Prof. Mrinal. K. Sen
Prof. Mrinal K. Sen received B.Sc and M.Sc degrees from the Indian School of Mines and Ph.D from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Prior to joining graduate school, Prof. Sen worked in the oil industry as an exploration geophysicist. After spending two years working on seismic hazard estimation in Los Angeles Basin in Pasadena, California, he joined the University of Texas at Austin Institute for Geophysics. He moved up the ranks there and became a full professor and was awarded Jackson chair in Applied Seismology at the University of Texas. In January 2012, on leave from UT Austin, Prof. Sen took over as director of NGRI.
Prof. Sen’s research areas include seismic wave propagation, inverse problems, seismic imaging, reservoir characterization and computational geophysics. He is an expert on seismic wave propagation including anisotropy and fracture characterization, and develops analytic and numerical techniques for forward and inverse modeling. Prof. Sen is well known for his work on global optimization methods for geophysical inversion. Over the years, he worked on several geophysical parameter estimation problems. He and his colleagues were able to demonstrate that global optimization methods such as simulated annealing (SA) and genetic algorithms (GA) can be used effectively for several geophysical applications such as seismic waveform inversion, gravity interpretations, and seismic migration velocity analysis. He also showed how one could apply Gibbs' sampling and the Metropolis rule to characterize uncertainties and the posterior probability density function (PPD) in model space. He has extended seismic plane wave analysis methods to anisotropic media and developed techniques for estimating the parameters that determine the degree of anisotropy. His most recent accomplishments in exploration seismology include developing novel methods for characterizing reservoirs using seismic and well log data, estimating P- and S-wave velocity models for sediments containing gas hydrates from seismic reflection data, and, improving seismic imaging and velocity estimation methods in structurally complex areas. In whole earth seismology, he has estimated the anisotropy in the D" region of the earth's deep interior. He is continuing to actively pursue research problems that require development of new analytic and numerical methods in both exploration and whole earth seismology. For example using seismic reflection data he is attempting to estimate high resolution reservoir properties using deterministic and stochastic algorithms.
Prof. Sen has supervised over fifty doctoral and post-doctoral students. He and his students have carried out rigorous error analysis of finite difference and finite element methods. They have also developed new methods for computing synthetic seismograms based on path integral formulation, full waveform inversion and reservoir characterization including time lapse seismics. Prof. Sen serves on several national and international committees and is an associate editor of some leading journals such as Geophysics, Journal of seismic exploration and International Journal of Geophysics. He routinely serves on the SEG and SPG technical committees. He has been an instructor of several industry short courses including an SEG short course on ‘Full Waveform Inversion’.