MSRC alum Michael Zeitlin was among five Stony Brook University alumni honored last month at the 2006 Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner at the Carlyle on the Green in Bethpage, NY. Michael earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Stony Brook, completing his B.S. in Earth and Space Science in 1979, and his M.S. in Marine Environmental Science in 1980. Michael was introduced by his M.S. advisor, Professor Henry Bokuniewicz, and a video slideshow described his any accomplishments.
As a graduate student, Michael studied submarine groundwater discharge under Bokuniewicz direction. Upon graduating. he began working as a research scientist in geological modeling with Texaco where he initiated the development of large-scale three dimensional modeling – the first in the oil industry. In 1999, Michael left Texaco and cofounded Magic Earth, a company that provided technological services involving 3D visualizations and interpretations of geological data, primarily for oil and gas exploration. The company quickly achieved tremendous success and was acquired by Halliburton 11 months later for $100 million. Michael’s accomplishments have been recognized with numerous awards. He was named a Texaco Fellow (the company’ s highest honor for technological innovation), received a gold honor for Innovation in Information Management from the Carnegie Mellon/American Management Institute, and his work was granted a permanent place in the Smithsonian Institute archives.
In his acceptance speech, Michael commended his fellow honorees for their extraordinary achievements and thanked his finance, Cecelia, and sons, Stephen and Zachary, for their support. He attributed part of his success to his experience at Stony Brook, saying that the school provides not only an excellent education but also unique opportunities for its students. Many private schools “produce great thinkers,” he said, “but Stony Brook produces great do-ers.”
MSRC Dean and Director David Conover attended the awards dinner and added, “MSRC is extremely proud of Michael’s accomplishments in business innovation. In addition, Michael s a wonderful philanthropist and supporter of MSRC, as evidenced by his leading contribution to the Schubel Fellowship Endowment. We admire and appreciate all that he has done.”