Saeedifard Chosen for C3E Technology Research & Innovation Award

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Maryam Saeedifard

Maryam Saeedifard has been named as the recipient of the 2021 U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Technology Research & Innovation Award. Saeedifard holds the Dean’s Professorship in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). 

She will be presented with this award at the 2021 U.S. C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium, to be held virtually November 3-4. This awards program recognizes mid-career leadership and achievement and is administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy, the Texas A&M Energy Institute, and the MIT Energy Initiative. 

Saeedifard is being recognized for her expertise on clean/renewable energy conversion and carbon dioxide emissions reduction, based on using advanced power electronics-based energy conversion technologies. During her career, she has developed novel, extremely efficient (greater than 98%) power conversion circuits for low-cost and reliable energy harvesting of large-scale wind and photovoltaic farms. 

Another area on which Saeedifard has focused is the control, expansion, and protection of High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission systems for energy and savings. She has worked to improve transmission resiliency of bulk power transmission of renewable energy resources over long distances. 

Saeedifard’s leadership in IEEE professional societies, IEEE journals, and educational contributions will also be recognized at this event. She has been a member of the Georgia Tech ECE faculty since 2014.

Location

Atlanta, GA

Email

jackie.nemeth@ece.gatech.edu

Contact

Jackie Nemeth

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

LED Lighting Development Wins 2021 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

Subtitle

Nick Holonyak Jr., Isamu Akasaki, M. George Craford, Russell Dupuis, and Shuji Nakamura awarded the world’s most prestigious engineering accolade

Dateline

The 2021 QEPrize is awarded for the creation and development of LED lighting, which forms the basis of all solid-state lighting technology. Russell Dupuis, of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, was recognized with his colleagues Nick Holonyak Jr., Isamu Akasaki, M. George Craford, and Shuji Nakamura, for not only for the global impact of LED and solid-state lighting, but also for the tremendous contribution the LED technology has made, and will continue to make, to reducing energy consumption and addressing climate change.

First awarded in 2013 in the name of Her Majesty The Queen, the QEPrize exists to celebrate ground-breaking innovation in engineering. The 2021 winners were announced on February 2 by Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation. HRH The Princess Royal shared a message of congratulation for the winners.

Solid-state lighting technology has changed how we illuminate our world. It can be found everywhere from sports stadiums, parking garages, inside and outside commercial buildings, homes, digital displays and computer screens and cell phones to hand-held laser pointers, automobile headlights and traffic lights. Today’s high-performance LEDs are used in efficient solid-state lighting products across the world and are contributing to the sustainable development of world economies by reducing energy consumption.  

Visible LEDs are now a global industry predicted to be worth over $108 billion by 2025 through low-cost, high-efficiency lighting. They are playing a crucial role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, consuming significantly less energy and producing 90% less heat than incandescent lighting, and their large-scale use reduces the energy demand required to cool buildings. For this, they are often referred to as the ‘green revolution’ within lighting.

“Engineering is imperative to solving human problems. All over the world, everyone knows the QEPrize. Most importantly, this is a team prize. I was able to do what I did in the 1980s, because of what had come before. When I was modifying reactors every morning and every afternoon continuously for a year and a half, I never thought it would be so successful." Shuji Nakamura

“This is a really special moment for me. The QEPrize is so prestigious and it is spectacular to receive recognition from The Royal Family. It is a career highlight that is impossible to beat. Engineering is incredible, and I am proud to part of something that has made such a big impact on the world.” George Craford

“It is really something to share in this award with my friends and colleagues – all five of us each played an important role, and this recognition means a lot to me personally. In those early days, when we were working long days and nights hand-building reactors, Nick Holonyak mentored us. He really drew us in and inspired us to be part of the adventure that is engineering.” Russell Dupuis

