Peter Duncan - 2009

CSEG Honorary Membership Award Citation for Peter Duncan
by Brian Russell

Peter Duncan"Whoever said, "If you want something done, ask a busy person," had Peter Duncan in mind." With this sentence I started Peter's citation for SEG Life Membership in 1999. And ten years later these words still ring true. In addition to being a truly innovative geophysicist, founding several world class companies, helping raise a family, and indulging a passion for music, Peter has also found time to "give back" to the geophysical community over the years through his volunteer activities.

Peter was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He obtained his B.Sc. degree in physics at the University of New Brunswick in 1973 and then continued on to earn his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in geophysics at the University of Toronto, focusing on gravity and electromagnetic methods. Peter then moved further west to join Shell Canada Resources in Calgary in 1978. His initial assignment involved numerical 3-D modeling to aid airborne EM. He then switched to the seismic end of the business and by 1982 was responsible for the acquisition and processing of all marine data on Shell's East Coast Offshore properties. In 1984 Peter moved to Pulsonic Geophysical in Calgary as marine supervisor and in June 1986, was appointed as Digicon's chief geophysicist for North America, based in Houston. (Luckily for Houston, but unluckily for Calgary, Peter has never since managed to escape the magnetic pull of that Texas city!) Peter became vice president of Digicon before leaving to become president and COO of ExploiTech, a Landmark subsidiary, where he was responsible for all business and technical operations. Peter then helped found 3DX technologies in 1992 where, as vice president of Technology, he was responsible for technical activities and spearheaded the use of new software/technology in the search for oil and gas. In 2003, Peter founded MicroSeismic, Inc., a company which has become a world leader in microseismic monitoring and passive seismic imaging. Peter continues to serve as President of this company, and still performs research on passive seismic techniques as well as presenting worldwide seminars. Peter was recently honoured as the Fall, 2008 SEG/AAPG Distinguished Lecturer, where his topic, "Aggressively passive: Microseismic opportunities over an oilfield's life," was presented in 45 venues around the world.

Another of Peter's passions has been continuing education. He chaired the GSH Continuing Education Committee for two years and SEG's Continuing Education committee for three (1989-92). He was also the person who championed the Distinguished Instructor Short Course in 1996 and got the program off the ground. His vision and enthusiasm as chairman of the DISC Subcommittee were keys to the first successful courses by Ian Jack and Philip Schultz, and the program has continued to thrive. Peter also served as SEG Vice-President in 1992-93 and as SEG President in 2003-04. Finally, he launched the very successful Challenge Bowl and continues to be its biggest promoter and celebrity host. And, as if that is not enough, Peter is also a keen musician who often plays with his son in various folk clubs around Houston. I think we can all agree that Peter is a very deserving recipient of the CSEG Honorary Membership Award.