Robert E. Sheriff Profiled in Geo ExPro

Robert E. Sheriff Profiled in Geo ExPro
Distinguished Industry, Teaching and Research Career of EAS Emeritus Professor and Benefactor Chronicled

Editor’s Note:  Robert E. Sheriff passed away Nov. 19, 2014. He was a role model in all respects.

Robert E. Sheriff
Courtesy of the Robert Sheriff Collection
The long oil industry and academic career of Robert E. Sheriff, an emeritus professor and benefactor of the University of Houston’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, is described in an article in the oil industry trade magazine, Geo ExPro Vol. 11, no. 4.

As a graduate student in physics at Ohio State University in 1943, Sheriff began his career with The Manhattan Project to develop America’s first nuclear weapon at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. After completing his Ph.D. in 1946, he began working for Chevron at La Habra in Orange County, California, and raising a family of six with his wife Margaret.

After a stint with Chevron in New Orleans, Bob and family moved back to La Habra where he supervised seismic acquisitions primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean. During this period, he was active in training Chevron personnel in geophysics which was undergoing a rapid period of development.

To fulfill the need for the growing science, he developed a 30-page pamphlet on geophysical terms used in the oil industry. This pamphlet eventually evolved into his seminal work, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Exploration Geophysics. It continues to be the standard reference for geophysics applied to oil exploration.

After retiring from Chevron in 1970, Bob worked with a company in Houston and became a full-time professor at the University of Houston where he retired from teaching in 2006. Bob authored several additional influential geophysical texts and developed the area of applied geophysics while at the UH EAS department, which is now the largest geosciences department in North America.

Read the full GEO ExPro article online.