Michael E. Enachescu

A little Background

Michael Enachescu was born and grew up in communist Bucharest ruled by the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. He was born into a dissident family that he described as "anti-everything." His father, and his grandfather and his grandfather's father and every generation before them were dissidents and as his father said usually ended up in jail by the time they were thirty. As a member of such a family Michael would of never been able to attend high school if it were not for his Grandmother's efforts. His grandmother petitioned for him to be able to attend high school; the oldest school in Bucharest. He wrote the entrance exams to attend the Special department for Petroleum at the University of Bucharest and was allowed in due to the flying colors he achieved on the exams. Although not recognized in North America, this University was a very traditional type school and is known for its very good Geoscience program as Romania was one of the first Oil capitals - Romania Oil ran the first two world wars. This was during the 60's and time of political rebellion. Michael and seven others were expelled from University due to their organizing a group to rebel against the communist government. This time it was the professors that petitioned the government in order to get them released and re-enrolled.

After completing University he spent his first six years of his career working in the field for the National Oil Company. He spent a lot of time in the Transvania basin and mountains. He eventually passed the required exams to be promoted to the supervisor of the Geophysical Observatory (all promotions were based on set exams). This Observatory is located in a remote area outside of Bucharest and was like a 15th century monastery. As Michael lived out at this location he spent his time working or reading the books in the library. He says it was a great combination of science and spirituality, and he was able to learn a great deal as all his free time was spent in the library reading. It was his boss and mentor at the time that encouraged him to leave the country as he would not be able to go any farther in his career if he stayed. One had to belong to the communist party in order to get a Ph.D. or to advance. His father also encouraged him to leave as he said if he stayed he would only get frustrated and also end up in jail. So in the late 70's with the encouragement of his friends, family and mentor he escaped from communist Romania. Details of which Michael did not want to discuss.

He spent the first year in Europe traveling around lecturing at various Universities. He lectured in Italy at the University of Pravado and it was here that a friend of his told him to go overseas, as he was ahead of his time and European countries moved slowly. The red brigade in Italy also scared him enough to leave that country. As winter was coming and he had no winter clothes he moved on to Greece, and through the people he met was told that Greece would give him political asylum, as they give it to everyone. Upon arriving in Greece he asked for political asylum and had to under go intense CIA interrogations when asked if he could go to the states. Someone at the Redcross where he was working until he could immigrate suggested that he go to Canada "as everyone that goes to Canada always sends us nice cards". He arrived in Calgary during Stampede, and due to the grace of the Canadian Immigration Department was a resident of the York Hotel for three weeks until he got a job with Suncor. Needless to say he had major culture shock arriving during Stampede week as he thought that was how Calgary was all the time. One of the first people Michael met in Calgary was Richard Pearcy who remembers Michael back then as being a bit wild and crazy. He remembers him calling all the waitresses "his sisters" as he thought that it was a good pickup line.

He says he has never looked back and has never had second thoughts about leaving his home country. He now spends a lot of his time helping immigrants adjust and find work in Calgary, and teaching an Advanced Exploration Methods course at SAlT is just part of that. He says that he is just trying to repay the kindness people showed him through out the years. He is also grateful to Husky who allows him the opportunity to lecture at various Universities all around the world. He hopes that he sets an example for other immigrants that come to Canada that all things are possible. He finds himself extremely lucky to be able to study his hobby, his passion and his vocation of Geophysics which is ever changing. He also insists that all things are possible as he left his country basically as a blacklisted dissident, and is now someone they invited to get his Ph.D. from their University and also an invited Professor to lecture. The current President of Romania is a Geologist and Michael is now a Secretary of State for Romania and acts as an advisor to the country.

Michael met his wife in a French class brushing up on the language so he could possibly go to Morocco to work. His wife was from Holland, she never went home and he never got to Morocco. They have a boy 8 years old and a girl of 10, and in 1984 Michael brought a son (now 24) from a previous relationship over to be with him. He is known as the geophysicist that is always playing classical music which he loves, and when he has the time his family enjoys winter sports.


Michael received an M.Sc. in Applied Geophysics from the University of Bucharest (1970) and a Ph.D. in Geosciences from the same Romanian University in 1995. He has also taken postgraduate studies in mathematics, geophysics and geology at Bucharest, Padova and Calgary Universities. Throughout his career he continues to receive numerous industry and scientific training courses from oil companies, research institutes, universities, professional associations and scientific societies.

While in Romania he worked as a field geophysicist and interpreter with the National Prospecting Company (1970-76), a researcher with the Geological and Geophysical Survey (1976-78) and a scientific supervisor with the National Geophysical Observatory (1978-1980). After he arrived in Canada he worked with Suncor Resources as a Geophysicist in Calgary and Dallas (1981-84). In 1984 he started work with Husky Oil Operations Ltd as a Geophysicist. In 1990, he was promoted to Exploration Specialist in Husky's International/Canada Frontier Department.

Michael's research interests are in integrated geophysical studies, basinal structure and tectonics, extensional tectonics, deep seismic profiling, three-dimensional interactive interpretation, geological use of seismic reflection attributes and computer visualization of complex structures and seismic attributes. He has published papers on these subjects in; The AAPG Bulletin, THE LEADING EDGE of Geophysics, CSPG Memoir 12: Basin Forming Mechanisms, CSEG Journal, CSEG Recorder, CSPG Reservoir, Romanian Journal of Geology and Geophysics, Marine and Petroleum Geology, International Tectonic Series, Proceedings of the Offshore Technology Conference, etc. Michael has presented over 60 papers at various geological and geophysical meetings, symposia and workshops. He has received twice (1986-87 and 1988-89) the Certificate of Merit for participation in the best SEG and AAPG technical paper exchange. He has given lectures and professional seminars at various Universities, made technical luncheon presentations for the CSEG, CSPG, AGC and the Dallas Geophysical Society and has been an invited speaker, convenor and session chairman at conventions and symposia in Canada, USA, Australia, China, Romania and Malaysia.

Michael is a member of the CSEG, SEG, EAEG, CGU, SRG, CSPG, AAPG, a Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada and a Professional Geophysicist with the APEGGA. He is a member of the Marine Geosciences Committee of the Canadian Geoscience Council, served as an industry advisor for the East Coast Canada Atlas Series at the Atlantic Geoscience Center, and has as an alternate panel member of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). In 1990, Michael was asked to serve as the Oil industry Representative on the Scientific Committee of LITHOPROBE, Canada's major geoscience project. The same year he was invited as Visiting Professor in Geosciences at his alma mater, The University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geology and Geophysics. He has served as a member of the Selection Committee for the J. Tuzo Wilson Medal, the highest Canadian Geophysics Union distinction. Since 1995, he has been invited as an industry representative in the Site Survey Panel of the Ocean Drilling Project (ODP), the Singular international marine geoscience and drilling program.

What does Michael consider his principal professional achievements? The first achievement would be the work done in the past decade promoting worldwide Canada's East Coast offshore exploration. The second principal achievement would be in the participation of the planning, acquisition, processing and interpretation of the largest multi-component 3-D seismic survey ever shot in Canada which was executed offshore Newfoundland during the summer of 1997. The last would be the tutoring of summer students, the teaching of undergrad and grad students and helping them find employment in the industry.



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