“This year’s Prize winners have not only helped humanity to achieve a greater degree of mastery over the environment, they have enabled us to do so in a sustainable way. They have created a product which we now take for granted, but which will play a major role in ensuring that humanity can live in harmony with nature for many more centuries to come.” Lord Browne of Madingley, Chair, Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation

“The impact of this innovation is not to be understated. It makes lighting a lot cheaper and more accessible for emerging economies. For example, LEDs are being used on fishing boats where previously the only option would have been paraffin lamps. They are much cheaper and safer. It is not only an extreme engineering achievement, but a societal impact that has a significant impact on the environment.” Sir Christopher Snowden, Chair of the QEPrize Judging Panel

Dupuis holds the Steve W. Chaddick Endowed Chair in Electro-Optics and is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology; Nakamura is the Cree Chair in Solid-State Lighting and Displays in the Materials Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara; Craford is a Solid-State Lighting Fellow at Philips Lumileds Lighting Company; Akasaki is a University Professor at Nagoya University and Meijo University (Japan); and Holonyak is the John Bardeen Endowed Chair Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The winners will be formally honoured at a ceremony later this year; they will receive the £1 million prize and an iconic trophy, designed by the 2021 Create the Trophy winner Hannah Goldsmith, a 20-year-old design student from the United Kingdom.

 

About the 2021 QEPrize

QEPrize celebrates engineering’s visionaries, encouraging engineers to help extend the boundaries of what is possible across all disciplines and applications. It also inspires young minds to consider engineering as a career choice and to help to solve the challenges of the future.

The QEPrize is administered by the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation and funded by generous support from the following corporate donors: BAE Systems plc, BP plc, GlaxoSmithKline, Hitachi, Ltd., Jaguar Land Rover, National Grid plc, Nissan Motor Corporation, Shell UK Ltd., Siemens UK, Sony, Tata Steel Europe, Tata Consultancy Services, and Toshiba.

The 2021 winners are awarded a total cash prize of £1 million.

Contact

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Edelman at QEPrize@Edelman.com

Georgia Tech/Atlanta media contact: John Toon, 404-894-6986, john.toon@comm.gatech.edu

Herrmann Named SEG Distinguished Lecturer

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Felix Herrmann

Felix Herrmann has been named as a 2019 Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) for the period covering January through June 2019. 

In addition to recognizing an individual's contributions to the science or application of geophysics, this position is an active effort to promote geophysics, stimulate general scientific and professional interest, expand technical horizons, and provide a connection to SEG activities and practices.

During his term as an SEG Distinguished Lecturer, Herrmann will travel around the world to speak about the use of compressive sensing in exploration seismology. More specifically, he will speak about how techniques from compressive sensing can be used to look for new and innovative ways to collect time-lapse seismic data at reduced costs and reduced environmental impact. Herrmann will demonstrate that compressive seismic data acquisition removes the need to acquire expensive densely sampled and replicated field surveys, which can lead to an order of magnitude improvement in acquisition efficiency.

Herrmann joined the Georgia Tech faculty in 2017 as a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and as a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Energy. He holds joint appointments in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the School of Computational Science and Engineering.

Location

Atlanta, GA

Email

jackie.nemeth@ece.gatech.edu

Contact

Jackie Nemeth

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

404-894-2906

Herrmann Named SEG Distinguished Lecturer

Dateline

Images

Felix Herrmann

Felix Herrmann has been named as a 2019 Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) for the period covering January through June 2019. 

In addition to recognizing an individual's contributions to the science or application of geophysics, this position is an active effort to promote geophysics, stimulate general scientific and professional interest, expand technical horizons, and provide a connection to SEG activities and practices.

During his term as an SEG Distinguished Lecturer, Herrmann will travel around the world to speak about the use of compressive sensing in exploration seismology. More specifically, he will speak about how techniques from compressive sensing can be used to look for new and innovative ways to collect time-lapse seismic data at reduced costs and reduced environmental impact. Herrmann will demonstrate that compressive seismic data acquisition removes the need to acquire expensive densely sampled and replicated field surveys, which can lead to an order of magnitude improvement in acquisition efficiency.

