Nov 19, 2019People & Industry

From a Backyard in Perth to Offices Around the World, Meet DownUnder GeoSolutions

Fifteen years ago two Perth geophysicists, Matthew Lamont and Troy Thompson, founded their company in Lamont’s backyard in Perth. Fast-forward and DownUnder GeoSolutions employs over 350 people in four offices across the globe.

When exploring for natural gas, companies start by sending sound waves into the earth and measuring the signals reflected back. The geophysicists at DownUnder GeoSolutions (DUG) use algorithms and computing power to interpret signals. The difficulty in producing better results, faster is down to computing power.

The company is now pushing the limits of computing power in the sector, taking their signal analysis to 100Hz, which requires 4,000 times the computing power of industry standard. Better resolutions mean that the risks of drilling for natural gas are reduced.

Across its offices in Perth, Houston, London and Kuala Lumpur DUG has around 50 petaflops of computing power (petaflops measure computing power; 50 petaflops is equal to 50 quadrillion calculations per second). For reference, IBM unveiled the world’s largest supercomputer last year, with a peak performance of 200 petaflops. DUG plans to take their capacity to 500 petaflops in the not-too-distant future.

In order to compete on an international scale, the company has invested heavily in R&D, with over 30 staff in their Perth office dedicated to research and development.

As reported by the West Australian, “half the technical staff have a PhD or master’s degree, and they can be mathematicians, physicists, and software developers as well as geophysicists. Employees own about 85 per cent of the company.”



Pictured: DUG Cool – DownUnder’s patented computer cooling system