Daniel Patrick Hampson - 2015

CSEG Honorary Membership Award Recipient Daniel Patrick Hampson
Citation by Brian Russell

Brian RussellFor longstanding and exceptional contributions to geophysics through the development of world-class software and through continuous support of the CSEG and the greater global geophysical community.

I am honoured to have been asked by Dan Hampson to write his citation for CSEG Honorary Membership. I can think of no one else in the geophysical community in Canada, or indeed the world, more deserving of this award.

Dan grew up in Montreal, where his mathematical talent was recognized early when he was offered a scholarship to Loyola High School. Dan subsequently attended Loyola College and received a B.Sc. in Physics, and McMaster University where he received a M.Sc. in Physics. Following this, he spent two years in Ghana teaching high school physics with Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSO), an experience that lead to Dan’s lifelong love of both teaching and travel.

When Dan returned to Canada, he headed west and joined Veritas Seismic Ltd., then a fledgling company of roughly 25 employees. Although Dan started as a seismic processor, a job that allowed him to fully understand the nature of the seismic business, both Dan and Veritas soon realized that his real talent was in developing new software algorithms and Dan was promoted to manager of Seismic Research. Dan’s task was simply stated yet incredibly challenging: develop new seismic processing algorithms that would give Veritas a competitive edge in the Calgary market. The problems to work on were also clear: statics and multiples. Dan first attacked the statics problem by developing the GLI (generalized linear inverse) approach to the determination of refraction statics, a method that is still used successfully around the world. He then turned his attention to multiples, modifying a technique developed by Jeff Thorson and Jon Claerbout to create the Parabolic Radon Transform. Dan’s paper on the subject has been widely quoted, and his algorithm implemented in processing centres throughout the world. In addition, in 2006 Dan received the prestigious SEG Reginald Fessenden Award for his invention of the Parabolic Radon Transform.

In 1987, Dan co-founded Hampson-Russell Software with Brian Russell, and helped grow the company from three employees to almost fifty in 2002, by which time Hampson-Russell had developed and sold their innovative inversion and AVO software to oil and service companies all over the world. During the early days of Hampson-Russell, Dan also found time to complete his MBA at the University of Calgary. In 1996, Dan received the SEG Cecil H. Green Enterprise Award for the creation of Hampson-Russell Software, jointly with Brian Russell. In 2002, Hampson-Russell was acquired by VeritasDGC and the company is now a subsidiary of CGG GeoSoftware. Dan has continued to produce innovative software and most recently conceived and wrote a new algorithm for the simultaneous inversion of prestack seismic data. Dan continues to enjoy developing new software ideas and interacting with his colleagues throughout the whole CGG organization.