Department of Geophysics and Seismology


In the activity of the Department of Geophysics five main stages are distinguished: first - prehistory; second - formation; third - rapid development; fourth - crisis period; fifth - modern. 

I stage. History of formation of the Geophysics Department begins with the organization of the Kazakh Mining Institute (KazGMI) in 1934, initially consisting of one geological prospecting faculty, which united the specialties: "Exploration of ore and nonmetallic deposits" and "Engineering Hydrogeology".  
Significant progress of geophysical methods in geological prospecting required the training of qualified specialists in the field of exploration geophysics. The cadres produced in those years by Moscow, Leningrad and other institutions of higher education did not satisfy the demand for qualified specialists in the field of exploration geophysics. The staff graduated from Moscow, Leningrad and other higher educational institutions were not sufficient to satisfy the rapidly growing geophysical industry of Kazakhstan.   The situation, which developed by the end of the 40's, made it imperative to train geophysical engineers in Kazakhstan.

II stage. In 1951 to organize a chair "Geophysical Methods of Prospecting and Exploration IPI" from Dnepropetrovsk Mining Institute was invited docent of geophysics A.A.Nepomnyashchikh - a specialist in exploration geophysics, who had extensive experience in teaching at high school. He prepared a large number of specialists in exploratory geophysics, including candidates of sciences from the Kazakh youth, some of whom later became doctors of sciences. 
In those years, much attention was paid to physical and mathematical disciplines, which greatly contributed to the help of the chairs of "Higher Mathematics" (Associate Professor Gorshin S.I.) and "Physics" (Professor Gulnitsky L.V.).

In the first years of the department "Geophysical methods of prospecting and exploration of MDI" were invited well known specialists from different regions of the USSR for heading the laboratories: Associate Professor V.I. Netunakhin - electrical prospecting, Associate Professor S.I. Masarski - seismic prospecting, Associate Professor B.G. Borodulin - magnetic prospecting, Senior Lecturer G.V. Antonov. - Assistant Professor Antonov G. - Gravity Exploration. Since 1961 was introduced a special course of programming (teacher Koval L.A.).

In 1960, to teach the course "Seismic Survey" was invited Tsvetkov D.V. - an experienced specialist, one of the developers of the first field seismic stations and organizer of seismic exploration in the former Soviet Union.

Invaluable assistance in equipping laboratories with special equipment and machinery (including seismic stations) provided to the department Kazakh Geophysical Trust, Gurievskaya geophysical office and other industrial organizations. Simultaneously with the creation of material and technical base of the department were developed lecture courses, methodological support of laboratory and practical work, course and diploma design. 

The first graduation of geophysical engineers took place in 1954 in the amount of 41 specialists, who proved themselves in production from the best side. 
By the end of the 50's the Geophysics Department was fully established as one of the leading training centers for geophysical personnel in the former Soviet Union. The high requirements to students of geophysics during their studies at the Department allowed them to become competent production specialists and organizers of geophysical service in Kazakhstan.

III stage. In 1960 KazGMI was reorganized into the Kazakh Polytechnic Institute (KazPTI). From that time begins the stage of qualitative and quantitative growth of the Geophysics Department, which trained qualified engineers-geophysicists of the highest qualification. 
By 1966 the Geophysics Department had 16 scientific staff, including one professor-doctor of sciences, eight associate professors and candidates of sciences, four senior lecturers and three assistants, there were seven laboratories and one classroom.        
In 1966, due to expansion of training of geophysical personnel in Kazakhstan, on the basis of the geophysical department the geophysical faculty was organized. Its first Dean was appointed a scientist-physicist M.G.Karimov, who did a lot for the establishment and successful development of the new department in KazPTI. 

In 1976 the Geophysical Department and the Department of Geophysics was reincorporated into the Geological Exploration Faculty. During these years the number of annual graduates of the Department reached 60-70 people. They successfully joined the production geophysical organizations; many of them later became managers and executives of production, headed research and design organizations, and participated in discovering large deposits of hydrocarbons and solid minerals in Kazakhstan.
Stage IV. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the ensuing economic chaos, the limited funds allocated by the state for science and education have led to the loss of clear plans for the distribution of graduates, reduced opportunities to purchase equipment, maintenance of staff and teachers, etc.

Despite certain difficulties in the life of society, the teaching process at the University began in Kazakh and Russian languages. The staff of the department continued to strengthen, famous scientists and production organizers were invited. 

