December 12, 2012

Geological Sciences Awarded KINGDOM Software Grant

Rick Fluegeman, professor of Geological Sciences, was recently awarded a 3 year grant for Kingdom software from IHS valued at approximately $1.85 million dollars. “The amount was a surprise,” he said, as the original proposal had asked for only $596,000. “We had an earlier grant for the Kingdom software from Seismic Micro-Technology, Inc. and our monetary request was based on the package and its cost from 4 years ago,” Fluegeman explained. “This new proposal did request an upgraded version for a new project and that is the software we received. We didn’t know it was worth $1,848,000! This is a big deal for the department but the software is the big story.”

The software is used primarily for oil and gas exploration. The software allows geologists to manage a diverse spectrum of data in one work environment. The Geological Sciences department deals with geophysical well logs, rock descriptions from subsurface samples, paleontological reports of fossils in the wells, and seismic surveys. The Kingdom software will allow them to bring all of these diverse data sources together and use them to create a product – usually a map or cross-section. These products are the basis of exploration in an area.

Kingdom software is an industry standard and by using it in class, BSU students will have experience in this platform when they start looking for employment in the energy field. Kingdom software also aids thesis research in the department’s Southeast Asia-Pacific (SEAPAC) research program. This program currently has two externally funded thesis research projects – one in Sumatra and another dealing with a series of sedimentary basins in Indonesia and Malaysia – that utilize the Kingdom software. With so much data available on each study, Kingdom allows the geologists working on these projects to view and select the best data and to create multiple working hypotheses about the nature of the subsurface geology.

“The grant program run by IHS, and SMT before them, has been important to the emergence of the SEAPAC Program,” said Fluegeman. Sarah Stanley, a BSU Geology alumna, has been instrumental from the corporate side in acquiring program funding. She was suggested by Will Ade, another alumnus who has been the prime agent in getting the L. Bogue Hunt Petroleum Database for Southeast Asia and the South Pacific housed at Ball State and in acquiring grant support for the two externally funded SEAPAC research projects. In house, Mike Kutis in Geological Sciences has been instrumental in solving hardware issues as well as readying the software for departmental use.

Maggie Cude, Sponsored Programs Office GA

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