Dan Hampson - 2004

CSEG Medal Recipient Citation for Dan Hampson
By Brian Russell

Dan HampsonThe CSEG Medal is the highest award that the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysics bestows. To quote from the last line of the description this award on the CSEG website: "The award will be made to a member of the geophysical profession who is recognized for his integrity as well as his accomplishments." By these criteria, Dan Hampson is a truly worthy recipient of the 2005 CSEG Medal.

Dan received his B.Sc. in physics in 1971 from Loyola College in Montreal and a M.Sc. in physics from McMaster University in Hamilton in 1973. After graduation, he spent two years teaching high school math and physics in Ghana, West Africa, under the auspices of CUSO. In 1976, Dan was lured west by a former university colleague, Hai-Man Chung, who told him that there were lots of well-paying jobs in Calgary for people with a background in physics. This was a fortuitous turn of events for both Dan and for the worldwide geophysical industry. Dan took a job as a geophysical software developer at Veritas Seismic and set to work to learn about the seismic business. In doing so, Dan applied his keen intelligence and razor sharp insight to two of our most difficult problems: statics and multiples. His GLI algorithm for refraction statics analysis and his parabolic Radon transform algorithm for multiple elimination have transformed the way that these problems are solved, and are still in use today, a quarter century after their development. During his early research days, Dan also found time to publish papers on maximum-likelihood deconvolution, wavelet extraction, VSP analysis, and velocity analysis.

After a brief interlude with Phillips Petroleum in Houston, Dan returned to Calgary and became Manager of Research at Veritas Seismic. He then became Vice President of Research at Veritas Software. In 1987, he left Veritas to found Hampson-Russell Software Services Ltd., along with Brian Russell. As president of Hampson-Russell, Dan helped grow Hampson-Russell from a group of four people to a company of over 40 employees with offices in Calgary, Houston, Perth, Dubai and London. The company has attracted world-wide attention for the quality of its software products, products which bear the unmistakable imprint of Dan's originality and hard work. In 2002, the company became a subsidiary of VeritasDGC, Dan's original employer. However, Dan still runs the company as president, and is also actively involved in the development of new software tools for the geophysical industry. Most recently, Dan has developed a new approach to simultaneous prestack inversion.

In addition to Dan's technical excellence, he has also found time to complete his MBA at the University of Calgary, and to be actively involved in our professional societies. Dan has been the editor of the Canadian Journal of Exploration Geophysics, Technical and General Chairman of the CSEG National Convention and President of the CSEG in 1996. For his contributions to the CSEG, he received the Meritorious Service Award in 1991. In 1995, he received the SEG Enterprise Award, jointly with Brian Russell, for his role in founding Hampson-Russell Software. Dan also still finds time to prepare papers and present talks at technical meetings, most recently receiving an award for the best CSEG luncheon talk in 2004.

On a personal note, Dan has been a colleague, friend, business partner and mentor to me for over twenty years, and it is indeed a great honour to be asked to write his citation for this award. As I said in the opening paragraph, I personally can't think of a more worthy recipient.