Among them doctor of geological-mineralogical sciences, professor Tokish (Tolepbergen) Akishev - a talented organizer of geophysical service of Kazakhstan, a laureate of State Award of the USSR (1985), who headed the department since 1992 until the end of his life. The name of T.Akishev was included in the Golden Book of Honor of the Kazakh SSR (1982). In different years he led the Iliysk geophysical expedition, PGO Kazgeophysika, GTU Glavprikaspiygeologiya.

In 2001, the Department of Geophysics was licensed to train engineering staff in the specialty 180540 - "Seismology. The opening of the new specialty was dictated by the fact that large areas of Kazakhstan, including areas with developed infrastructure are located in areas affected by earthquakes. The Department of Geophysics has prepared two graduates of engineer-seismologists, who work in seismological institutions of Kazakhstan.

V stage. Throughout its history the Department of Geophysics has accumulated a great experience of teaching students, its own traditions have arisen, requirements and criteria for training geophysicists have been defined. For more than seventy years of the history of the department, more than 2,000 geophysical engineers have been trained and graduated. As the flagship of geophysical education in Kazakhstan, the Department is constantly working to expand and develop relationships with scientific and industrial organizations. 

In the early 2000s, in connection with the transition to the Bologna process of education in the Republic of Kazakhstan was replaced by the existing basic form of training of specialists in engineering level with a 5-year term of study for the mass training of bachelors with a 4-year term of study. The curriculum and thematic plans of the educational process have changed, the duration of special courses has been reduced. The actual graduation of geophysicists in recent years has averaged 25-30 specialists per year (with variations of 12-48 in different years).

Until 2018, the Department of Geophysics conducted educational activities at the following levels: undergraduate specialty 5B070600 - "Geology and Exploration of MPI" and graduate specialty 6M074700 - "Geophysical Methods of Prospecting and Exploration of MPI". 

Both specialties have been accredited by the Independent Kazakhstan Agency for Quality Assurance in Education" (NKAOKO) and the German Agency specialized in Engineering, Informatics, Natural Sciences and Mathematics (ASIIN).

Since 2018, the Department of Geophysics switched to training specialists in educational programs of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree in the direction of "Oil and gas and ore geophysics", master's degree 7M05302-"Seismology". All these educational programs were examined, approved by independent experts and uploaded to the electronic portal of EUUVO MES RK.  

In 2021, the educational program of master degree 7M7105-"Oil, Gas and Ore Geophysics" was accredited by the NAAR (Independent Agency for Accreditation and Rating) for 5 years. Doctoral degree program 8D07104 - "Petroleum and Ore Geophysics" was accredited by the IAAR in 2022.

In the same year 2022 all educational programs listed above were updated, approved by independent experts and uploaded to the electronic portal of the USUVO MES RK. In addition to them was added approved by experts educational program 8D05302 - "Seismology".  

Currently, the activities of the Geophysics Department are organized in accordance with the stated mission, vision, goals and objectives, as well as the strategic plan of the university and aimed at their implementation. 

Purpose and Objectives

The main goal of the Geophysics Department is to train students, graduate students and doctoral candidates in professional activities to solve practical problems related to prospecting and exploration of mineral deposits, fundamental studies of the Earth's crust, as well as to study deeply the theoretical bases of geophysical methods, principles of processing of field geophysical data and their geological interpretation, and the integration of geophysical methods in solving geological and geophysical problems. 
Achievement of the goal is provided by solving the following tasks:

- Multidimensional training of students, undergraduates and doctoral students in modular programs, including processing and interpretation of geological and geophysical data;

- Deeper integration of scientific, educational and innovative activities with domestic (RDC Geoken, Nomad Geo Service, Seism-A, Geoservice, etc.) and foreign (Datamine, Phoenix Geophysics-Canada, Geosoft, PGS-UK, CGG, Veritas-France, Paradigm-the Netherlands, LLC Innovation Resource, Grid Point Dynamics, Sequent - Russian Federation) companies to prepare competitive specialists demanded in the labor market.

- Expansion of scientific and technical cooperation with leading international and domestic research and educational centers, (Universities Montana Tech - USA, Miskolc - Hungary, Moscow, Perm and Tomsk State Universities, Institute of Geological Sciences named after K.I. Satpayev, Institute of Seismology, Space Research Institute of the MSHE RK, Institute of Geophysical Research, Ionosphere Institute, etc.).

