Muhammad Zahid Afzal Durrani

Muhammad Durrani

Muhammad Zahid Afzal Durrani


Muhammad Zahid Afzal Durrani is a geophysics doctoral candidate in the Department of Geosciences. He is a 2014-15 Bellwether Fellowship recipient and a Fulbright Scholar (2009-14) from the United States Education Foundation of Pakistan. Raised in the vibrant Pakistani city of Rahim Yar Khan, Durrani is from a humble family background: His father and mother were high school teachers. He was highly inspired by his father and elder brother, Shahid Durrani, who taught him the most important qualities in a person’s life — honesty, loyalty, perseverance, tenacity, cogency and hard work — keep him motivated to pursue higher education.

Durrani received a bachelor of science degree in math and physics from Islamia University in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, and a master of science and master of philosophy in applied geophysics from Quaid-I-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan. He also holds a postgraduate diploma in computer sciences from Quaid-I-Azam University.

Durrani has more than five years of work experience in Pakistan’s oil and gas industry as a seismic interpreter in the field of exploration. His doctoral research focuses on quantitative seismic reservoir characterization of tight sands using rock physics and seismic inversion (AVO and Elastic Impedances) analysis.

“This project allows me to collaborate with Newfield Exploration Company in seismic reservoir characterization of Pennsylvanian clastic turbidite Granite Wash (tight sands) reservoirs located in the Stiles Ranch Field of the Anadarko Basin in Wheeler County, Texas,” Durrani said. “The goal of the project is to develop rational rock physics models for Granite Wash reservoirs, quantifying the links among the products of sedimentary and diagenetic processes, rock properties and interpretation of seismic signatures through seismic inversion.”

Durrani has presented research on topics pertaining to rock physics, AVO modeling and Elastic Impedance inversion at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) annual conference, the Geophysical Society of Oklahoma City annual continuing education seminar and the Oklahoma State University Tech Festival 2014, where he was awarded the best research poster award.

He also is a three-year recipient of TU’s merit graduate scholarship and has served as treasurer of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) TU chapter 2009-2011. Durrani has been an active member of the SEG and AAPG societies since 2009.

Durrani noted that he enjoys the vast diversity of TU’s student population. “The university has complemented my needs and turned my goals into a reality, broadening my global perspective — apart from just being a geoscientist,” Durrani said. “I work with some amazing people in the geosciences department who inspire me to work for a better future.”

He said he is honored to work with his research adviser, Jingyi Chen, and Keith Willson, external adviser at the Newfield Exploration Company. “They have always given me the self-confidence and support I need to achieve my research goals and objectives in a timely manner,” Durrani said.

Durrani is appreciative of Bryan Tapp, geosciences department chairman, and Peter Michael who have given him a sense of belonging, humbled him and supported him through the scary process of preparing for his doctoral qualifier exam and intricate research phases.