Weng Wen-Bo

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Professor Weng Wenbo (February 18, 1912 - November 18, 1994), was a famous geophysicist, and petroleum geologist. Dr. Weng is noted for being the founding father of petroleum geoscience in China. He was posthumously awarded SEG Honorary Membership in 1995.


Professor Weng Wenbo was a famous geophysicist born on 18 February 1912 in Yin County, Zhejiang Province, China. He received his BSc degree from Qinghua University in 1934 having written a thesis on the "Forecast of natural earthquakes," and in 1936 he earned his PhD degree from Imperial College of London.

The succession of positions held by Weng Wenbo began with a professorship in the Physics Department of China Central University. He then went on to become the director of exploration for the China Petroleum Exploration Company, the chief engineer of the Exploration Bureau for the Petroleum Ministry of China, the vice-president of Petroleum Research Institute, the chief of the CNPC Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, and the director of the China National Committee of Natural Disaster Forecasting.

Professor Wens was one of the founders of the applied science and technology of petroleum geophysics, geochemistry and geophysical logging in China. In the 1950s he began to devote himself to the study of petroleum geology in China and greatly contributed lo the discovery of the Daqing and Huabei oil fields. As his work in this area, Weng received China's Natural Science Award. From the 1960s on. he was dedicated to working on the forecasting of earthquakes, floods, droughts, and other natural phenomena, and he published "The basis of prediction theory," among many other important writings. He also successfully forecast several large earthquakes that occurred in China, Japan and the United States. His work, therefore, drew great response and won him worldwide acclaim.

Because of Professor Weng's great contributions to his field, he was elected academician of the Chinese academy of Sciences in 1980 and was conferred the title of Outstanding Scientist in the Petroleum Industry by CNPC in 1992.

Weng Wenbo passed away due to illness on 18 November 1994 in Beijing at the age of 82.