Mike Galbraith - 2005

CSEG Honorary Membership Award Citation for Mike Galbraith
by John Peirce

Mike GalbraithThis year the CSEG presents the award of Honourary Membership to Michael Galbraith, Vice President of Seismic Image Software, a Division of GEDCO. Mike has made profound contributions to the science of designing 3D seismic surveys, beginning with his first 3D design program in 1985. Internationally, he is one of Canada’s best known geophysicists because of his teaching – over 70 courses taught over the last 12 years in all corners (well – almost all!) of the world.

Mike is a Scotsman through and through, even after 35 years in Canada. He received his B.Sc. (Hons.) from the University of Edinburgh in 1967 and was an active member of the climbing community there. After almost four years as a Research Assistant with the British Gas Council, Mike and his wife, Shura, moved to Canada in 1971 – as much for the climbing opportunities as for the geophysical ones. He became Processing Manager for R.B. Cruz and Associates, which later became Veritas Seismic Processing. From 1984 – 1987 Mike served as President of Veritas Software Ltd.

In 1987, Mike founded Seismic Image Software Ltd. (SIS), which is now part of GEDCO, and embarked on an odyssey of developing innovative software, teaching geophysicists all over the world how to use his ideas, listening to clients, and then coming back to Calgary with new ideas to make the software better. Now many years later, the OMNI 3D Design package is the most widely used software in the world for designing 3D seismic surveys, both onshore and offshore, as well as for VSPs. The VISTA 2D/3D/VSP seismic processing package, which started life at Veritas as a single trace DOS program, is the most comprehensive, PC-based, seismic processing system commercially available today. Together, OMNI 3D and VISTAare currently used in 41 countries and is also used for teaching geophysics at some 40 universities across Canada and around the world.

Mike has been generous in sharing his knowledge about seismic processing and survey design, having given or published roughly 35 papers at SEG conferences and journals on every continent (except Antarctica – no SEG Division there!), including an SEG Outstanding Paper Award in 1994. His teaching notes became the original core material that eventually evolved into the book, Planning Land 3D Seismic Surveys, published by the SEG in 2000, which he coauthored with colleagues at GEDCO. More recently, he has developed quantitative methodology for calculating the fold and resolution needed to image specific geological targets, as outlined in his recent Leading Edge article in 2004, and has used concepts to design very large and expensive 3D surveys in the Middle East. In short, Mikey, as he has been affectionately known by some, really is "Mr. 3D". In his private life, Mike remains an avid outdoorsman. He is an active member of the Alpine Club of Canada and led a climbing expedition in the Himalayas in the early 90’s. In his off time he can often be found on a solitary ramble in the mountains with his dog, Megan. He particularly likes to cap off an energetic day of skiing or hiking with a wee nip (well – maybe not so wee!) of fine single malt.

Mike has done much in his 35 years in the business to advance the science of geophysics and the global reputation of Canadian geophysics. He is most deserving of Honourary Membership in the CSEG for his many distinguished contributions.

Mike Galbraith receiving award

2005 CSEG Honourary Membership Award for Mike Galbraith
(L to R: Mike Galbraith, Doug Uffen (Chair for the 2005 CSEG Honours and
Awards Committee) and John Peirce who read out the citation highlighting
Mike's contributions)