Herrmann joined the Georgia Tech faculty in 2017 as a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and as a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Energy. He holds joint appointments in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the School of Computational Science and Engineering.

Location

Atlanta, GA

Email

jackie.nemeth@ece.gatech.edu

Contact

Jackie Nemeth

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

404-894-2906

Rohatgi Honored with IIT Kanpur Distinguished Alumnus Award

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Ajeet Rohatgi

Ajeet Rohatgi has been named as a recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. This award is the highest given by IIT Kanpur to its alumni in recognition of their achievements. Rohatgi graduated from the Institute with his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1971.

Rohatgi is a Regents’ Professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), and he holds the John H. Weitnauer, Jr. Chair in the College of Engineering and is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. Rohatgi was chosen for this award for his academic and entrepreneurial excellence and for his exemplary contributions in the field of renewable energy and photovoltaic (PV) technology. 

With a career spanning 34 years at Georgia Tech, Rohatgi has built a top-notch photovoltaics (PV) program where none previously existed with the establishment of the University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaics Research and Education in 1992. He and his team have produced several world-record, high-efficiency solar cells. 

In 1996, Rohatgi’s research group designed and built the world’s largest (at the time) rooftop PV system for the Olympic Natatorium on the Georgia Tech campus. The system is still in operation today for the campus swimming and diving center. He also founded Suniva, Inc., a company known for its research, development, and manufacturing of high-efficiency crystalline solar cells. 

Rohatgi has been internationally recognized for his excellence in research, education, commercialization efforts, and professional society leadership in the PV and energy arenas. He is an IEEE Fellow and has published over 500 technical papers and has been issued 41 patents. Prior to his arrival at Georgia Tech, he was named a Westinghouse Fellow in 1984 for his achievements in the design and development of high-efficiency silicon solar cells. 

In 1996, Rohatgi received the Georgia Tech Distinguished Professor Award for excellence in teaching, research, and service. He received the prestigious IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference William Cherry Award and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory/Department of Energy Rappaport Award in 2003 for his outstanding contributions to the field of photovoltaics. In 2009, he received the Environmental Protection Agency Climate Protection Award, and the American Solar Energy Society Hoyt Clark Hottel Award for outstanding educator and innovator in the field of photovoltaics.

In 2009, Rohatgi was asked to join a delegation of clean technology entrepreneurs at the White House in support of President Barack Obama’s efforts to increase R&D funding in this area. He was also named a Champion of PV by Renewable Energy World magazine. In 2015, he was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Dupuis Honored with Materials Today Innovation Award

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Materials Today Innovation Award Winner Russell Dupuis (center) with the Editors-in-Chief of Materials Today, Jun Lou (Rice University, left) and Gleb Yushin (also of Georgia Tech, right)

Russell D. Dupuis has been honored with the Materials Today Innovation Award. He was presented with the award at the 2019 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting and Exhibit, held December 1-6 in Boston, Massachusetts. Dupuis holds the Steve W. Chaddick Endowed Chair in Electro-Optics and is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).

Dupuis was specifically recognized “for pioneering development of the metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) technology and seminal contributions to compound semiconductor materials and devices, including the first MOCVD III-V compound semiconductor solar cells, and advances in quantum-well semiconductor light emitters used in telecommunications and visible LEDs (light-emitting diodes).” 

Dupuis’ contributions to the development of MOCVD are among the most significant contributions made in the growth of semiconductor devices in the last 40 years. His work on the understanding and improvement of the MOCVD process was the key development that led to the demonstration of the first MOCVD-grown III-V compound semiconductor heterostructure solar cells, injection lasers, the first CW room-temperature quantum-well lasers grown by any materials technology, and the demonstration of high-reliability MOCVD lasers. These important achievements have had a great impact the efficient use of energy in the world.

