Mario Costa Sousa

Mario Costa Sousa

Department of Computer Science
University of Calgary

Chair title

NSERC/Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF)/Foundation CMG Industrial Research Chair in Scalable Reservoir Visualization

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Associate Chairholder since 2011


The Industrial Research Chair (IRC) program is focused on the development of visualization technologies that facilitate decision-making regarding the recovery of Canada's energy resources. Scalable means the proposed visualization technology will handle, in an integrated and seamless manner, growing amounts of data, interaction, visualization, modelling and processing, at different levels of complexity, size, modality and dimension. The visualization technology will provide fast, reliable, valid and robust visual simulations, analysis and understanding of our oil and gas reservoirs, and industry will be able to recover our rich resources in an economical manner with the least environmental impact. The long-term goal of this research program will be to develop innovative, next-generation visualization technologies that bring together the many facets and diverse array of knowledge gathered by the numerous players involved in exploration and production (E&P) of Canada's resources. This IRC will operate over integrated, multi-disciplinary workflows and datasets, making data management, computation, visualization and interaction work together smoothly and efficiently. It will advance visual representations and analysis that support the reflection and expression of the state of the field development using available information. The software systems will guide complex work processes, expressing the level of uncertainty from visual anomalies to detailed interpretations. Visualization technology allows companies to minimize their economic and environmental risks. With the proper visualization software, a company can make well-informed decisions and effectively visualize problems and the uncertainty components.

Reliable reservoir models and computer simulations and visualizations are essential tools for the oil industry for the evaluation of new opportunities for oil/gas E&P. These models must realistically represent the production life of the reservoir. The importance of designing successful oil/gas E&P methods is increasingly necessary as the demand for energy continues to climb, conventional reserves dwindle, and oil prices rise. The reliability of the reservoir visualizations is crucial to developing recovery methods that address all stakeholder needs. Seamless integration of reservoir simulation and production data and geological, geochemical, and geophysical data supports rapid development of complex and realistically heterogeneous models suitable for precise asset appraisal and prediction of production. Canadians will benefit from increased economic activity associated with the recovery of oil sands and heavy oil. Economic improvements translate readily to improved social benefits as well. Canadians are as equally concerned about the environmental impact of recovery as they are about the economic benefits. They demand a balance in this arena. Robust, accurate reservoir visualization allows for better prediction of the impact of recovery.


  • Foundation Computer Modeling Group (CMG)
  • Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF)
  • Computer Modelling Group Ltd.
  • Sky Hunter Consulting Ltd.

Contact information

Department of Computer Science
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta
T2N 1N4

Tel.: 403-220-6783
Fax: 403-284-4707


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