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Curtin rock physics whiz awarded international honour

Media release

A Curtin University researcher has received a prestigious international award for his work over several decades unlocking the secrets of rock physics and helping usher in advancements in the exploration and monitoring of underground oil, gas and groundwater resources, and the geological storage of CO2.

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) presented John Curtin Distinguished Professor Boris Gurevich from the Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering (WASM:MECE) with the Reginald Fessenden Award, for individuals who have made major contributions to exploration geophysics, such as an invention or a theoretical or conceptual advancement.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne congratulated Professor Gurevich on being recognised for his influential contributions to geophysics and its many important real world applications.

“Professor Gurevich has been among the most prominent and innovative rock physicists in the world for many years,” Professor Hayne said.

“Among his many achievements, Professor Gurevich is recognised for his work to improve seismic survey methods, which are primarily used for oil and gas exploration but can also help locate groundwater, sites for landfills and carbon sequestration.

“Professor Gurevich is also known for his tireless dedication to sharing his insights with his peers and mentoring the next generation of geophysicists, including when he toured the Asia Pacific region as an SEG Honorary Lecturer in 2019.”

Professor Gurevich said his research focussed on the theory of how sound waves spread through various underground rocks.

“This subject is vital for understanding geophysical signatures of rock and fluid properties and can thus have a significant impact on exploration, characterisation and monitoring of energy and groundwater resources, and geological storage of CO2,” Professor Gurevich said.

“I always strive to bring rock physics research closer to real world applications and to this end, founded Curtin’s rock physics laboratory, which has gained a global reputation for developing new, efficient ways of measuring rock properties.

“I value close cooperation with my university colleagues and industrial partners in developing innovative ways of acquiring, processing and interpreting geophysical data with an emphasis on Australian petroleum exploration and production problems and monitoring geological storage of CO2.”

At Curtin since 2001, Professor Gurevich served as Head of Department of Exploration Geophysics (2010-2015) and since 2004 as Director of the Curtin Reservoir Geophysics Consortium. He has been on the editorial boards of a number of international journals such as respected publications GEOPHYSICS, Journal of Seismic Exploration and Wave Motion, is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and has been published in more than 100 journals.

More information about the Society of Exploration Geophysicists can be found here.