Director, Center for Lithospheric Studies
Ida Green Professor
George McMechan serves as director of the Center for Lithospheric Studies at UT Dallas, where he has 40 years of experience in geophysical research in academia, industry and government.
He is an expert in wave field transformations and data processing technology and has authored more than 260 publications. He has supervised more than 65 students through completion of their graduate degrees in such fields as seismology and ground-penetrating radar research. McMechan has taught courses in reflection seismology, computational seismology, seismic modeling, seismic inversion, geophysical techniques and rock physics.
His current projects include velocity analysis algorithms, development of procedures for using nine-component seismic data and cluster computing. Applications include 3-D renderings of reservoir analogs, earthquake fault mapping, and engineering and environmental problems. Outside the classroom, McMechan's energy and environmental studies focus on 3-D seismic imaging and on ground-penetrating radar research of the barrier islands off the Texas coast.
McMechan is also director of the Geophysical Consortium at UT Dallas. Established in 1987, the consortium maintains a well-established scientific format that supports students in performing geosciences research. It also allows them to present those findings to industry leaders — a boost to budding scientists' work.
In 1997, McMechan was awarded the Virgil Kauffman Gold Medal for technical achievement by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
In 2010, he was given the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Outstanding Teaching Award, where he was cited for his dedication to mentoring students.
"It is important to get students doing science rather than talking about it. The best way to learn and understand is hands-on, not just reading – and it's more fun that way," McMechan said.
McMechan holds a bachelor's degree in geological engineering from the University of British Columbia and a master's degree in physics – specifically geophysics – from the University of Toronto.
The estate of Cecil H. and Ida Green created the position. Their legacy at The University of Texas at Dallas was to establish in Dallas a world-class cohort of faculty and students in the new domain of integrated interdisciplinary biomedical research. The resources and talents of UT Dallas and UT Southwestern are combined under the guidance of the two institutions' Green Centers. Endowments were generated for faculty members whose research expertise lies at one of the interfaces between biomedical science and physical, mathematical, computational or engineering science, emphasizing in particular research that will create synergy with research at UT Southwestern.
McMechan received the Virgil Kauffman Gold Medal award for technical achievement from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists in 1997, and the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award for 2009-2010 in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at UT Dallas.
"The main goal of my research is production of detailed 3D imaging of earth structures and physical properties by designing computer algorithms to image seismic and electromagnetic waves that propagate through them. The most satisfying aspect of my research is seeing all of the graduate students that I have supervised doing well in their careers and their lives as a result of their UT Dallas education."