Dupuis has been a member of the Georgia Tech ECE faculty since 2003. Prior to his arrival at Tech, he was a chaired professor at the University of Texas at Austin and worked at Texas Instruments, Rockwell International, and AT&T Bell Laboratories. 

In 2015, Dupuis was one of five pioneers to receive the Draper Prize for Engineering in recognition of the significant benefit to society created by the initial development and commercialization of LED technologies. He has also been recognized with the IEEE Edison Medal and as a Fellow of the IEEE, OSA, the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his achievements in this field.

Packing Foam Recycling Team Collects Campus Staff Award

Subtitle

Juan Archila, Todd Clarkson and team diverted half a ton of expanded polystyrene foam from landfills, winning a 2020 Process Improvement Excellence Award

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Graduate student Hannah Viola using the Gaylord collection box in Krone EBB
Collected Styrofoam during the pilot in the Office of Solid Waste Management & Recycling’s storeroom
Todd Clarkson, Ford ES&T Facilities Manager II

Georgia Tech has systems in place to collect and recycle everything from cardboard and office paper, to plastic and glass. But until last year, there was no established process for recycling expanded polystyrene foam (EPS).

Used widely in take-out containers, coffee cups, packing blocks and "peanuts" to cushion fragile deliveries, EPS foam is perhaps better known by the recycling code stamped onto it — #6 PS — and often trades on the name of its extruded polystyrene cousin: Styrofoam.

Lightweight and bulky, the ubiquitous fossil-fuel foam is hard to recycle, takes up significant space in landfills, and does not biodegrade. It can be easily carried by wind and rain from storm drains to waterways, where it breaks into small pieces, can be mistaken for food by marine animals, and releases chemicals that bioaccumulate in the food chain.

The call for expanded polystyrene foam recycling prompted a wide-ranging group of campus staff members, facilities administrators, laboratory professionals, and others to form a #6 PS collection and recycling process from the ground up. The result diverted nearly a half-ton of it away from landfills over a six-month period, and that helped win the Styrofoam Recycling Pilot Team a 2020 Georgia Tech Staff Award.

The Process Improvement Excellence Award was presented by Georgia Tech Human Resources to College of Sciences Director of Facilities and Capital Planning Juan Archila, along with Ford ES&T Facilities Manager II Todd Clarkson and 12 other members of the team. Archila was nominated by team member Michelle Wong, assistant director at the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB). Archila gives Wong credit for designing the plan.

“I’d like to give a huge ‘thank you’ to Michelle for the vision and the ability to get the right people in the room to make this initiative a reality,” Archila says. “This program embodies Georgia Tech’s aspirations of breaking down invisible barriers between various departments across campus and goes to show that with a common goal and with buy-in from the start, we can begin to make transformational change despite budget challenges or the burden of ‘how we’ve always done things.’”  

Georgia Tech’s labs are a major source of expanded polystyrene foam waste, since a majority of their deliveries, such as glassware, come packed in the material. Yet it is difficult to recycle for several reasons: it’s bulky and hard to collect, clean, and process.

As part of an overall green initiative for IBB, Wong convened a diverse group of stakeholders throughout campus with a history of sustainable practices to start a new recycling programThe pilot team includes members of the Office of Campus Sustainability, Environmental Health and Safety, and the Office of Solid Waste Management and Recycling. They partnered with the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM) and chose to begin the recycling pilot program with two buildings: IBB and the Krone Engineered Biosystems Building (Krone EBB)

“Early concerns included communication to stakeholders in the buildings about the process and space for bins/areas for the Styrofoam to be placed. Together we implemented plans to address these concerns,” Archila says.

