Simon Holford

Associate Professor Simon Holford

Associate Professor in Petroleum Geoscience

Australian School of Petroleum

Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


I am an Associate Professor of Petroleum Geoscience at the Australian School of Petroleum, University of Adelaide. With my colleague Ros King (Physical Sciences), I lead the Stress, Structure & Seismic (S^3) Research Group; this is a multidisciplinary group of academics, research staff and HDR students working mostly on applied problems related to structural geology and geomechanics in sedimentary basins. Our group has received continuous ARC support since 1997, and our research income is ~$1M/year.

My main research interests are;
1) Magmatic systems in sedimentary basins. This work is focused on the interactions between igneous intrusive and extrusive systems and basin structure, stratigraphy and the elements of the petroleum system. Current projects on this topic involve collaboration with the University of Aberdeen and Imperial College London, and are funded by CSIRO, Chevron and ASEG.
2) Structural permeability. This work is focused on understanding the intrinsic and extrinsic drivers behind fracture-hosted fluid flow in sedimentary basins, and current projects on this topic are funded by the ARC, ARENA, the Geological Survey of South Australia, IMER and ASEG.
3) The evolution of Australia's 'passive' southern rifted margin. This work is focused on understanding the tectonic evolution of the southern Australian margin. This work was originally funded by an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship, and is now primarily focused on the Bight Basin. I am the lead proponent on an IODP Complementary Project Proposal for scientific drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 Associate Professor of Petroleum Geoscience University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2014 - 2017 Senior Lecturer in Petroleum Geoscience University of Adelaide
    2012 - 2013 Lecturer in Petroleum Geoscience University of Adelaide
    2008 - 2011 ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2007 Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2006 - 2007 Research Associate University of Birmingham
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2018 Fellowship Visiting Research Fellow Australian School of Petroleum Australia
    2015 Award ASEG Best Paper
    2015 Research Award AAPG Top 10 Best Poster American Association of Petroleum Geologists United States
    2014 Award DI Groves Medal
    2013 Research Award PESA Best Student Paper Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Australia
    2012 Award APPEA Best Paper
    2011 Award Walter Howchin Medal Geological Society of Australia Australia
    2008 Fellowship ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship Australian Research Council Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2001 - 2005 University of Birmingham United Kingdom PhD
    1998 - 2001 Keele University United Kingdom BSc (Dual Hons), Geology & Geography, First Class
  • Research Interests

Current research projects are funded and supported by the ARC, ARENA, IODP, ASEG Research Foundation, Geological Survey of South Australia, IMER and Chevron.

I coordinate the following courses: PETROENG1005, PETROGEO4013, PETROGEO7013, PETROGEO7020

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Principal Supervisor Post-breakup Evolution of the Ceduna Sub-basin and Understanding of Processes that Occur on Rifted Continental Margins Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Monica Jimenez Lloreda
    2018 Principal Supervisor Magmatism and Petroleum Systems in the North West Shelf Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Michael Shaun Curtis
    2017 Principal Supervisor Improving the Accuracy of Geomechanical Predictions Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Matthew Mark Musolino
    2013 Co-Supervisor Investigating Magmatism and Fluio-Flow Processes long Australia's Continental Margins Using 3D Seismic Data and Geochemistry Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Fun Julie Ellen Meeuws
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Neotectonic faults of the Paralana Escarpment and their influence on uranium-bearing fluid flow Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Jonathan David Donauer Berthiaume
    2017 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Analysing Ancient Focused Fluid Flow Systems in Offshore Sedimentary Basins of Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Tayallen Velayatham
    2016 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Characterising the structural, petrophysical, and geochemical properties of inverted fault zones Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Natalie Debenham
    2016 - 2019 Co-Supervisor A Multiscale Approach towards the Characterisation of Upper Crustal Deformation at Passive Continental Margins: A Case Study on the Otway Basin, Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Hugo Bonython Burgin
    2015 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Structural Evolution of Deformation Bands Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Drew Christopher Lubiniecki
    2014 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Normal fault growth analysis using 3D seismic datasets located along Australia’s southern margin Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Alexander George Robson
    2013 - 2018 Principal Supervisor An evaluation of petroleum systems within the Billiluna Sub-basin and adjacent structural regions, Northeastern Canning Basin Master of Philosophy Master Part Time Mr Peter James Hawke
    2013 - 2016 Co-Supervisor The resistivity and permeability of fractured rocks Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Alison Louise Kirkby
    2012 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Structural Permeability in Australian Sedimentary Basins Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Adam Henry Edward Bailey
    2009 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Origin and Structure of the Ceduna Delta System, Offshore South Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Justin MacDonald
    2009 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Compressional Deformation and Exhumation in Sedimentary Basins at 'Passive' Continental Margins, with implications for Hydrocarbon Exploration and Development Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr David Tassone
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  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2015 - ongoing Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing President Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia SA/NT Branch
    2012 - ongoing Member Geological Society of Australia SA Division
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2010 - ongoing Geological Society of Australia
    2008 - ongoing AAPG
    2008 - ongoing PESA
    2001 - ongoing Member Geological Society of London
  • Position: Associate Professor in Petroleum Geoscience
  • Phone: 83138035
  • Email: simon.holford@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4345
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Santos Petroleum Engineering, floor 1
  • Room: 1 13
  • Org Unit: Australian School of Petroleum & Energy Resources

Connect With Me
External Profiles