Faculty and Staff

Ali Tura
RCP Director



Ali Tura is Professor of Geophysics and Director of Reservoir Characterization Project at Colorado School of Mines. His expertise is in the areas of seismic data processing, seismic analysis, time-lapse seismic, rock physics, fiber optic technology and data analytics. He is also Chief Scientist at Tulip Geosciences, a geosciences consulting and training company. Prior to this he was Geophysical Senior Fellow at ConocoPhillips. Ali was a founding member and COO of 4th Wave Imaging, a seismic R&D company. His other responsibilities have been leading time-lapse seismic reservoir monitoring at Chevron and Shell, and amplitude-preserving migration based AVO analysis at Elf (now Total).

Ali received a B.Sc. degree from Istanbul University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, all in Engineering Geosciences. His work during this period ranged from deconvolution of seismic data, to full-waveform seismic modeling of vertical seismic profiling (VSP) data, to fracture detection from cross-well reflection/diffraction tomography in anisotropic media at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has taught graduate level courses at the University of Texas, Dallas, Mathematical Sciences Department, and Istanbul Technical University, Geophysics Department. He was a visiting scientist at Karlsruhe University, Germany, where he worked on comparing theoretical aspects of Kirchhoff versus Born modeling and migration. Ali has mentored many Ph.D. interns at ConocoPhillips and Chevron and lead an industrial consortium on time-lapse seismic while at 4th Wave Imaging.

Ali is active within the SEG. He served as SEG Vice-president, Vice-chairman and Chairman of the SEG Global Affairs Committee, and Chairman of the SEG Research Committee. He has been a member and Chairman of the editorial board of The Leading Edge and Associate Editor of Geophysics. He has also been a board member of SEG Global Inc. and Co-chairman of OTC Technical Committee.

Ge Jin
Assistant Professor




Dr. Ge Jin is Assistant Professor of Geophysics and Co-director of the Reservoir Characterization Project. He is interested in Fiber-Optic Sensing (FOS) and machine-learning applications in the oil industry, as well as seismic imaging and interpretation. He obtained his Ph.D. in Geophysics from Columbia University and dual B.S. in Geophysics and Computer Science from Peking University. 

From 2014-2019, Dr. Jin worked at ConocoPhillips as a research geophysicist. There he was involved in many cross-functional research projects and made a major breakthrough by discovering the rich information hidden in the extra-low frequency band of the DAS signal. He also developed a series of algorithms that utilize FOS data for production logging, hydraulic fracture detection, well production interference evaluation, and microseismic monitoring. In addition to FOS research, he has developed several workflows that use ground roll energy to image near-surface structures, which have been applied on land seismic data from multiple fields. He has worked on several 4D seismic processing and interpretation projects, including time-shift estimation improvement, rock-physics modeling, and machine-learning-based 4-D interpretation. 

Jim Simmons
Research Associate Professor




Jim joined RCP and the Geophysics Department in April, 2017 as Research Associate Professor.  His expertise is in the areas of multicomponent seismic, seismic modeling, seismic inversion, surface seismic and vertical-seismic-profile (VSP), processing and analysis.

Jim received his B.S, M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in geophysics from The University of Texas at Austin. In graduate school, he was a member of Project SEER (Solid Earth Exploration Research), an industry consortium led by Dr. Milo Backus. The goal of Project SEER was to reproduce prestack, elastic seismic data to within 10% absolute error. Towards this goal, Jim contributed in the areas of first-arrival time tomography, amplitude-versus-offset  (AVO) modeling in the presence of thin layers, poststack seismic inversion, and prestack elastic seismic inversion.

He then moved uptown to the Bureau of Economic Geology where he worked on seismic interpretation and reservoir characterization, crosswell seismic tomography, VSP’s, and 3-D 9-C seismic data. After a stay at 4th Wave Imaging, Jim joined GX Technology with the charter of initiating and developing a multicomponent seismic program. Once the multicomponent program gained traction, he made research contributions in the areas of converted-wave splitting estimation and compensation, and multicomponent prestack seismic modeling in anisotropic media. While at GXT/ION, Jim advised on multicomponent projects, and worked on 3-D VSP processing and analysis for unconventional reservoirs.

Research interests include the development of techniques to expose, and illustrate, the potential value added from prestack multicomponent seismic data.




Melinda is an alumnus of Colorado School of Mines having received her B.S. in Geophysical Engineering and returns as Research Faculty in support of the Reservoir Characterization Project. During her 17-year career as an oil and gas Senior Exploration Geophysicist, she worked for ARCO Oil & Gas Co., California San Juan Basin Exploration; Vastar Resources, Inc., New Ventures Exploration; and Tom Brown, Inc., Rocky Mountains Exploration.

  • Recipient Colorado School of Mines, Geophysics – Cecil H. Green Award
  • Recipient President George Bush Daily Point of Light Program – 990th Daily Point of Light
  • Member SEG, AAPG, DGS

Larry Irons
RCP Systems and Software Support Engineer



Larry maintains and supervises RCP’s computer hardware, software and data inventories. Prior to joining Colorado School of Mines in April 2017, Larry was a senior geophysical analyst at FairfieldNodal. With 18 years of experience in information technology (IT) and software development, Larry’s IT experience includes database applications, computer systems administration, Internet security, network administration, computer telephony, and hardware engineering. He also has 22 years of professional geophysical experience in the petroleum and environmental industries. Larry holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology from the University of Nebraska. Larry is a past President and an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Denver Geophysical Society. He is a registered Professional Geologist in Wyoming.

Yanrui Ning (Daisy)



Daisy is a Reservoir Characterization Project (RCP) alumnus and rejoined RCP at Colorado School of Mines as a postdoctoral fellow in Jan 2021.

Daisy’s research interests include reservoir simulation and machine learning, focusing on hydraulic fracturing optimization, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in unconventional reservoirs, as well as carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). With a Ph.D. degree in Petroleum Engineering and a minor in Geophysics, she worked in the oil industry as a Reservoir Engineer and a Data Scientist for two years.

Currently, Daisy is working on three research projects. The first is a CCUS project funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), aiming to deploy carbon capture and storage in Colorado to reduce CO2 emissions. The second is a machine learning application to optimize  completion strategies in an unconventional shale play, of the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin. The third research area is investigation of CO2 injection mechanisms in unconventional plays to leverage reservoir simulation for the DJ Basin.