- Acquisition by students, graduate students and doctoral candidates the skills to set and solve scientific and practical problems, experience in research projects, acquire skills to perform works in modern software tools.

Mission and Strategy

Mission of the Geophysics Department is to carry out educational, research and innovative activities on the basis of consolidation, coordination and concentration of its scientific potential, aimed at solving multiprofile problems in priority scientific and applied directions of ore and petroleum geophysics. 
The strategy of the Department of Geophysics:

a) reducing and closing the gap between the theoretical training of students, undergraduates and doctoral students and the practical skills of using the acquired knowledge in production; 
b) Bringing the level of preparation of specialists in accordance with the realities and requirements of production; 
c) scientific research, search of innovative solutions and consulting 
d) development of perspective scientific, scientific-technical, industrial and innovative projects and programs.

To achieve these strategic objectives it is planned:
- Attracting the best practices of domestic and foreign companies, universities and institutions in the field of integrated solutions of current problems of education, science and innovation.
- Promotion of High Tech technologies in educational, fundamental and applied directions in prospecting and exploration of mineral deposits.
- Incorporating the results of scientific and practical research into training; integrating educational programs with real production.
- Improvement of mechanisms for systematic monitoring of knowledge and competencies of students taking into account the requirements, expectations and satisfaction of consumers of educational services;
- Involvement of employers to participate in the commissions for the defense of students' diplomas and master's theses. Monitoring the career of graduates on the basis of employers' information.
- Conducting training and refresher courses on modular programs of geology and geophysics for professionals in the ore and petroleum industries using modern software and with the mandatory issuance of certificates.

The teaching staff of the Department of Geophysics has extensive experience in basic and applied research of solid minerals deposits; in seismology, processing, interpretation and modeling of seismic survey data, geophysical potential fields, logging (open hole), in integrated analysis of geological-geophysical and field data for areas and fields in solving practical problems of geological exploration and geodynamic monitoring.
The teaching staff of the Department of Geophysics also has experience in designing and assessment of hydrocarbon resources and reserves, supervision, auditing and monitoring of geological exploration work, compilation of comprehensive programs for conducting geodynamic monitoring of subsurface, etc. 

In the course of its activity, the teaching staff of the department propagandizes the results of scientific and innovative research by means of publication of the results in national and international rating publications; approbation at conferences, symposiums, forums and other events.

The teaching staff of the Department takes part in the organization of events (conferences, forums, etc.) in topical areas of geophysics, including supervising the activities of the Student Community of Engineers - Geophysicists (SEG) and organizes annual student conferences through this community.

Faculty members participate in the organization of events (conferences, forums, etc.) in relevant areas of geophysics, including overseeing the activities of the Student Society of Engineers - Geophysicists (SEG) and organizes annual student conferences through this community.

In 2018. The teaching staff of the Department of Geophysics participated in the organization and holding of the international scientific conference EAGE (European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers) in KazNITU named after K.I. Satpayev. In subsequent years (2019-2021) employees of the Department of Geophysics on a permanent basis were members of the organizing committee for the international scientific conference EAGE abroad.

In general, the mission of the Geophysics Department is to ensure the quality growth of highly professional specialists in the field of geophysics and geology of oil and gas fields through the development of educational and research environment and preparation of highly qualified personnel with high personal and professional competences in accordance with the market demands. 

At the Department of Geophysics the Kazakh-Canadian Research and Education Center and the training center CGG (French Company) were created. Regulations on the activities and the Program of development of the Kazakh-Canadian scientific and educational center were developed.

Among other areas of activity of the Department of Geophysics in recent years can be distinguished: a) contacts with St. Petersburg Polytechnic University for the possibility of joint geological and geophysical research on the Caspian Sea shelf; b) development of proposals for areas of cooperation with the American Geological Institute;) planning of joint topics (R&D) KazNITU, Phoenix Company, Institute of Geological Sciences and the Institute of Seismology for studying deep seismic faults and lithosphere geodynamics.
Foreign lecturers are invited to the Geophysics Department to conduct lectures and seminars as part of the educational program for undergraduates and bachelors. In the period from 2011-2018, lecturers from Lomonosov Moscow State University and Tomsk Polytechnic Institute were invited. Every year, students, undergraduates and employees of the Geophysics department participate in international conferences and seminars in Kazakhstan and abroad, winning prizes, certificates and publishing in journals with an impact factor, interning in universities of the Russian Federation and Western and Eastern Europe.

