The Scholarship Committee is happy to report another successful year and would like to thank all the generous scholarship sponsors for their support in 2023. Personal sponsors for the 2023 CSEG scholarships were Nanna Eliuk, Dennis Ellison, Jeremy Gizen, Darren Hinks, Neil Orr, and Ian Watson. Corporate sponsors this year include Alvopetro, Athabasca Oil Corporation, Birchcliff Energy, CNOOC, Eavor, Ikon Science, Imperial Oil, KEY Seismic, North American Helium, Pacific Canbriam, Peer Solutions, Pulse Data, RPS, Synterra, Tourmaline and Wolverine. Their generous sponsorship enables the CSEG Foundation (CSEGF) to award two Post Secondary Entrance Scholarships this year and 15 University Scholarships!

The CSEG Scholarship Committee is part of the CSEG Foundation and is run each year by volunteers tasked with soliciting and assessing scholarship applications. Scholarships are funded primarily through corporate and individual donations, such as those made by our generous sponsors this year, as well as through interest generated from memorial trust funds.

For over 50 years, the CSEG has been awarding annual scholarships for up to two children of CSEG members as part of our Post-Secondary Entrance Scholarship initiative (open to all children of active CSEG members graduating from high school and entering a post secondary institution, regardless of field of study), and to up to sixteen post-secondary students of all levels (Bachelors, Masters and PhD programs) pursuing their education in the field of geophysics as part of our University Scholarship program. Each year we receive upwards of 50 applicants and award these scholarships to students across Canada based on academic performance, financial need, and community involvement.

The CSEG has awarded close to $1.5 million in scholarships over the past fifty years with each Entrance scholarship being valued at $500 and each University scholarship valued at $2000. The benefits of providing and receiving a scholarship are many and surpass the monetary value of the scholarships. Scholarships open the door to make connections and develop relationships among industry professionals and geophysical students. By providing these scholarships, the CSEGF is investing in future innovators, supporting research in our field, and removing financial barriers for the next generation of CSEG members.

The recipients of the 2023 Post-Secondary Entrance Scholarship were Sage Wellspring (Mount Royal University) and Anna Watson (University of Calgary). Below you can find brief biographies and photos of our fifteen 2023 University Scholarship Recipients: Adrian Smit (University of Calgary, BSc), Alireza Niksejel (Dalhousie University, PhD), Anna Malone (Memorial University of Newfoundland, MSc), Elena Temnikova (University of Alberta, PhD), Emily Hill (University of Calgary, BSc), Kiana Demavandi (Queens University, MSc), Kira Evans (Memorial University of Newfoundland, BSc), Masoud Mirzaei Souzani (University of Alberta, PhD), Angel Ramos Hernandez (University of Calgary, MSc), Omid Khajehdehi (University of Calgary, PhD), Robiah Ummu Karomah Al Wardah (Queens University, PhD), Sina Sabermahani (University of Manitoba, PhD), Wenhan Sun (University of Alberta, PhD), Zachary Gilchrist (University of Calgary, BSc), and Zahra Sadeghi (University of Quebec, PhD).

Adrian Smit, University of Calgary

Adrian is currently in his 3rd year pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Geophysics at the University of Calgary. He is interested in building knowledge and experience with microseismic monitoring and carbon capture utilization and storage. Adrian is VP Geophysics at the Rundle Group of Geoscience at the University of Calgary, where he can share his passion for geophysics and getting involved with students, industry, and faculty. He has organized very popular events for students to engage and learn from industry professionals like networking and technical talks. Adrian is a mentee in the CSEG mentorship program with aims of accelerating his learning and experience with geophysics and get valuable insights into the professional world. He also wants to share his excitement for geoscience by volunteering for outreach events some of which are held at the Telus Spark centre. In his spare time, he is almost always exploring the outdoors mountain biking, skiing, hiking, climbing, and camping.

Alireza Niksejel, Dalhousie University

Alireza received his M.Sc. degree from the University of Tehran, Iran, in 2018. Following two years of hands-on experience at the Iranian Seismological Center, he joined Dalhousie University’s Earth and Environmental Sciences department as a member of the Dalquake group, working under the supervision of Dr. Miao Zhang. Alireza’s research primarily centred around the development of Deep-Learning-based methods in seismology, specifically focusing on seismic phase picking and single-station magnitude estimation using Ocean Bottom Seismometer data (OBS). As a third-year Ph.D. student, he recently achieved a significant milestone by introducing the first OBS seismic phase picker, OBSTransformer, to the geophysics community. Currently, Alireza is actively engaged in studying seismicity and coupling rates along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. In his spare time, Alireza enjoys cycling, hiking.

