WMU News

Geosciences receives $205,000 in computer software

April 29, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- New computer modeling software valued at $205,000 will allow Western Michigan University geophysics students and faculty members to analyze significantly more seismic data than current equipment and use that data to build three-dimensional models.

Seismic Micro-Technology of Houston has awarded WMU's Department of Geosciences five of the firm's KINGDOM Suite software licenses worth $41,000 each. WMU was one of more than 50 universities internationally to receive software from the company, which develops such software for the oil and gas exploration industry.

According to Dr. William A. Sauck, associate professor of geosciences, the software package will be used to process and interpret a variety of subsurface seismic data and produce two- and three-dimensional representations of that data. It will also be especially valuable in working with reflection data from the department's ground penetrating radar system.

One of the advantages of the software is that it can run under the Windows or NT operating systems on personal computers or workstations rather than the supercomputers often used to process large amounts of seismic data. Seismic Micro-Technology made the award to WMU in an effort to "get geoscience software into the hands of students who will be using it in the practical workplace," according to Bill Vance, director of marketing for Seismic Micro-Technology.

"Our existing software was so cumbersome and difficult that students were generally frustrated and unable to generate three-dimensional renderings," Sauck says. "This software can handle much more data and allow us to develop detailed computer models of the subsurface."

The department is currently in the process of installing the software on equipment in Haenicke and Rood halls. It will be installed in the department's Non-Invasive Site Characterization
Laboratory in Rood Hall, which is dedicated to exploring shallow subsurfaces using non-invasive techniques for use in many applications including science, geography, ecology and archaeology.

"We deeply appreciate Seismic Micro-Technology's interest in keeping our geophysics teaching current," says Sauck. "Our departmental budget isn't such that we could afford this kind of software, and certainly not five licenses. This is extremely valuable to have for the students."

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.ed

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400