bob has shifted from exploration to telecommunications. He is president and CEO of Automated Information Management, a 20-year-old telecommunications software, outside-plant design, engineering, and mapping company. AIM applies AutoCAD to telecommunications infrastructure, a business turned on its ear by competition and new technology. Do you hear the beat?