Dr Brian Burnham

Dr Brian Burnham

Research Fellow

Dr Brian Burnham
Dr Brian Burnham

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 273701
The University of Aberdeen Room 131
St. Mary's Building
AB24 3UF
Web Links

Research Gate

Personal Website


I received a Bachelors degree in Geosciences and Arts & Technology from the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) where I was working on research projects with both geologists and digital artists to develop methods to analyse and visualise photorealistic models of outcrop data. This led to a Masters degree at UTD where I specialised in research that focused on developing techniques to acquire, integrate and visualise large and high resolution geospatial data derived from satellite, lidar and photogrammetry data to build photorealistic digital outcrop models and virtual environments. I then travelled across the pond to obtain a PhD at the University of Manchester where I specialised in quantitative analysis and reservoir characterisation of geometry and architecture in siliciclastic fluvial depositional systems from 3D Digital Outcrop Models.  Ultimately my 13 years of experience in digital outcrop data collection and quantitative analytical skills of these data led me to my current position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Sand Injection Research Group at the University of Aberdeen.

Furthermore, the collaborations with artists and scientists that I’ve been involved with were scientifically interesting, artistically innovating and wholly fulfilling. It is my belief that adequate and effective dissemination of scientific information is fundamentally linked with artistic expression of interpretation and representation of facts and new discoveries. Because of this I will continue to pursue these ventures and welcome any projects that come along.


2003 - 2010: B.A. Geology and Arts & Technology, The University of Texas at Dallas

2010 - 2012: M.A. Arts & Technology, The University of Texas at Dallas

2012 - 2016: PhD Basin Analysis, The University of Manchester


Research Interests

3D geologic modelling, lidar – terrestrial & airborne laser scanning, photogrammetry, sedimentology, geomorphology, sequence stratigraphy, 3D sedimentary basin analysis, computational sedimentology and reservoir modelling and characterisation.

Current Research

My postdoc and research fellowship position, within the Sand Injection Research Group at the University of Aberdeen, focuses on analysing 3D digital outcrop models from lidar and photogrammetry to extract geostatistical information of subseismic sandstone intrusions within a large sand injection complex. These data are used for production and analysis of 3D forward seismic models and subsequent analysis to quantify uncertainty related with interpretation analysis of subseismic-scale sandstone intrusion features.


University of Manchester

The University of Texas at Dallas

The University of Texas at Austin - Bureau of Economic Geology

Research Grants

PI on research grant from the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre and 5 Energy industry sponsors: £280,000


Teaching Responsibilities

Introduction to stratigraphic principles

Reservoir modelling

Geology for petroleum engineers



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  • Burnham, B, Jerrett, R, Hodgetts, D & Flint, S 2020, 'Discriminating stacked distributary channel from palaeovalley fill sand bodies in foreland basin settings', Sedimentary Geology, vol. 398, 105592, pp. 1-13. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2020.105592
  • Burnham, BS & Hodgetts, D 2018, 'Quantifying spatial and architectural relationships from fluvial outcrops: Quantifying fluvial architectural relationships', Geosphere, vol. 15, no. 1. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1130/GES01574.1
  • Hodgetts, D & Burnham, B 2016, Improving Reservoir Models through Combining Digital Outcrop Data and Forward Modelling. in 78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2016: Efficient Use of Technology - Unlocking Potential. European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, EAGE, pp. 1-5, 78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2016, Vienna, Austria, 30/05/16. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.3997/2214-4609.201601346
  • Burnham, BS & Hodgetts, D 2015, Geologic modelling of geobody geometry and architecture of the Huesca distributive fluvial system. in 77th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2015: Earth Science for Energy and Environment. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.3997/2214-4609.201412863
  • Hodgetts, D, Seers, T, Head, W & Burnham, B 2015, High Performance Visualisation of Multiscale Geological Outcrop Data in Single Software Environment. in 77th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2015: Earth Science for Energy and Environment. European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, EAGE, pp. 1-5, 77th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2015: Earth Science for Energy and Environment, Madrid, Spain, 1/06/15. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.3997/2214-4609.201412862
  • Rodriguez-Gomez, MI, Cramer, B, Burnham, B, Miao, W, Chen, L & Aiken, CLV 2013, 'The Digital Integrated Stratigraphy Project (DISP) Development Phase II: On-site 3D access, analysis and integration of stratigraphic data using PCs and 3D photorealistic models', Stratigraphy, vol. 10, no. 4, 5, pp. 255-260. <> [Online] DOI: http://www.micropress.org/microaccess/stratigraphy/issue-303/article-1858
  • Burnham, B 2013, 'Three Dimensional Visualization of Complex Environmental Data Sets of Variable Resolution', Leonardo, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 290-291. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1162/LEON_a_00580
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