The Rotten Lemon of Enlightenment


Creativity in my workplace

As much as I would love to study full-time the realities of life make this impossible. So when I’m not at university chasing my dream to be a visual artist I’m in an office processing masses of data and making maps for the oil industry. Which brings me to this awesome software we have helped test and develop for its creator (Dirstein and Fallon, 2011). I think it makes for a great case study for bringing in elements from different disciplines and industries to really revolutionise the way this industry looks and processes its data. It also makes for a great insight into coming up with amazingly creative ideas from existing technologies.

In the oil industry seismic data is collected and often displayed in 3D for the evaluation of coal and hydrocarbon exploration. To do this a geophysicist has to pick individual horizons which more often than not takes months to complete and only covers the zone of interest. This is where this software is great it enables the automated picking of all horizons in the dataset in hours or days at most. What is truly amazing and creative is how this software does this. It’s based on the Human Genome Project.

So what goes the Human Genome Project have to do with finding oil?

This is the really creative part. The developer saw that the waveforms from seismic data weren’t all that different from the human Chromosomes. Or at least they could be analysed as data in a very similar way. By matching similar waveforms the software is able to create horizons from the data. So without getting bogged down in the technique aspects I’ll leave it there, however I’ll attach a link to a .pdf file of a recent magazine article on the software and the extra work we do with it for those interested.

This illustrates a lot of the topics and ideas addressed so far in this unit.

  • To be always aware and have a genuine thirst for knowledge.
  • To look outside your field or profession for inspiration.
  • To entertain all ideas.
  • To take a risk or leap of faith and chase those ideas.
  • To surround yourself with people who stimulate you and your ideas.
  • To make it your passion.

It is really inspiring to be involved with these sorts of projects as they are dynamic and ever-changing. It’s like being invited on a journey of discovery. It’s also unhindered by established dogma and rules because whats around the corner is unknown. I find it all very exciting for it’s as much about the journey as the destination. It is for this reason I consider myself creative.

References

Dirstein, J.K. and Fallon, G.N. (2011, April). Automated interpretation of 3D seismic. Preview, issue 151, p30-37. Link to .pdf

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