Competition win for the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering PhD students



L-R Quentin, Gleb and Bastian

Three Heriot-Watt PhD students, Quentin Corlay, Bastian Steffens and Gleb Shishaev, of the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering’s (IGE), have won second and third place in a high profile international online programming data/geoscience competition.

The goal of the challenge was to seek new and fun ways to visualize geoscience data.

Bastian and Quentin, Oil and Gas CDT students of cohorts 2017 and 2018 were awarded 2nd place in the competition with their Seismic to flow solution.

Their idea was to demonstrate how interactive plotting can help to better communicate 3D porous media flow simulation results. The solutions integrated an agent-based simulator in a graphical user interface. The simulator allows to model the movement of particles inside a 3D environment. This can for example be a seismic cube which is a representation of subsurface. Thanks to the interface, the user can iteratively select the parameters, perform the simulations and interact with the results. Flow pathways of the particles and the accumulation spots provide insightful view of HC migration and accumulation.

Bastian and Quentin said: "It was a great experience, lot of fun. These contests offer the opportunity to realize an idea from a simple discussion, implement it and share it on a very short period. We encourage anyone willing to participate to have a go." 

Gleb Shishaev, a 3rd year PhD student supported by a research project with Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), lead the TPU team that got the 3rd place in the contest.

TPU team also including Matveev Ivan, Melnikov Maxim, Salnikov Maxim, demonstrated a visualisation widget to map reservoir regions with similar properties based on well log data to help improve and update geomodels.

The challenge was organized by Xeek– a platform powered by Shell that hosts competitions for data and geoscientists – and had a total of 78 competing teams aiming to build the best model for a prize pot of 15,000 USD.

Professor Vasily Demyanov said: "To win this award, competing against 78 other excellent teams from academia and industry worldwide and in their spare time, is a fantastic achievement for Quentin, Bastian and Gleb. It has not been easy staying in three different countries - Scotland, France and Russia -- during these times while working remotely.

“We are really pleased and proud for them and it shows a high calibre of talent from our IGE students.

“I would like to take the opportunity to express appreciation to the fellow supervisors – Helen, Dan and Dave of the BGS, who commit a great deal of effort to help students progress and develop. I would also like to thank John and the CDT for providing the PhD funding and continuous support to the students through a high level and well-balanced study program that enables geoscience students also master data science with invited residential courses.


Susan Kerr