Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI’s Ferrill elected to GSA Fellowship

July 7, 2021 — The Geological Society of America has elected Southwest Research Institute’s Dr. David Ferrill as a Fellow, recognizing his outstanding contributions to structural geology focused on the understanding of deformation processes and their consequences. He has published extensively about international applied geological research spanning hydrocarbon exploration, groundwater resources, natural hazard assessment and planetary research applications. 

“Most of my heroes and mentors in geology are GSA Fellows,” Ferrill said. “It is quite an honor to join this prestigious group.”

Ferrill’s expertise includes developing and teaching field seminars on structural geology and mechanical stratigraphy in the western U.S. and abroad for geologists in the oil industry. He has taught more than 100 courses, educating over 2,000 industry geoscientists and engineers from dozens of domestic and international companies. He also led the early development and commercialization of the 3DStress® geological software to analyze how stress affects faults and fractures. The interactive software tool received an R&D 100 Award in 1998 from R&D Magazine, designating it as one of the 100 most significant technical accomplishments of that year. 

As a member of GSA since 1982, his four decades of service to the society include publishing extensively in GSA journals and books, participating in and leading society events and performing peer-reviews of papers for Geology, GSA Bulletin, and Lithosphere. Ferrill has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Since 1993, he has pursued a wide range of applied research at SwRI, including geologic hazard assessments associated with a proposed nuclear waste repository site and studying the tectonics and neotectonics of the western United States. He has investigated the structural controls on the Edwards and Trinity aquifers in Texas and conducted planetary research on Ganymede, Mars and structural analogs in Iceland. He has investigated faulting and fracturing processes in carbonates, clastics and volcanic rocks in the U.S. and internationally, and conducted structural analysis of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs and groundwater aquifers.

Ferrill served as a distinguished lecturer of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists from 2015–2016 and received the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Thomas A. Philpott Excellence of Presentation Award in 2018. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in geology from Georgia State University, West Virginia University and the University of Alabama, respectively.

For more information, visit Structural Geology & Geomechanics or contact Deb Schmid, +1 210 522 2254, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.