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Taking high end seismic imaging technology 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. Their award-winning algorithm XWITM is a form of extreme machine learning devised for subsurface applications - solving complex energy problems related to:

  • reduced subsurface drilling risk
  • pinpointing discoveries with clearer imaging
  • enhanced hydrocarbon recovery

The S-Cube team was formed from breakthrough research at Imperial College London. Internationally recognised as domain leaders, they have been at the forefront of developing large-scale parallelised model-training algorithms for over a decade.

Technical Team

Dr Nikhil Shah


Nikhil read Mathematics at the University of Cambridge before completing a PhD at Imperial College London (Earth Science & Engineering). He then joined Chevron USA in Exploration Geophysics R&D where he led the roll-out of automated earth parameter estimation based on time-domain Full Waveform Inversion (FWI). He took the technology from proof-of-concept to full-scale production deployment for the E&P business units on acreage offshore Brazil and Nigeria in under a year.

Prof Mike Warner

Technical Director

Mike Warner is Professor of Geophysics at Imperial College London. He joined Imperial as the BP Lecturer 25 years ago, and has worked in seismic research ever since. He founded the Department of Earth Science and Engineering which now has over 600 students. He leads the FULLWAVE research consortium who contribute over $1m per year. He has over 100 publications including 7 in Nature, and his work has been recognised by the award of several prizes from EAGE and SEG in the past decade.

Adrian Umpleby

Technology Lead

Adrian has been developing and implementing novel mathematical and computational techniques for over 25 years as a Senior Research Fellow at Imperial College before joining S-Cube in 2020. In the last decade he led the development of the FULLWAVE3D software package and the patented XWI optimisation toolbox involved in billions of dollars worth of resource upgrades for a host of global E&P supermajors.

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'.

Amit Popat

XWI Product Lead

Amit Popat read Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, completing an MA and MMath in 2008, before launching a software development company in 2010, developing successful high-volume transactional cloud-based solutions for FTSE-250 companies. He also worked with EasyJet (2016-2017) in deploying and maintaining their websites on AWS. As CTO of LTG (2017-2020), he oversaw the development and launch of a new AWS native machine learning hotel pricing system, now used by major hotel brands. 

Dr Tim Lin

Cloud Lead

Tim is lead cloud developer at S-Cube. He obtained his undergraduate and PhD degrees from the University of British Columbia, where his focus was on practical applications of cutting-edge, large-scale regularised optimisation techniques to geophysical processing. He had previously worked with BP and Chevron during his studies, where he brought his novel techniques to existing production workflows.

Dr Lluis Guasch

Machine Learning Lead

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.

Ningzhi Wnag

XWI Software Developer

Ningzhi is an algorithm engineer. 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 master’s degree in Computing at ICL after completing his final year project on Quantum Particle Swarm Optimisation which now forms part of XWI’s hyperparameter tuning capability.

Guoliang He

XWI 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 broad interest in applied machine learning to automatic processing. For example in NLP, he had a project on automatically summarizing the content of articles with generative models, and in CV, he is interested in automated edge detection with neural networks. He is also keen on exploring data-driven approaches to inversion problems, with models such as generative adversarial networks.

Mahesh Kalita

XWI Geophysicist

Mahesh obtained his post-graduation degree from IIT Bombay. After achieving a Master of Research degree from IPGP, France, he joined KAUST, Saudi Arabia to pursue his Ph.D. career. During the Ph.D. studies, his main research focus was to develop a mathematically robust method for the velocity building process of large 3D salt structures. That lead him to propose full-waveform inversion under model regularization, which significantly reduces human intervention, a small leap towards attaining the ultimate aim of computational seismic tomography.


Tony Renton

Tony spent more than 30 years with BP in a range of technical, commercial and management roles over several continents finishing 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 Oil and Gas London 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.

Robert Bahns

Robert is Director of Technology Ventures at Imperial Innovations. He has over twenty years’ experience in industry and finance and was previously a director in the technology investment team at Nomura International plc. He is trained as an electronics engineer and worked in Japan for Pioneer Electronics, both in R&D and in the establishment of the company’s first UK manufacturing facility, He has an MBA from Insead and an Electrical Sciences degree from Cambridge.

Koolesh Shah

Koolesh Shah is the founder of London Town Group of Companies, which has grown into an established hotel and residential property company with assets in excess of £200 million. In 2009 he opened Hotel Indigo London Paddington which was Intercontinental Hotel Group’s first Hotel Indigo branded boutique concept outside America. The Group has a significant central London and national portfolio and Koolesh was named Asian Business Awards Hotelier of the Year for 2017.

Technical Advisors

Prof Felix Herrmann

Felix is currently Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Energy and Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was previously director of the UBC-Seismic Laboratory for Imaging and Modeling (SLIM), which he founded in 2003, where he became a world leader in theoretical and computational exploration seismology, compressive sensing and large-scale optimization. He will be the 2019 Distinguished Lecturer of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG).

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.

Dr Gang Yao

Gang is a Research Fellow at Rice University. After completing his MSc in Geophysics at the China University of Geosciences he was awarded the UK-China Scholarship of Excellence and moved to the UK to pursue his PhD in Least Squares RTM at Imperial. He is an expert in seismic migration and seismic inversion in general creating methodologies targeted at deeper penetration from reflected data.

Dr Andrew McCarthy

Exploration Advisor

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.

S-Cube Cloud

Run Full Waveform Inversion on the Cloud

Use XWITM on AWS to discover an unprecedented increase in the resolution of your velocity model.