Stanley Ward

From SEG Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Stanley Ward
Stanley H. Ward.png
Membership Honorary
PhD university University of Toronto

Stanley H. Ward is a geophysicist who achieved distinction in many branches of geophysics, including mining geophysics and planetary sciences.

Biography Citation for the Maurice Ewing Medal 2000

Contributed by Misac N. Nabighian

In choosing to give its highest award to Stanley H. Ward, the SEG Honors and Awards Committee recognized an individual who has achieved distinction in every aspect of geophysics, particularly mining, in a career that spans more than half a century. Stan was born in Vancouver, B.C., Canada on 16 January 1923.

Education and Early Career

He received his formal education at the University of Toronto where he obtained BS with honors in engineering physics (1949), MS (1950), and PhD (1952) degrees. Upon graduation he engaged in contract mining geophysics with the McPhar group of companies, a position he held until 1959. He was instrumental in the discovery of seven ore deposits, quite an achievement for a young geophysicist. In 1959 he joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley where he started the engineering geosciences program, soon to become one of the world’s foremost research institutions.

Academic Career

In 1970 he shifted to the University of Utah where he chaired the Department of Geology and Geophysics for 10 years and, in 1977, established the Earth Science Laboratory of the University of Utah Research Institute. As with Berkeley, Utah soon achieved international prominence under his leadership. Stan supervised 42 students through master’s degrees and 23 through PhD degrees; he enjoyed counseling and lecturing to undergraduate students. Graduates from both universities now hold prominent positions in industry, academia, and government.

Industrial Career

In 1989 he “retired” from Utah to devote full time to various industrial activities encompassing mining, oil and gas, geothermal, environmental, groundwater, lunar exploration, and ionospheric research. In between his retirement from Utah and prior to his “retirement,” he established an integrated geoscience team to lead DOE’s geothermal exploration effort; assisted major international companies in laying the groundwork for the Alyeska pipeline; served as principal investigator on the Apollo Lunar Sounder which, from a lunar orbit of 150 km, detected layering beneath Mare Serenitatis to depths of as much as 3.5 km; and did ionospheric research in northern Canada on the interaction of the solar wind and the earth’s magnetic field. In addition he helped develop the environmental engineering program at the University of British Columbia, the special courses program in geotechnical engineering at the University of Arizona, and assisted in developing applied geosciences programs in Australia, China, and Brazil through consulting and lecturing during numerous visits to these countries.

In addition to this amazing list of accomplishments, Stan also achieved widespread recognition as a pioneer in airborne electromagnetics and published 136 papers in refereed journals.

Service to SEG

He somehow found time to serve SEG in important capacities: Associate Editor of GEOPHYSICS for six years, Editor of GEOPHYSICS for two years, editor of numerous special publications, member of THE LEADING EDGE Editorial Board, and Chairman of the Publications Committee. He was SEG Vice-President (1961-62) and Second Vice-President (1983-85).


Stan became an Honorary Member of SEG in 1982. In addition, he is a Life Member of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and holds two honorary professorships in the People’s Republic of China. It is difficult to express the tremendous impact that Stan Ward had and has on the profession. His thoughtful advice is still avidly sought by former students and geophysicists from all around the world. He provides one of those rare vital links between academia, industry, and government. Furthermore, he is a remarkable human being, with a high degree of integrity, a keen sense of humor, and a long-standing passion for sailing.

I am privileged to have known both Stan Ward and Maurice Ewing. As such, I am pleased and proud to be asked to write this citation for a well-deserved award.

Biography Citation for SEG Honorary Membership

Contributed by Phillip Michael Wright

Evidence of Stan Ward's contributions to the earth sciences is all around us in his students, his published research and his professional service. The reasons given by the Society for Stan's selection for Honorary Membership are "his many contributions to exploration geophysics as researcher, Writer, educator, and pioneer in the development of multidiscipline, hybrid techniques for new exploration applications, and advancement of the profession through service to the Society." Those of us who have the privilege of knowing Stan appreciate that this award is richly deserved. Start hails from Vancouver, British Columbia. He studied at the University of Toronto, obtaining a B.A.Sc [B.A.Sc]. degree in Engineering Physics, and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Geophysics. From 1949 through 1958 he was managing director and chief geophysicist for McPhar Geophysics Ltd. During this duty, he became well acquainted with the difficult problems of minerals exploration and embarked on a career of solving those problems.

Stan served as Professor of Geophysical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley from 1959 until 1970. In 1970 he was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah, a post which he served for 10 years. In 1980 he stepped down as department chairman, but he still retains his professional title in the department.

Although his specialty is electrical methods, Stan is a complete scholar who can speak with authority on nearly any topic in the earth sciences and many other subjects as well. His research has made substantial contribution to the earth sciences and has been published in well over 100 journal articles, 42 of which have appeared in the pages of GEOPHYSICS. Start served as Special Editor of three issues of GEOPHYSICS and as an editor and a substantial contributor for Mining Geophysics, Volumes and 2. He was Associate Editor of GEOPHYSICS during the years 1969- 71, 1972-74 and 1975-77. He served as Vice-President of the Society during 1961-62 and as Second Vice-President during 1979-80. He is a fellow or member of more than a dozen professional societies. He has been a Distinguished Lecturer for the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and Thayer Lindsley Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Economic Geologists.

In my opinion, Stan's greatest contribution to the earth sciences has been in his role as an educator for, through the students, he has nourished his research ideas and successfully pursued them at a much faster pace than one individual could have done alone. Stun takes his teaching duties very seriously. His courses are updated every year and each lecture is preceded by hours of thought and preparation. Quality is the watchword. He has supervised the education and graduation of 34 masters degree students and 17 Ph.D. students all of whom have become highly successful and respected scientists, and has counseled many other students as well. During the past 20 years, Start and his students have published articles in a total of 50 issues of GEOPHYSICS so historically there is a 1 in 3 chance that a given issue will contain an article by Stan or one of his students. Several of his students have become noted educators and researchers in their own right.

Another of Stan's many strengths is his ability to coordinate and manage multidisciplinary scientific work. He exudes an enthusiasm which is both contagious and motivating. He seeks and considers the opinions of others and delegates authority and responsibility as only a confident manager is able to do. Using these talents, he and his large, diverse team of scientists and engineers made important contributions to lunar exploration with an orbital radar sounding experiment which operated successfully on Apollo 17. In 1977 Start founded and became Director of the Earth Science Laboratory of the University of Utah Research Institute. Under his leadership a group of geologists, geochemists, and geophysicists was assembled, and ESL has since become a center of excellence for research in exploration and assessment of geothermal and mineral resources.

Stan's success must surely be due in part to support from his lovely wife, Shirley. They work together as a team. And when there is a break in the work, Stan and Shirley can be found on their boat, bearing northward out of Seattle to explore ports and fishing spots in Washington and British Columbia.

If history can be used to predict the future, the scientific world will continue to benefit from the work of this talented man for many years to come.

SEG Best Paper in Geophysics Award 1978

W. H. Pelton, S. H. Ward, P. G. Hallof, W. R. Sill, and P. H. Nelson received the 1978 SEG Best Paper in Geophysics Award for their paper Mineral discrimination and removal of inductive coupling with multifrequency induced-polarization.[1]


External links

find literature about
Stanley Ward
SEG button search.png Datapages button.png GeoScienceWorld button.png OnePetro button.png Schlumberger button.png Google button.png AGI button.png