Honoring a pioneer of modern oil and gas exploration.
In today’s digital era, it is hard to imagine that the oil and gas industry once relied on labor-intensive interpretations of analog signals to determine where to drill. Nowadays, the industry is one of the most computer-intensive. Exploration would be unthinkable without the digital methods of subsurface mapping first conceived in a small lab in MIT’s legendary Building 20 back in the 1950s. This is where Sven Treitel, then a student working with the Geophysical Analysis Group (GAG), began to apply mathematician Norbert Weiner’s ideas to see if a computer could process seismograms more accurately than students poring over photographs with magnifying glasses. This research laid the groundwork for the “digital revolution” in exploration seismology.
Born in Germany and raised in Argentina, Sven Treitel ’53, SM ’55, PhD ’58 spent 9 years studying Geology and Geophysics at MIT. As a Course XII graduate student he supported his studies by working in the GAG, a research group sponsored by oil and geophysical service companies. Although by 1957, GAG’s industrial sponsors believed that the research had run its course, Sven Treitel trusted in its potential to change the landscape of geophysical exploration, and dedicated years of his career at Amoco to developing and refining digital signal processing.
In honor of Sven Treitel’s extraordinary contribution to geophysics, EAPS alum Arthur Cheng, Sc.D. ’78 (XII), Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at National University of Singapore, has launched a new Graduate Student Support fund in his name with a generous five-year pledge. “Sven Treitel was a visiting professor at MIT when I was a graduate student and he was a great role model for me”, says Dr. Cheng, who is now spearheading efforts to build the Sven Trietel ’53 Graduate Student Support Fund to $1M, adding: “Now is the perfect time to acknowledge Sven’s giant contribution to geophysics.”
THE NEED FOR SUPPORT
Graduate students play a vital role in EAPS by conducting advanced research, teaching and mentoring undergraduates, and helping to attract world-class faculty. Our goal is to build the Sven Treitel ’53 Graduate Student Support Fund so it will provide a full fellowship for an EAPS graduate student every year, in perpetuity. We invite you to join us in honoring the lifetime achievements of Dr. Sven Treitel by contributing to the Sven Treitel ’53 Graduate Student Support Fund. Your gift in any amount is greatly appreciated. For more information, please contact Angela Ellis, EAPS Senior Development Officer at 617-253-5796 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To make a gift online please visit: http://bit.ly/eaps-giving and choose the Sven Treitel ’53 Graduate Student Support Fund (3312160)
In this issue
For further information on giving opportunities or creating a named fund to benefit the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, please contact:
Senior Development Officer
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT
617 253 5796
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