The members of the Styrofoam Recycling Pilot Team:

  • Wilhemenia Andrews
  • Blake Baklini
  • Emma Brodzik
  • Joyce Gresham
  • Alejuandro Hunt
  • Shawn Dunham
  • Ryan Lisk
  • Todd Clarkson
  • Susanne Gibboney
  • Logan Clausnitzer
  • Jason Dunn
  • Michelle Wong
  • Shweta Biliya
  • Sarah Neville

“I was super-excited to find out that we won the award,” says Brodzik, Campus Recycling Coordinator in the Office of Solid Waste Management and Recycling. “This project started as a small pilot that we never stopped. It has grown and we learned how to increase our capacity. I am encouraged by the momentum this will create to expand the project to collect Styrofoam at more labs in other buildings. I look forward to more in the future to divert our hard-to-recycle materials on campus.”

“The Office of Campus Sustainability is thrilled by the recognition of this group, a grassroots effort to address a problem that while not unique is uniquely problematic at Georgia Tech due to the large number of labs on campus,” adds Neville, Campus Sustainability Project Manager. “Our success with the Styrofoam Recycling Pilot highlights the passion of the Georgia Tech community for sustainability and the ability of individuals to come together to bring about real change.”

The Georgia Tech Staff Award was not the only honor for environmentally friendly efforts this year. The Kendeda Building’s sustainable construction and recycling efforts won Georgia Tech the top ranking in the Race to Zero Waste section of the 2020 RecycleMania Tournament, sponsored annually by Rubicon, a waste management company based in Atlanta. 300 U.S. and Canadian campuses took part in that competition. 

Location

Atlanta, GA

Email

renay.san@cos.gatech.edu

Contact

Renay San Miguel
Communications Officer
College of Sciences

Herrmann Honored with 2020 SEG Reginald Fessenden Award

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Felix Herrmann

Felix Herrmann is the recipient of the 2020 Reginald Fessenden Award, presented by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG). He is receiving this award with Charles (Chuck) Mosher, of ConocoPhillips, which recognizes their pioneering work in the development and application of compressive sensing (CS) in seismology.  

Borrowing from electrical engineering and mathematics, they have shown how new theories can be utilized to efficiently acquire higher quality seismic surveys at costs much lower than that afforded by traditional methods. These two award winners did not directly work together, but they both benefitted from each other’s contributions and set an exemplary example of how technical success can be achieved by the interaction between academia and industry. Their efforts are establishing the new paradigm for seismic acquisition, and their innovations are deserving of this prestigious award.

Such concepts as sampling interval and aliasing have been well established, but these concepts are based on regularly discretizing a continuous signal. Irregular sampling allows CS to avoid the traditional Nyquist criteria of sampling two points per wavelength to eliminate aliasing. This opens the possibility for sparser sampling while maintaining or enhancing bandwidth and managing incoherently aliased energy. This is the basic premise of CS, but there are significant hurdles in implementing any new approach for effective use in the field. Questions such as how to acquire irregularly sampled field data, represent it in a compressed form, deblend simultaneous sources, and perform a sparse inversion to reconstruct the desired output data are among the key challenges Herrmann and Mosher have addressed successfully.

Herrmann joined the Georgia Tech faculty in 2017 as a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and as a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Energy. He holds joint appointments in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the School of Computational Science and Engineering. While a professor at the University of British Columbia, Herrmann led the industry-supported SINBAD consortium from 2005-2017. The focus of this consortium was on applications of CS for cost reduction of seismic acquisition, seismic processing, and seismic imaging. Herrmann and his colleagues addressed sampling-related cost of seismic acquisition by using CS wavefield reconstruction methods based on randomized sampling techniques and simultaneous shooting in land and marine acquisitions. 