In the Department of Geophysics much attention is paid to the training of doctors of sciences. For the period 2017-2022 successfully defended PhD theses:

1.    Gulzada Kubashevna Umirova on the topic: "Identification of geoelectric heterogeneities in the sedimentary cover formations within the Karaton-Sarkamys block based on the technology of magnetotelluric sounding (MTZ)", 2017.

Raushan Galimzhanovna Temirkhanova on the topic: "Improvement of the methodology for determining the geological and geotechnological parameters of ore-bearing rocks based on induction logging data", 2017.
Niyazova Akmaral Temirkhanovna: "Geological structure and prospects of oil and gas bearing capacity of Jurassic deposits of North Ustyurt depression according to geological and geophysical data", 2021.
Prepared and successfully passed a preliminary defense of the thesis Uzbekov Abylai Nursarsenovich on "Geophysical fields, deep structure and seismicity of Central Kazakhstan, 2022.

Another important direction of development of the Geophysics Department is the formation of modern academic and research infrastructure. On a permanent basis with the support of the MSHE RK fleet of equipment and instruments is updated.

In addition, a great role in this direction is played by the development of close partnerships with leading oil and gas companies of the world. In 2018, the company Logis-Geotech donated OKO-2 georadar for georadiolocation sounding at a cost of about $15 thousand USA. In 2020 Phoenix Geophysics donated a set of equipment, including the MTU-5C station for field surveys by audiomagnetotelluric sounding for over $72 thousand.

Partners from oil and gas and mining companies saturate computer classes (with modern powerful graphic stations) with advanced software. Schlumberger, Datamine, Macromine, Geosoft, Pradigm, Grid Point Dynamics and other companies provided academic licenses for software for geological and hydrodynamic modeling of oil-and-gas formations and ore-bearing objects, which allows successfully combine research and educational activities.

In order to successfully master the educational programs, students and graduates undergo practical training and research internship at the enterprises of oil and gas and mining industries of Kazakhstan: the Institute of Seismology of the MSHE, Institute of Geophysical Research, K.I. Satpayev Institute of Geological Sciences, "KazNIPImunaygas", operating and service companies: Karachaganak Petroleum Operating, Tengizchevroil, Kazgeologiya, PGD SERVICES, PGS, Geoken NPC LLP, TatArka, Kazakstankaspiishelf, Kazakh Geophysical Company, "Batys Geofizservice, GIS Company, Kazakhmys, Kazminerals, Azimut Energy Services, Karakudukmunai LLP, Karazhanbasmunai JSC, Kazakhoil Aktobe LLP, Uzenpromgeophysica JSC, KazMunaiGaz JSC, PetroKazakhstan JSC, Geo Energi Group, Alstron LLP, Azimut Geology LLP, Anega Kazakhstan LLP, Volgogeology JSC, Geotechnocentre, GISS LLP, DP Ortalyk LLP, Zhanros Drilling LLP, Izdenis LLP, KazGIZ LLP, Kyzylkum LLP, KOR Oil Company JSC, Uzenpromgeophysika JSC, JV Katko LLP The Company's assets are located in the KAZ MineralsPLS, Bapy Mining LLP, NAK KazAtomProm JSC, KAZ MineralsPLS JSC, MMC Kazakhhazakhstan JSC. JSC "NAK KazAtomProm" "KAZ MineralsPLS" JSC, "MMC Kazakhaltyn" JSC and others.

The best students and undergraduates can get additional education under the program of academic mobility in Colorado School of Mines (USA), Moscow State University, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Frye University, Lorraine University (Nancy, France), Institute of Mining Engineering and Technology (Beijing, China), Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland), University of Warsaw (Poland), Bergakademie Freiberg (Germany), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) and other foreign universities.

Graduates of K.I. Satpayev KazNITU Geophysics Department bachelor and master degrees in engineering and technology and work in oil and gas and mining companies in engineering positions, in research institutes as scientists.

Doctoral candidates of the Geophysics Department have the opportunity to undergo an internship in the best universities of the USA, Canada, Europe, Russia, China, Japan and other countries.
After successfully defending doctoral dissertations, they work as chief geophysicists; as directors of departments in the profile direction - in the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in academic and departmental research organizations related to geological problems, in operating and service companies conducting work on prospecting, exploration and additional exploration of mineral deposits, as well as controlling the development of these deposits.
In the scientific-pedagogical direction they are engaged in organizational-managerial, research and educational activities in the profile directions in higher educational institutions.

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