Xinding Fang

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Xinding Fang
Fang, Xinding.jpg

SEG J. Clarence Karcher Award 2019

Xinding Fang has authored or coauthored 12 Geophysics papers, one Interpretation paper, and 27 SEG abstracts. His work has been cited nearly 400 times. Fang’s research is primarily in numerical elastic wave propagation in fractured media and boreholes. He has done fundamental work on the effects of stress anisotropy in acoustic wave propagation and the methodology for determining in situ stress from borehole acoustic measurements, incorporating numerical modeling and comparisons between predictions and measurement. As noted by one nominator: “These studies provide insight for field applications when in-situ conditions are imperfect, which is almost always the case.”

Biography Citation for the J. Clarence Karcher Award

by Arthur Cheng and Michael Fehler

Xinding’s work is exceptional for its enormous volume, quality, and technical diversity. He has clearly demonstrated that he is one of the brightest young geophysicists, and he is richly deserving of being a recipient of the J. Clarence Karcher Award. We first met Xinding when he began his graduate studies in the Earth Resources Laboratory at MIT. He started working on seismic wave scattering from fractures with one of us (MF). In 2011, he worked as a summer intern at Halliburton under Arthur’s supervision and that started collaborative work on stress-induced anisotropy and its importance for acoustic logging. After returning to MIT, that work evolved to include laboratory experiments, the use of rock physics, numerical modeling, and finally, comparisons with data. Xinding continued work on both scattering from fractures and stress-induced anisotropy, and both were incorporated into his doctoral thesis. Through his subsequent position at Chevron and now at the Southern University of Science and Technology in China, we continued our collaboration, and more importantly, our friendship.

Xinding’s research is primarily in numerical elastic wave propagation, and he has applied his modeling skills to a range of problems including propagation through fractured media as well as in boreholes. His work on fracture scattering and its effects on seismic attenuation helps us understand the variations in seismic amplitude observed in the field. His work on acoustic logging in boreholes under various in-situ stress conditions has helped to illuminate the different factors that may contribute to the observed “crossover” behavior of flexural waves in a formation with stress-induced anisotropy. More recently, he did revolutionary work in identifying non-Snell’s law behavior of the shear head wave in a borehole in a slow shear formation. One of his latest Geophysics publications is related to borehole shape measurement and correction, and another is a new look at the old Lekhnitskii-Amadei solution for borehole stress calculation. Overall, his many papers show a wide range of interests and understanding of the important problems we face in exploration and production geophysics. In addition, the elastic wave propagation code he developed while at MIT (and is continually improving) is being used widely at companies such as Halliburton and Chevron and at other universities such as NUS and the University of Houston, just to name a few. The impact of Xinding’s work is more than just his publications.

After his postdoctoral year at MIT, Xinding joined the drilling and completions department at Chevron. There he worked with the day-to-day application of acoustics and geomechanics to drilling and developed an appreciation of the complexities of field operations, as well as the inadequacies of some of the current practices. His desire to do research led him to return to academics and China. After arriving at SUSTech in February 2017, he picked up where he left off and actively pursued his research. In 2018, he was the lead author or coauthor of 10 papers that were published, accepted, or under review, six of them in Geophysics, and he filed three patents. He is one of the rare young scientists that can combine theory, numerical simulation, and practical applications in his work. He is part of the growing group of young geophysicists that are helping the development of applied geophysics and the SEG in China and Southeast Asia.

The J. Clarence Karcher Award is given in recognition of significant contributions to the science and technology of exploration geophysics by a young geophysicist of outstanding abilities. What Xinding has achieved in his early career and his potential to achieve much more make him a well-deserving recipient of this award.