Yves Lamontagne

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Yves Lamontagne
Yves Lamontagne headshot 2016.png
Latest company Lamontagne Geophysics Ltd.
PhD university University of Toronto

SEG Cecil Green Enterprise Award 2016 [1]

Lamontagne Logo.jpg

Yves Lamontagne is a brilliant technical innovator who has had a major impact on the mining exploration community. While he started by developing instruments, he has focused his business on the service side using his own proprietary solutions (both hardware and software) to conduct operations all over the world. Because of his attention to technical detail and technology’s constant evolution, the growth of a business was always secondary to the technical advancement. That does not mean that Lamontagne was not astute about the bottom line — just that he did not desire a big organization. He formed Lamontagne Geophysics in 1979, which commercialized UTEM, taking a lot of personal financial risk to get where he is. He started his business right out of graduate school and boot strapped it up steadily by plowing back earnings. The company has conducted successful surveys all over the world, leading to many deposit discoveries that have been developed subsequently into mines (resulting in billions of dollars in economic activity).

Biography Citation for the SEG Cecil Green Enterprise Award 2016

By Alan King

Yves Lamontagne is one of those rare and wonderful people who are technically outstanding and also run a high-quality business. Yves has done both since 1979 when he founded Lamontagne Geophysics Ltd. shortly after graduating with a PhD in geophysics from the University of Toronto. Since that time, Lamontagne Geophysics and Yves have been stalwarts of the mining geophysical community.

Yves is particularly deserving of the Cecil Green Enterprise Award. A brilliant technical innovator — who has had a major impact on the mining exploration community in developing and advancing the unique UTEM time-domain EM system and applications, as well as EM modeling software — Yves formed Lamontagne Geophysics Ltd. where he and his supervisor, Gordon West, developed the original UTEM concept and instrumentation. The company, based in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, has conducted worldwide UTEM surveys that led to many deposit discoveries, notably in the Sudbury district, which have subsequently been developed into mines generating billions of dollars in economic activity. Lamontagne Geophysics Ltd. has always maintained a blistering pace of new developments and much of the income, ideas, and problems generated by the top-quality field crews are fed right back into research and development. Yves has also mentored several generations of young geophysicists — both employees and clients of Lamontagne Geophysics Ltd. — with a blend of good field skills in challenging operating environments all over the world and leading-edge technology.

He pioneered the use of fiber-optic cable in borehole systems long before fiber optic was in widespread commercial use for communication systems. The UTEM BHEM system, in which the lightweight fiber-optic cable permits borehole logging in deep holes in difficult-to-access locations, is still a unique product. Another development was the first three-component borehole EM probe that used self-nulling feedback coils to measure the AC magnetic field in small mining boreholes. This accomplishment is still an unrivalled technical achievement. Yves’ idea of postsurvey “steering” the subsurface primary EM field was another example of his unique insight into the physics of EM geophysics and how physics can be translated into a very useful product.

Yves continues to lead developments in EM hardware and software. Recent hardware products include the UTEM5 survey system, which records higher precision three-component EM data to lower frequencies, but also has the unique ability to simultaneously collect data from multiple transmitters operating concurrently. He has always pushed the limits of data recording and processing using state-of-the-art computers and software. The latest achievement is the development of platform-independent EM modeling software code, and the deployment of interactive EM data plotting and modeling software on the Lamontagne website.

Lamontagne Geophysics Ltd. has stayed small but has continued to work at the leading edge of EM geophysics. We, as an industry, have been remarkably fortunate to have Yves devote so much of his time and energy to our business. The industry, as a whole, has benefited from the new discoveries and mentoring of young geophysicists. All of us who know Yves have been inspired not only by his hard work, technical ability, and insights but also by his patience, good humor, and willingness to share his insights.

As a strong and generous supporter of geophysical education, Yves’ able service and contributions for more than a decade as a director of the KEGS Foundation is also gratefully acknowledged. He and Lamontagne Geophysics Ltd. also continue to host one of the best hospitality suites at the annual Prospectors and Developers meeting in Toronto with lots of good beer, live music, and old and new friends. This relaxed venue has become one of the de facto meeting places for mining geophysicists from all over the world.

"Yves Lamontagne, 2013"

Biography 2014 [2]

Dr. Yves Lamontagne, Ph.D, P.Eng. President: Lamontagne Geophysics Ltd.

Yves Lamontagne graduated in geological engineering from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal in 1967, then received a MASc in 1970, and a Ph.D. in 1975, both from the University of Toronto. The research subjects during this period were magnetic interpretation, potential field processing, electromagnetic interpretation and modelling, and the first developments of a wide band survey system, UTEM. During and between study periods, he worked in geological and geophysical exploration for six mining and exploration companies, and did software development and data processing consulting. He carried out geophysical contract surveys and was involved in geophysical consulting from 1975 through 1979. In 1979 he founded Lamontagne Geophysics Ltd. - specializing in wideband electromagnetic instrumentation and related surveys, interpretation and software. His main research interests are in EM measuring techniques, noise reduction processing, wide band electromagnetic modelling and conductivity imaging techniques.

Honorable Mention (Geophysics) 1991

J. C. Macnae, R. Smith, B. D. Polzer, Y. Lamontagne, and P. S. Klinkert received 1991 Honorable Mention (Geophysics) for their paper Conductivity-depth imaging of airborne electromagnetic step-response data. [3]

"Yves Lamontagne, 1984"

Best Paper in Geophysics Award 1984

G. F. West, J. C. Macnae, and Y. Lamontagne received the 1984 SEG Best Paper in Geophysics Award for their paper A time-domain electromagnetic system measuring the step-response of the ground.[4]


  1. SEG Honors and Awards Ceremony, SEG Dallas 18 October 2016, Omni Dallas Hotel, Dallas Ballroom, International Exposition and Eighty-Sixth Annual Meeting, Dallas, Tx, p, 21.
  2. Lamontagne Geophysics Ltd. Homepage
  3. Macnae, J. C., et al. (1991) Conductivity-depth imaging of airborne electromagnetic step-response data, GEOPHYSICS 56(1):102.
  4. West, G.F., J.C. Macnae, and Y. Lamontagne (1984), A time-domain electromagnetic system measuring the step-response of the ground, Geophysics 49(7):1010.