Angel Ramos Hernandez, University of Calgary

Angel, a geophysical engineer graduated from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León of Mexico, is currently in his first year of a M.Sc. in Geophysics program at the University of Calgary. He began his studies in September 2023 as a member of the CREWES research group under the supervision of Dr. Kristopher Innanen. His interests include inverse theory methods such as full-waveform inversion (FWI) and Bayesian Inversion, as well as developing seismic data processing software. Angel is passionate about processing and looks forward to contributing to the field and purse a career in this field. He is an active member in the Student Exploration Geophysics Association (SEGA) at the University of Calgary, eager to make valuable contributions to the geophysics community. In the future, he hopes to apply his skills to advance both geophysics and processing community. In his spare time, Angel enjoys reading, playing video games, playing board games, and volunteering at ESL meetings.

Anna Malone, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Anna Malone recently graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Earth Sciences. Anna is now a first-year master’s student pursuing her studies in geophysics. Her master’s research focuses on using the natural process of CO2 mineralization in ultramafic rocks to measure how the physical and elastic properties of rocks react to varying carbonate content. The changing properties will be measured to assess how carbon dioxide interacts with the rocks and whether CO2 can naturally fill existing features within the formations. Anna is passionate about mitigating climate change and hopes that her research will help move the energy industry towards more sustainable practices. Outside of school, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, music, and cooking.

Elena Temnikova, University of Alberta

Elena Temnikova is a Geophysics PhD student at the University of Alberta, supervised by Professor David Potter. Her current research focuses on magnetic properties in Northern Alberta’s geothermal areas, using precise and cost-effective magnetic measurements to assess the mineral composition and ferrimagnetic carriers of powder rock samples. Elena holds her BSc (2019) and MSc (2021) degrees with honours in Petroleum Geology from Novosibirsk State University in Russia, with research expertise in the lithological interpretation of unconventional reservoirs using well-logging and core data. Previously, as a Junior Researcher at the Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics SB RAS, she contributed to projects involving well-logging and rock physics interpretation. Beyond academia, she enjoys fitness, cooking, and traveling.

Emily Hill, University of Calgary

Born and raised in Calgary, Emily will be graduating from the University of Calgary in 2024 with a degree in Geophysics. While pursuing her degree, Emily played for the Dinos women’s hockey team and was a four-time Academic All-Canadian. She had two summer student terms with ConocoPhillips Canada, where she worked on projects associated with the Surmont asset. Before attending university, she earned a diploma in Business Management from Olds College, where she played for the Broncos hockey team. As she transitions from player to referee, Emily recently attended Hockey Canada’s Western Officials Pursuit of Excellence camp in Regina, signaling a commitment to high-performance officiating. This summer, she competed in and won the CSEG Challenge Bowl, which allowed her to attend IMAGE and compete in the Challenge Bowl final in Houston. Now, as she pursues a career in geophysics, Emily also hopes to continue to pursue elite officiating opportunities.

Kiana Damavandi, Queens University

Kiana earned her B.Sc. in Mining Engineering from the University of Tehran, Iran, in 2019. She is now advancing her studies by pursuing an M.Sc. in Geological Sciences at Queen’s University. Under the supervision of Dr. Hom Nath Gharti in the Digital Earth Science group, Kiana is engaged in research that primarily focuses on the modeling of resistivity and induced polarization data, utilizing the spectral-infinite-element method. Prior to this, her academic pursuits centered around mineral exploration, specifically employing gravity data and the geoelectrical modeling of landslide surfaces. In her spare time, Kiana enjoys various hobbies including hiking, reading, and painting.

Kira Evans, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Kira is a third-year undergraduate geophysics student at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. She plans to pursue an Honors followed by a Masters in geology. She wasn’t always certain of what she wanted to do when she started her University career but was always certain of her passion for geology and knew that she wanted to make a difference. Since discovering her true passion for geophysics, Kira hopes to work with CO2 sequestration in pursuit of reducing the effects of climate change. This past summer Kira had the opportunity to be a 3D Geophysical Model developer and worked alongside two of her professors, creating the foundation of a Continuously Evolving Newfoundland Offshore Model (CENOM). This model will comprise all geophysical data sets available, including seismic, potential field, and well logs, reconstructed over geological time. The goal is to create an interactive, evolving visual of offshore Newfoundland. CENOM will be continuously updated and improved as more data is released. As Kira continues as a Research Assistant at Memorial, she will be developing more three-dimensional models of any and all data related to offshore Newfoundland. Outside of school, Kira enjoys hiking with her dog, making music, dancing, reading, and camping with family and friends.

Masoud Mirzaei, University of Alberta

Masoud completed his Master in Geology working on paleomagnetic and rock magnetic analysis at Western Washington University, and currently is a geophysics Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Physics of the University of Alberta. His research focuses on plate tectonic reconstructions and their geodynamic evolution using paleomagnetic data. His work aims to refine paleogeography models, crucial for studies like paleoclimatology.

