Research Expertise and Interest
exploration geophysics, applied seismology, machine learning applied to the oil & gas industry
James Rector is a professor of geophysics and applied seismology in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His principal areas of research are in oil and gas reservoir geophysics and multichannel signal processing. Most of his early work was in borehole geophysics. Over the course of his career at Berkeley, he has broadened his research interests substantially. He has supervised students and published in a wide variety of subjects including near-surface geophysics, anisotropic imaging of borehole and surface seismic data, and wave propagation simulation. One of his current research activities is "amplitude-friendly" processing and imaging. He is particularly interested in how to unravel the amplitude-unfriendly effects of the overburden. The research combines acquisition techniques (including borehole geometries), utilization of wave propagation simulation in heterogeneous, anisotropic, viscoelastic media, and seismic processing from "cradle" to "grave". He is also very active in Machine Learning as applied to oil and gas problems. All his students need a fundamental understanding of signal processing, wave propagation, crustal geology, and all the basic math and science that goes with this. At Berkeley, he has taught graduate courses in Digital Signal Processing and Applied Seismology to geophysicists, geologists, civil engineers and mechanical engineers.