The yin and yang of Yuefeng Sun

Petroleum geophysicist featued in Aggie Spirit magazine

Yuefeng SunGeology and geophysics associate professor Yuefeng Sun has spent much of his career seeking balance—balance between the theoretical and the applied, academia and industry, teaching and research. Rather than let these dualities pull him in opposite directions, Sun early on recognized how interconnected and interdependent each is with the other. He views these for what they are: two parts of a whole—yin and yang—with their interaction creating new understanding.

Sun started a career in industry in 1981 after completing a bachelor's degree in geophysics at the China University of Petroleum in Shandong Province. He worked for two years as a field geophysicist in the Geological Prospecting Bureau of the Xinjiang Oil Co., a subsidiary of PetroChina Co. Ltd., before advancing to research geophysicist.

"Like many students, I went into industry after graduating," Sun said. "But after a few years, you realize you don't know much—particularly when you face real-world problems. In China, at that time and still today, they desperately needed oil. Scientists were using all the tools they could to find very thin reservoirs.

"When you don't have much oil and you have so many people, you try to work with whatever you can find. Typical geophysical tools can't get the resolution you need to find these thin reservoirs, however. I realized that I needed more training and that I should devote myself to doing more research."

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