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An ISV taking high-end seismic imaging to the next level

The S-Cube team based in London is setting the pace in cutting-edge Full Waveform Inversion and soundwave property extraction - shaping the future of the energy industry.

The award-winning algorithm XWITM is a form of extreme machine learning, when applied to raw seismic data, builds a superior subsurface model which culminates in:

  • defining subsurface targets leading to new discoveries
  • adding resolution to reduce subsurface drilling risk
  • enhancing hydrocarbon recovery and CO2 injection for CCUS

The S-Cube team is responsible for the breakthrough research performed at Imperial College London. Internationally recognised as domain leaders, they have been at the forefront of large-scale data-parallel processing algorithms for over a decade.

Technical Team

Dr Nikhil Shah


Nikhil read Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and during his doctorate at Imperial he was responsible for multiple key mathematical advances, including frequency-domain FWI patents invented whilst on a summer internship at Chevron in 2011.

Upon joining the energy supermajor in 2013 in San Ramon, California and subsequently Houston, Texas he quickly rose to the position where he was leading time-domain FWI deployments with pilot applications on fields offshore Brazil and Nigeria.

He became CEO of S-Cube in 2019 to lead the development of the company and grow its position as the leading innovator in the sector.

Prof Mike Warner

Technical Director

Mike is Professor of Geophysics at Imperial College London. He joined Imperial as the BP Lecturer 25 years ago, founded the Department of Earth Science and Engineering which now has over 600 students and hosts the internationally-recognised FULLWAVE research consortium of leading petroleum companies. He has over 100 publications, including 7 in Nature.

He invented AWI in 2014, which was the foundation intellectual property upon which S-Cube was spun out and won the EAGE Guido Bonarelli Award from EAGE in 2015 for this breakthrough.

As a world authority on FWI theory and application, he focusses on making the technical innovations needed to enable raw data to final image unification.

Adrian Umpleby

XWI Creator

Adrian has been developing and implementing novel mathematical and computational techniques for over 25 years as a Senior Research Fellow at Imperial College before moving over to S-Cube in 2020 to spearhead the creation of fresh IP.

In the last decade he led the development of the FULLWAVE3D software package and conceived the unique XWITM optimisation toolbox involved in billions of dollars worth of resource upgrades for a host of global E&P supermajors.

As a world authority on FWI theory and implementation, he leads the rapid development of XWITM and the formulation of differentiated cost functions which provide competitive advantage in terms of accuracy and robustness.

Dr Tenice Nangoo

Operations Lead

Tenice is a Geophysical Data Analyst.  She has ten years industry experience as a Petroleum Geoscientist with expertise in seismic interpretation, quantitative geophysics and seismic acquisition. 

She specialised in seismic waveform inversion during her PhD at Imperial College London where her work resulted in the Geophysics 2013 Best Paper award for 'Anisotropic 3D Full-waveform Inversion' with an application to a North Sea gas field with a significant seismic obscured area to characterise.

She became Operations Lead in 2019 shaping the company's best practises for taking new algorithms from testing into commercial deployment.

Ningzhi Wang

Algorithm Developer 

Ningzhi is an algorithm developer. In S-Cube he has been involved in the development of the company’s core XWI algorithms and the construction of the company’s project dashboard for real-time monitoring of large scale jobs spanning 1000’s of EC2 workers on AWS with live log ingestion.

Before that he obtained a distinction in his Computing MEng at Imperial, completing his final year project on Quantum Particle Swarm Optimisation which now forms part of XWI’s hyperparameter tuning capability.

Guoliang He

Algorithm Engineer

Guoliang is an algorithm engineer. Before joining S-Cube, he finished his master’s degree in Machine Learning at UCL obtaining a distinction. During his MSc degree, he developed programming skills as well as gained deep understanding of machine learning algorithms.

He has a background in applied machine learning to automatic processing in both Natural Language Processing (automatically summarizing the content of articles with generative models) and in Computer Vision (automated edge detection with neural networks).

For S-Cube he is expanding XWI's data-driven approaches to inversion problems, incorporating models such as generative adversarial networks.

Directors and Industry Advisors

Tony Renton

Tony is Chairman of S-Cube. He spent more than 30 years with BP in a range of technical, commercial and management roles over several continents leaving as Commercial Director responsible for Business Development in the Middle East. Previously Tony was Manager Strategic Business Development leading BP into Angola and new business areas.

In 2006 Tony left BP to set up the consultancy firm Oil Experience Ltd, which was acquired by RPS Energy in 2007. Tony was co-founder of White Rose Energy and OGL Geothermal, both private-equity backed exploration companies.

Sean McQuaid

Sean has 32 years’ experience in the oil industry. Having completed a physics degree at Oxford University he started his career as a seismic processor culminating in the first ever 3D seismic project at Ensign Geophysics Ltd. At BP he developed expertise in rock physics, AVO and impedance inversion and completed an MBA. Sean joined ERCE in 2005 as Director of Geophysics and is responsible for advanced seismic analysis techniques utilised in technical advisory work. He is a member of the SEG, EAGE and PESGB.

Dr David Bannister

David has held a range of commercial and technical roles in seismic data processing.  Prior to joining S-Cube, he was Processing Manager with Geotrace Technologies, with responsibility for writing and negotiating contracts, managing large data processing groups, promoting new and current technologies, and establishing new ventures and partnerships in the EAME and US regions. At the start of his career he spent five years in land seismic data acquisition.  David holds a 1st class degree in physics and a PhD in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance from Nottingham University.


Dr Lluis Guasch

Lluis is Research Fellow at Imperial College London, where he completed a PhD in Elastic Full Waveform Inversion. He has been active in the field of seismic inversion since he finished his Physics degree at University of Barcelona in 2005, and has worked in several groups across Europe before joining S-Cube. He is a co-inventor of the patented Adaptive Waveform Inversion algorithm winning the Guido Bonarelli Award in 2015. 

Dr Andrew McCarthy

Andrew has 24 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry with operating companies including Shell, BG and Woodside.  As a geophysicist and Exploration Manager he has led exploration, appraisal, development, and new ventures projects in numerous basins worldwide.  Andrew has a particular interest in the application of emerging technology to exploration problems.  He holds a degree in geology from Oxford University and a PhD in structural and regional geology from the University of London.

Prof Joanna Morgan

Jo is Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences in Imperial College London. She is currently co-chief scientist IODP drilling of the Chicxulub impact crater, and a member of the UK ICDP committee. Her research background in regional seismology and blue sky research, as well as her extensive seismic data processing skills, broaden the know-how of the team.

S-Cube Cloud

Run Full Waveform Inversion on the Cloud

Use XWITM on AWS to discover a step change in accuracy and resolution of your velocity model.