Douglas Schmitt - 2014

CSEG Technical Achievement Award Citation for Dr. Douglas R. Schmitt
Citation by Mauricio Sacchi

Dr. Douglas R. SchmittIt is a real pleasure to write this citation for Dr. Doug Schmitt who is receiving the CSEG Technical Achievement Award. Doug graduated from the University of Lethbridge (BSc in Physics, 1980) and the Seismological Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology (PhD, 1987). At Caltech, Doug worked on high-pressure mineral physics. Doug carried out postdoctoral research in the geomechanics of hydraulic fracturing in the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University (1987-88). Doug joined the University of Alberta in 1989. He has received the A. von Humboldt fellowship, the University of Alberta Faculty of Science Research Award (1999), the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year of the University of Lethbridge (2008), and the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists Meritorious Service Award (2009). Doug currently holds a senior Canada Research Chair in Rock Physics and time-lapse Monitoring at the Department of Physics, University of Alberta. Doug has taught introductory and advanced courses on rock physics, seismic data processing, potential field methods and global geophysics. Doug has also been the organizer of the legendary UofA-Geophysics field school.

Doug’s research spans several sub-disciplines of the science of geophysics. He has conducted research in deep continental drilling experimentations to understand the stress regime of the continental crust. This research has taken Doug to conduct fieldwork in Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe and North America. Doug has also contributed to our understanding of the anisotropy of geomaterials. Doug uses a combination of laboratory measurements, field experiments and theoretical work to resolve present-day problems in earth sciences. The latter makes his research program quite unique and filled with fascinating opportunities for training graduate students. Doug’s work on rock physics addresses important questions for both exploration and global geophysicists. For instance, Doug has investigated elastic properties of bitumen, carbonates and evaporites. In collaboration with students, he completed extensive laboratory ultrasonic elastic wave measurements on carbonates from Saudi Arabia and of bitumen saturated carbonates associated with the Grosmont formation of Alberta. He has also investigated propagation of waves in porous media using a combination of theoretical and laboratory measurements. It is difficult to find another Canadian geoscientist with such a broad and prolific research program.

Doug is a deserving recipient of the CSEG Technical Achievement Award. He has contributed to our society by developing laboratory methods to understand elastic properties of rocks. I have worked with Doug for 18 years, and I have never met anyone with such an enthusiasm for leading complex research projects encompassing both field and laboratory measurements. It is my distinct honour to have written this citation for Doug. His technical contributions add strength to our society. I am truly fortunate to have Doug as a friend, as a colleague at the University of Alberta, and as a fellow member of our Society.