Alongside his academic pursuits, Masoud contributes as a geophysics laboratory technician in the Department of Physics, employing near-surface geophysics survey techniques, such as Ground Penetration Radar, Electromagnetism, and Seismic analysis.

Omid Khajehdehi, University of Calgary

Omid Khajehdehi is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary, supervised by Dr. Jörn Davidsen. A member of the Complexity Science Group, Omid focuses on investigating seismic events induced by fluid injection using a combination of computer simulations, data analysis, and statistical mechanics. Additionally, he has conducted extensive research on seismic catalogues in the KSMMA area of Western Canada and has studied microseismic events originating from laboratory faults. Outside of his academic pursuits, Omid enjoys various outdoor activities, including hiking, playing squash, and swimming.

Robiah Al Wardah, Queens University

Robiah is a PhD student at Queen’s University in Geophysics under the Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering department. Her thesis topic is developing a generalized workflow for monitoring optimization for environmental risks, hazards and disasters using the remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) tentatively called the “Natural Disaster Information System (NDIS)”. Aside from her geoscience research, she has acquired a certificate degree in entrepreneurship for scientists through the Invention to Innovation (i2I) Skills Training program at Beedie School of Business, at Simon Fraser University. In addition, she is also a certified small RPAS (250 gr to 25 kg) pilot both in Canada and Indonesia. She likes to paint and play basketball in her leisure time.

Sina Sabermahani, University of Manitoba

Sina Sabermahani, a graduate student in geophysics at the University of Manitoba, merges traditional geophysics with cutting-edge machine learning in seismology. With a strong physics foundation from his bachelor’s and specialized knowledge from his master’s, Sina offers a unique interdisciplinary approach. Passionate about programming and statistics, Sina actively applies computational tools to enhance seismic data analysis, showcasing a commitment to advancing our understanding of Earth’s processes. As an eager learner and researcher, Sina embodies the spirit of pushing scientific boundaries, driven by a curiosity to unravel the Earth’s subsurface complexities using a blend of traditional and modern techniques.

Wenhan Sun, University of Alberta

Wenhan is in the fourth year of his Ph.D. program in Geophysics at the University of Alberta. He is working on global seismology under the supervision of Dr. Yu Jeffrey Gu. He received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Geophysics at China University of Petroleum (East China), with his research focused on developing novel algorithms for better performance of seismic signal pre-processing. His current research interests include advanced seismic-array methods, mantle-transition-zone structures and dynamics, and induced seismicity. He has been committed to his passion in communicating with multi-scale seismic recordings, exploiting the enriched information from the digital signals that reflect the secret of Earth’s interior. In his spare time, Wenhan enjoys basketball, hiking, and music.

Zachary Gilchrist, University of Calgary

Zach is in the last semester of his B.Sc. in Geophysics at the University of Calgary. He is passionate about geophysics as it allows him to combine his academic interests of physics, engineering, math, and computation to produce tangible answers to technological questions. During his internship last summer, he modeled and collected data to help predict seismogenic activity in the Montney using a gradient-boosted machine learning model to mitigate risk associated with induced seismicity. These interests led him to also pursue a minor in computer science where he specialized in information security. This past summer he also placed first in the CSEG challenge bowl at Geoconvention and travelled to compete at the SEG challenge bowl finals at IMAGE in Houston, where his team placed 6th of 17 among many grad students. He participates in several CSEG activities including the symposium, mentorship program, and the Doodlespiel where he is actively exposed to the exploration geophysics community in Canada. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time in the mountains through camping, mountain biking, and skiing.

Zahra Sadeghi, Université du Quebec a Montreal

Zahra is a first-year Ph.D. student in Geophysics (exploration seismology) at the Department of Earth and Atmospheric science at UQÀM university. She received her bachelor’s degree in applied physics from the Bahonar university, Iran, in 2014. After studying as a top student in Graduate University of Advanced Technology, Iran, she received her Master’s in Geophysics, Seismic Exploration, in 2017. Her Ph.D. thesis focuses on seismic imaging techniques development using convolutional neural networks, it involves optimizations the migration methods. Under supervision of Dr. Nasser Kazemi and Prof. Fiona Darbyshire. A long way to go but she is determined to do it. Her research interests include full wave-form inversion, seismic imaging, and numerical modeling. She is also interested in seismic applications in environmental methods such as carbon storage. In her free time, she does yoga, hiking, and painting. She also plays the Taar, an Iranian musical instrument.

About the Author

Lori Barth is currently the chair of the CSEGF Scholarship committee. Lori has more than 20 years of experience in the petroleum industry, predominantly in Oil Sands geophysics, and is the Senior Manager of Lloyd Thermal Development Geoscience at Cenovus. Lori holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Geophysics from the University of Saskatchewan and is a certified professional member of APEGA.