Through several publications, he and his team demonstrated that a signal can be represented sparsely, interference (aliasing) can be rendered into incoherent noise by random sampling, and a nontraditional optimization algorithm can recover the desired signal from the sparse representation. Key areas in which Herrmann has contributed are: seismic data processing, wave equation imaging, and full-waveform inversion (FWI). In seismic processing, he has shown that multidimensional data can either be sparsely represented using a curvelet transform or in low-rank factored form. Given these structured representations, Herrmann demonstrated how seismic wavefields can be reconstructed from severe undersamplings by promoting structure via optimization. He showed how to represent primary reflections with a sparse spike inversion, which also draws on new techniques from modern convex optimization. In wave equation imaging, he has shown how statistical sampling of shots, in combination with curvelet-domain sparsity promotion, can yield impressive cost reductions of reverse time migration and FWI. He and his team also were responsible for the development of wavefield reconstruction inversion, a new technique designed to mitigate the impact of local minima. Finally, he was selected as the SEG 2019 first-quarter/second-quarter Distinguished Lecturer to present “Sometimes it pays to be cheap — Compressive time-lapse seismic data acquisition,” which focuses on obtaining repeatable time-lapse data without insisting on replication in the field. 

Mosher and his team at ConocoPhillips have also made significant advances that are currently realizing the potential of CS in acquisition and processing. Mosher extends the windowed Fourier transform to a fast generalized windowed transform by introducing fractional decimation concepts to overcome sub-band aliasing artifacts, and this provides a sparse transform to represent data with fewer samples. He and his team developed nonuniform optimal sampling for choosing nonuniform sensor locations for seismic survey planning and prove that the new sampling strategy makes it possible to recover significantly broader spatial bandwidth than could be obtained using uniform sampling. CS data reconstruction is an important step, and Mosher and his team developed an effective seismic data reconstruction workflow. They also introduced a novel optimization algorithm for data reconstruction, which adapts the alternating direction method with a variable-splitting technique to recover a sparse representation of the seismic data. Source deblending is an important step, and they have demonstrated how this can improve seismic data quality with reduced acquisition time and cost. 

To date, ConocoPhillips and its business partners have acquired 17 CS data sets globally, including ocean-bottom node/cable, narrow-azimuth marine streamer, and land vibroseis surveys. For all the finished processing projects, the imaging results from the CS surveys exceeds the quality of legacy or neighboring surveys with traditional designs. The paradoxical result is that CS theory produces higher data quality at lower cost and in shorter time frames than would be achieved with equivalent traditionally sampled survey designs. To date, global deployments of CS technology in production have led to direct acquisition cost savings of more than US$165 million and indirect cost savings of US$180 million from optimized drilling decisions.

Herrmann Honored with 2020 SEG Reginald Fessenden Award

Dateline

Images

Felix Herrmann

Felix Herrmann is the recipient of the 2020 Reginald Fessenden Award, presented by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG). He is receiving this award with Charles (Chuck) Mosher, of ConocoPhillips, which recognizes their pioneering work in the development and application of compressive sensing (CS) in seismology.  

Borrowing from electrical engineering and mathematics, they have shown how new theories can be utilized to efficiently acquire higher quality seismic surveys at costs much lower than that afforded by traditional methods. These two award winners did not directly work together, but they both benefitted from each other’s contributions and set an exemplary example of how technical success can be achieved by the interaction between academia and industry. Their efforts are establishing the new paradigm for seismic acquisition, and their innovations are deserving of this prestigious award.

Such concepts as sampling interval and aliasing have been well established, but these concepts are based on regularly discretizing a continuous signal. Irregular sampling allows CS to avoid the traditional Nyquist criteria of sampling two points per wavelength to eliminate aliasing. This opens the possibility for sparser sampling while maintaining or enhancing bandwidth and managing incoherently aliased energy. This is the basic premise of CS, but there are significant hurdles in implementing any new approach for effective use in the field. Questions such as how to acquire irregularly sampled field data, represent it in a compressed form, deblend simultaneous sources, and perform a sparse inversion to reconstruct the desired output data are among the key challenges Herrmann and Mosher have addressed successfully.

