Robert Stewart - 2003

CSEG Honorary Membership Award Citation for Robert Stewart
by Larry Lines

Robert StewartThis year the CSEG bestows the award of Honorary Membership on Professor. Robert Stewart of the University of Calgary. In the field of Canadian exploration geophysics, Rob Stewart has made a huge impact. To those who have known Rob since his days as a student, this is not a surprise. He started out with an excellent education, having graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.Sc. in physics and mathematics and a Ph.D. in geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He obtained industry experience with Chevron and , Arco's research centres, and Veritas Software Ltd. During this time, Rob became one of the leading researchers in vertical seismic profiling, borehole geophysics, and tomography

The biggest change in Stewart's career probably took place in 1987 when he was chosen as the Chair in Exploration Geophysics at the University of Calgary. During his time as Chair, Rob Stewart, with the help of Don Lawton, and Jim Brown, initiated the Consortium for Research in Elastic Wave Exploration Seismology (CREWES). CREWES became the most successful geophysical research consortium in Canada, winning APEGGA's Achievement Award in 1993, NSERC's University-Industry Synergy Award in 1999, and the SEG's Distinguished Achievement Award in 2003. In a typical year, the CREWES project has about 30 industrial sponsors, 30 graduate students, with 15 faculty and staff employees. The project has pioneered multicomponent advances in acquisition, processing, and interpretation. Every year, there are several CREWES graduates who venture into the Canadian oil patch, and many Canadian companies in the oil patch have CREWES scientists on their staff.

In addition to helping advance Canadian geophysical exploration, Dr. Stewart has helped to take science "out of this world". In 1992, Rob was chosen as one of four Canadian astronauts, before declining this appointment and remaining at the University of Calgary. Nevertheless, Stewart's interest in extraterrestrial physics did not halt. Rob and colleague Alan Hildebrand have helped to make the connection between oil fields and meteorite impact. Stewart continues to participate in Canadian Space Agency activities and has been involved in Martian simulations on Devon Island. He has been known to travel from seismic experiments in the jungles of Belize to GPR surveys beyond the Arctic circle in the same week. Given his space interests, a stellar career, a fast-paced life style of constant motion, and periodic journeys around the planet, Rob has earned the nickname of "The Comet" from his Department Head. A day in the life of Rob Stewart would exhaust many of us. His research activities include: multicomponent seismology and the application of geophysics to archaeology, geotechnical engineering, and planetary sciences.

As well as his research interests, Robert Stewart is renowned as a lecturer. He continually receives top ratings for his course on Natural Disasters. His graduate courses on seismology are in demand. He has served a lecturer for the SEG Continuing Education Program and the CSEG's DoodleTrain. Stewart completed the SEG's inaugural Distinguished Educator Program: a 6-month world lecture tour in 1999. His lectures both inform and entertain his audience.

Rob's service to the geophysical profession has been exemplary. He is a past editor of the Canadian Journal of Exploration Geophysics, past associate editor for GEOPHYSICS, a lecturer for the SEG Continuing Education Program and the CSEG's DoodleTrain. Rob and colleagues have received Best Presentation, Paper, and Poster Awards from the CSEG and SEG. He was the CSEG Convention Technical Chairman in 1992 and initiated the CSEG's first Geophysical Exploration Fair that year. He received the CSEG Medal in 1992. Rob served as President of the CSEG in 1997-98. He is a Board member of UTI Inc., the University of Calgary's commercialization company, and representative on APEGGA's Council.

With all of these activities in research, teaching, and service, one could hardly imagine that Rob would have little time for hobbies or extracurricular activities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Stewart is active in vocal and instrumental music, flying airplanes, hiking, skiing and other dynamic sports. His life is filled with activity. One can only imagine that there are many adventures ahead for Dr. Robert Stewart who is recognized in 2004 as a CSEG Honorary Member.