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Chairholder Profile

Alison Malcolm

Alison Malcolm

Earth Sciences
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Chair Title

NSERC/Chevron Industrial Research Chair in Reservoir Characterization

Chair Program

Industrial Research Chairs Program


Associate Chairholder since 2014


This chair program aims to improve our ability to monitor oil and gas reservoirs from the surface. This allows us to improve recovery rates, decreasing the need for additional wells, and to better understand how we are influencing subsurface parameters. For this research program, we will look at two aspects simultaneously. The first is the design of algorithms to improve our ability to image the movements of fluids in the subsurface. The second is concerned with developing techniques that are more sensitive to cracks, which are the conduits for flow in many reservoirs.

Dr. Malcolm has been studying and researching seismic imaging and related problems for 15 years, since beginning her PhD. at the Colorado School of Mines in 2000. She has worked closely with industry sponsors throughout that time, first as a student working primarily with the French oil company, Total, and later as a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At MIT, Dr. Malcolm was part of the leadership of the Earth Resources Laboratory, a research group sponsored by a consortium of oil companies, concerned with training students to work in the oil and gas industry, as well as with developing tools and ideas to help industry locate and produce resources efficiently and responsibly. This experience relates directly to the work in the chair, in which Dr. Malcolm will develop a research group providing trained personnel and methods for reservoir characterization of direct relevance to the oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and around the world.

This research program will have impacts on several scales. In the short term, the program will train students to take leadership positions in the oil and gas industry and provide methods to improve our ability to characterize reservoirs from the Earthís surface. In the longer term, we aim to develop new methods of imaging that can change how we look for, produce, and monitor oil and gas reservoirs. We expect that Chevron will hire some of the students trained, as well as apply the developed techniques to their reservoirs. Chevron and Dr. Malcolm are committed to working together to ensure that the methods and ideas developed at MUN are applied to Chevronís data and incorporated into their workflows.

Contact Information

Earth Sciences
Memorial University of Newfoundland
300 Prince Philip Dr.
St. John's, Newfoundland
A1B 3X5

Tel.: 709-864-2728

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