Herrmann joined the Georgia Tech faculty in 2017 as a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and as a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Energy. He holds joint appointments in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the School of Computational Science and Engineering. While a professor at the University of British Columbia, Herrmann led the industry-supported SINBAD consortium from 2005-2017. The focus of this consortium was on applications of CS for cost reduction of seismic acquisition, seismic processing, and seismic imaging. Herrmann and his colleagues addressed sampling-related cost of seismic acquisition by using CS wavefield reconstruction methods based on randomized sampling techniques and simultaneous shooting in land and marine acquisitions. 

Through several publications, he and his team demonstrated that a signal can be represented sparsely, interference (aliasing) can be rendered into incoherent noise by random sampling, and a nontraditional optimization algorithm can recover the desired signal from the sparse representation. Key areas in which Herrmann has contributed are: seismic data processing, wave equation imaging, and full-waveform inversion (FWI). In seismic processing, he has shown that multidimensional data can either be sparsely represented using a curvelet transform or in low-rank factored form. Given these structured representations, Herrmann demonstrated how seismic wavefields can be reconstructed from severe undersamplings by promoting structure via optimization. He showed how to represent primary reflections with a sparse spike inversion, which also draws on new techniques from modern convex optimization. In wave equation imaging, he has shown how statistical sampling of shots, in combination with curvelet-domain sparsity promotion, can yield impressive cost reductions of reverse time migration and FWI. He and his team also were responsible for the development of wavefield reconstruction inversion, a new technique designed to mitigate the impact of local minima. Finally, he was selected as the SEG 2019 first-quarter/second-quarter Distinguished Lecturer to present “Sometimes it pays to be cheap — Compressive time-lapse seismic data acquisition,” which focuses on obtaining repeatable time-lapse data without insisting on replication in the field. 

Mosher and his team at ConocoPhillips have also made significant advances that are currently realizing the potential of CS in acquisition and processing. Mosher extends the windowed Fourier transform to a fast generalized windowed transform by introducing fractional decimation concepts to overcome sub-band aliasing artifacts, and this provides a sparse transform to represent data with fewer samples. He and his team developed nonuniform optimal sampling for choosing nonuniform sensor locations for seismic survey planning and prove that the new sampling strategy makes it possible to recover significantly broader spatial bandwidth than could be obtained using uniform sampling. CS data reconstruction is an important step, and Mosher and his team developed an effective seismic data reconstruction workflow. They also introduced a novel optimization algorithm for data reconstruction, which adapts the alternating direction method with a variable-splitting technique to recover a sparse representation of the seismic data. Source deblending is an important step, and they have demonstrated how this can improve seismic data quality with reduced acquisition time and cost. 

To date, ConocoPhillips and its business partners have acquired 17 CS data sets globally, including ocean-bottom node/cable, narrow-azimuth marine streamer, and land vibroseis surveys. For all the finished processing projects, the imaging results from the CS surveys exceeds the quality of legacy or neighboring surveys with traditional designs. The paradoxical result is that CS theory produces higher data quality at lower cost and in shorter time frames than would be achieved with equivalent traditionally sampled survey designs. To date, global deployments of CS technology in production have led to direct acquisition cost savings of more than US$165 million and indirect cost savings of US$180 million from optimized drilling decisions.

Herrmann Honored with 2020 SEG Reginald Fessenden Award

Dateline

Images

Felix Herrmann

Felix Herrmann is the recipient of the 2020 Reginald Fessenden Award, presented by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG). He is receiving this award with Charles (Chuck) Mosher, of ConocoPhillips, which recognizes their pioneering work in the development and application of compressive sensing (CS) in seismology.  

Borrowing from electrical engineering and mathematics, they have shown how new theories can be utilized to efficiently acquire higher quality seismic surveys at costs much lower than that afforded by traditional methods. These two award winners did not directly work together, but they both benefitted from each other’s contributions and set an exemplary example of how technical success can be achieved by the interaction between academia and industry. Their efforts are establishing the new paradigm for seismic acquisition, and their innovations are deserving of this prestigious award.

