Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Earth Sciences Division Staff: Evan Um

Evan Um

Evan Um


Geophysics Department



Phone: 510-495-2172

Fax: 510-486-5686


Biographical Summary

Dr. Evan Schankee Um joined LBNL Earth Sciences Division in 2011 as a postdoctoral scientist and is currently a research scientist. He utilizes electromagnetic (EM) fields and seismic waves to investigate energy reserves, geological structures and fluid distribution within the Earth. Analysis and interpretation of EM and seismic fields that travel through the Earth are not only geophysically complex but also numerically intensive. Thus, he develops accurate and fast numerical algorithms for simulating and interpreting geophysical responses to complex geology. The resulting algorithms are employed to better understand the physics of EM field and seismic wave interaction with complex geology. His simulation and interpretation algorithms provide solutions to a range of important problems such as fossil energy resource exploration, geothermal exploration, CO2 sequestration, environmental geophysics, geophysical monitoring and geological engineering. He is also interested in developing new multi-geophysical data acquisition strategies for challenging survey scenarios.


  • Fall 2006 – Spring 2011:  Ph.D. Geophysics, Stanford University, CA, USA 
  • Spring 2003 – Spring 2005:  M.S. Geological Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • 1994 – 1998:  B.S. Earth and Environmental Sciences (Geology), Korea University, Seoul

Professional Experience

  • Feb 2014- present
    Geological Research Scientist, Geophysics Department, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, CA, USA.
  • March 2011 – Jan 2014
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Computational Geophysics & Subsurface Imaging Group, Geophysics Department, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, CA, USA (advisors: Dr. Gregory A. Newman and Dr. Michael Commer).
  • 2006 – 2011
    Research & Teaching Assistant, Geophysics Department, Stanford University, CA.
  • 2003 – 2005
    Research Assistant, Geological Engineering, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • July 2010
    Computational Geophysics Consultant, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia
  • June 2005 –April 2006
    Geophysics Intern, Modeling, Inversion and Physics Group, Schlumberger-EMI, Berkeley, CA, USA

Research Experiences:

  1. Large-scale seismic-electromagnetic joint imaging for subsalt exploration (Phase 1: completed, LBNL; Phase 2: ongoing).
  2. Finite-difference solution of the acoustic wave equation in the Laplace-Fourier domain (completed, LBNL).
  3. Development of hybrid finite-element-finite-difference geophysical imaging methods (ongoing, LBNL).
  4. Geophysical monitoring of fracture propagation and fluid flow in hydrofracturing operations (ongoing, LBNL).
  5. Finite-element frequency-domain electromagnetic modeling algorithms with parallel direct and iterative solvers (completed, Stanford and LBNL)
  6. Parallel finite-element time-domain electromagnetic modeling algorithms with parallel direct and iterative solvers (completed, Stanford and LBNL)
  7. Joint geophysical imaging of enhanced geothermal systems at Raft River, Idaho (completed, LBNL)
  8. Geophysical monitoring of Acquistore CO2 sequestration in Saskatchewan, Canada and Ketzin, Germany (ongoing, LBNL)
  9. 3D finite-element modeling Analysis of bathymetry effects on ocean bottom electromagnetic receivers in offshore environments (completed, Stanford).
  10. On the governing physics of the controlled source electromagnetic geophysical methods in marine and land environments (completed, University of Wisconsin-Madison).

Teaching Experience

  • TA, Geological Engineering (Instructor: Professor Tom Holtzer, class size: about 25), 2010, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences and Civil & Environmental Engineering at Stanford University
  • TA, Exploring Earth Sciences with MATLAB (Instructor: Professor Tapan Mukerji, class size: about 50), 2009, Department of Geophysics, Earth & Environmental Sciences and Earth Resource Engineering at Stanford University.

Honors and Awards

  • Recipient, Stanford Graduate Fellowship in Science and Engineering (the top university-wide fellowship offered by Stanford University), 2008-2011.
  • Recipient, Computational Geosciences Fellowship, Stanford University, 2008. 
  • Recipient, ConocoPhilips Fellowship, Stanford University, 2007.
  • Recipient, Littlefield Fellowship, Stanford University, 2006.
  • Recipient, Award for Excellence, College of Sciences, Korea University, 1997.
  • Recipient, Undergraduate Scholarship, Korea University, 1994 - 97.


  • Co-PI with Professor Haohuan Fu (Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua Univ., Beijing, China) for grants starting in 2014 from National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC): High-Performance 3D Finite-Element EM Earth Modeling.
  • Early Career Development Grants, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (FY 2012 and 2013).


  • A member, Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Journal Service

  • Special Editor for Geophysics (electric and electromagnetic methods; environmental geophysics; seismic modeling) since 2012.
  • Reviewer for Technical Programs for SEG Annual Meeting in 2011-2014 
  • Reviewer for Geophysics since 2007. 
  • Reviewer for Geophysical Journal International since 2010.
  • Reviewer for IEEE Trans. on Geoscience and Remote Sensing since 2011.
  • Reviewer for Computers and Geosciences (Springer) since 2012.

Software Knowledge

  • Proficient with C, C++, FORTRAN and MATLAB.
  • Proficient with MPI and OpenMP.
  • Familiar with various parallel and serial linear algebra libraries (MUMPS, PARDISO, SuiteSparse, PETSC and Intel MKL).
  • Familiar with finite-element modeling and mesh generation software (COMSOL MultiPhysics and TetGen)