Geophysical    Engineering
Geophysical Engineering
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Geophysical Engineering

John Getty

John   Getty

Instructor II
ELC 307
Phone: (406) 496-4847


Mr. Getty hails from the Denver, CO area, and graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in Physics. His first job out of college was with Dresser Atlas—a wireline service company—as an open-hole logging engineer.

In the mid-1980s John joined the newly re-formed Engineering program at the University of Denver, serving as lab director and instructor. After 13 years in academia, and a couple more in the test and measurement industry, he accepted a position in the Physics Department at Montana State University as an instructor and electronic design engineer. While there he completed a Master of Science in Science Education with a specialization in Physics (2009).

For the last 6 years he has been teaching in the Petroleum Engineering Department here at Tech.

Research Interests

John brings to Geophysics an active, funded research program in proppants used for hydraulic fracture stimulation.

The Survey of Native Proppants (SNaP) project is a three year, $380,000 effort funded by the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation. In collaboration with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MBMG), sandstone formations across the State are being sampled and evaluated for their potential as a proppant. The primary deliverable of the project will be a database accessible on the web. With MBMG staff, SNaP Co-PI Katie McDonald and geologist Susan Vuke, directing field sampling efforts six different undergraduate students have worked on the lab analysis of the material over the last year and half. The project will be funding a graduate research assistant in Geophysical Engineering for academic year 2015.

The Proppant Research sales and service program provides testing services to the standards specified in API Recommended Practices 19C and 19D. Montana Tech owns and operates one of the only fracture conductivity instruments (RP19D) in academia. This full-range testing capability allows us to provide support over the entire spectrum from the analysis of natural materials (sand) to novel man made materials that offer the promise of improving productivity and longevity of oil and gas wells.

Non-Research Academic Interests

John is actively involved in the Undergraduate Research Program, both as a member of the committee and as a mentor for student researchers. If you have ideas for research projects for our students, please feel free to contact him. Typically these projects require about 10 hours per week from the students, last two semesters and have a well-defined end point.

URP Mentorships:

  • “Electronic Transducers in Natural Gas Distribution,” Sarah Kaufman, URP, AY2009
  • “Determining the Accuracy of the Cement Test Equipment Consistometer,” Eric Erickson, URP, AY 2011
  • “Evaluation of Proppant Material from a Montana Source,” Tim Denton, URP, AY 2011
  • “Characterizing Gel Strength Measurement Accuracy as a Function of Starting Position on the CTE Consistometer,” Eric Erickson, SURF, Summer 2011
  • “Characterizing the Baseline Performance of the Montana Tech Flow Loop System,” Cody Broadhead, URP, AY2012
  • “Performance Evaluation of Environmentally Friendly Water Soluble Polymers used in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids,” Roger Lambson, SURF, Summer 2012
  • “The effects of Handling on the Measured Crush Strength of Proppant,” Chris Bulau, URP, AY2013

Selected Honors & Awards


  • Merit Award (2014), Montana Tech, for excellence in teaching, research and service
  • Outstanding Staff Award (2003), Department of Physics, Montana State University
  • Recognition Award (2000), selection by peers, Agilent Technologies
  • Excellence in Service (1991), Staff Award, Coll. of Nat. Sciences, University of Denver
  • Pi Mu Epsilon (1989), Mathematics Honorary Society
  • Highest Achievement Award (1978), Well Logging School, Dresser Atlas

Professional Societies

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Senior member
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers
  • American Association of Physics Teachers

United States Provisional Patent Application Docket No. MTT-120P, APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR LOADING SAMPLE INTO A CRUSH CUP FOR THE CRUSH RESISTANCE PROCEDURE OF PROPPANT MATERIALS, (Bulau, et al.), Serial No. 61/971,860; Filed- March 28, 2014

Career in Brief

  • Montana Tech, Instructor, Geophysical Engineering (2014-present)
  • Montana Tech, Instructor/Lab Director, Petroleum Engineering (2007-2014)
  • International Centre for Diffraction Data, Consultant, Technical Services (1998-present)
  • Montana State University, Electrical Engineer/Adjunct Instructor (2002-2007)
  • Agilent Technologies, Support and Production Engineer (1999-2002)
  • University of Denver, Lab Director/Instructor (1985-1999)
  • Dresser Atlas, General Field Engineer (1977-1985)

Courses Taught

Geophysical Engineering

  • PHSX 121, Fundamentals of Physics, an algebra-based physics course (Fall 2014)
  • PHSX 237, General Physics III, Electricity and Magnetism (Fall 2104)

Petroleum Engineering

  • PET 202, Field Practices, (2008-2011)
  • PET 205, Reservoir Engineering Lab, (Fall 2010)
  • PET 303, Drilling Fluids Lab, (2007-2012)
  • PET 307, Production Engineering Lab (2007-2014)
  • PET 453, Natural Gas Engineering Lab (2007-2014)

Montana State University

  • PHSX 261, Laboratory Electronics I (2002-2007)
  • PHSX 361, Laboratory Electronics II (2003-2007)

University of Denver

  • Circuits I and II laboratories (1986-1999)

Selected Publications

Getty, J., Bulau C., “Are the Laboratory Measurements of Proppant Crush Resistance Unrealistically Low?,” SPE 168975, Apr 2014

Getty, J., “Fishing for Frac Sand”, RockProducts magazine, Nov 2011

Schrader, S., Todd, B., Getty, J. “Managing Large Enrollments: Montana Tech's Plans to Ensure Students Receive a Quality Education”, SPE 146850, presented at the ATCE Conference, Denver, CO, Oct 2011

Getty, J., “Assessing Inquiry Learning in a Circuits/Electronics Course,” IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, paper # 1028, presented Oct 20, 2009

Getty, J., Lab Manual, The Analysis and Design of Linear Circuits, Prentice Hall, 1994 ISBN0471365947