Such concepts as sampling interval and aliasing have been well established, but these concepts are based on regularly discretizing a continuous signal. Irregular sampling allows CS to avoid the traditional Nyquist criteria of sampling two points per wavelength to eliminate aliasing. This opens the possibility for sparser sampling while maintaining or enhancing bandwidth and managing incoherently aliased energy. This is the basic premise of CS, but there are significant hurdles in implementing any new approach for effective use in the field. Questions such as how to acquire irregularly sampled field data, represent it in a compressed form, deblend simultaneous sources, and perform a sparse inversion to reconstruct the desired output data are among the key challenges Herrmann and Mosher have addressed successfully.

Herrmann joined the Georgia Tech faculty in 2017 as a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and as a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Energy. He holds joint appointments in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the School of Computational Science and Engineering. While a professor at the University of British Columbia, Herrmann led the industry-supported SINBAD consortium from 2005-2017. The focus of this consortium was on applications of CS for cost reduction of seismic acquisition, seismic processing, and seismic imaging. Herrmann and his colleagues addressed sampling-related cost of seismic acquisition by using CS wavefield reconstruction methods based on randomized sampling techniques and simultaneous shooting in land and marine acquisitions. 

Through several publications, he and his team demonstrated that a signal can be represented sparsely, interference (aliasing) can be rendered into incoherent noise by random sampling, and a nontraditional optimization algorithm can recover the desired signal from the sparse representation. Key areas in which Herrmann has contributed are: seismic data processing, wave equation imaging, and full-waveform inversion (FWI). In seismic processing, he has shown that multidimensional data can either be sparsely represented using a curvelet transform or in low-rank factored form. Given these structured representations, Herrmann demonstrated how seismic wavefields can be reconstructed from severe undersamplings by promoting structure via optimization. He showed how to represent primary reflections with a sparse spike inversion, which also draws on new techniques from modern convex optimization. In wave equation imaging, he has shown how statistical sampling of shots, in combination with curvelet-domain sparsity promotion, can yield impressive cost reductions of reverse time migration and FWI. He and his team also were responsible for the development of wavefield reconstruction inversion, a new technique designed to mitigate the impact of local minima. Finally, he was selected as the SEG 2019 first-quarter/second-quarter Distinguished Lecturer to present “Sometimes it pays to be cheap — Compressive time-lapse seismic data acquisition,” which focuses on obtaining repeatable time-lapse data without insisting on replication in the field. 

Mosher and his team at ConocoPhillips have also made significant advances that are currently realizing the potential of CS in acquisition and processing. Mosher extends the windowed Fourier transform to a fast generalized windowed transform by introducing fractional decimation concepts to overcome sub-band aliasing artifacts, and this provides a sparse transform to represent data with fewer samples. He and his team developed nonuniform optimal sampling for choosing nonuniform sensor locations for seismic survey planning and prove that the new sampling strategy makes it possible to recover significantly broader spatial bandwidth than could be obtained using uniform sampling. CS data reconstruction is an important step, and Mosher and his team developed an effective seismic data reconstruction workflow. They also introduced a novel optimization algorithm for data reconstruction, which adapts the alternating direction method with a variable-splitting technique to recover a sparse representation of the seismic data. Source deblending is an important step, and they have demonstrated how this can improve seismic data quality with reduced acquisition time and cost. 

To date, ConocoPhillips and its business partners have acquired 17 CS data sets globally, including ocean-bottom node/cable, narrow-azimuth marine streamer, and land vibroseis surveys. For all the finished processing projects, the imaging results from the CS surveys exceeds the quality of legacy or neighboring surveys with traditional designs. The paradoxical result is that CS theory produces higher data quality at lower cost and in shorter time frames than would be achieved with equivalent traditionally sampled survey designs. To date, global deployments of CS technology in production have led to direct acquisition cost savings of more than US$165 million and indirect cost savings of US$180 million from optimized drilling decisions.

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