I am fascinated by numerically solving physical wave phenomena and combining it with state-of-the-art tomographic techniques.

Areas of expertise and current scientific interests

Professor Daniel Peter’s research interests are related to computational seismology and geophysical inverse problems. He focuses on enhancing numerical 3D wave propagation solvers for seismic tomography, particularly for very challenging complex regions and media. To this end, he exploits and implements high-performance computing (HPC) algorithms into 3D wave propagation solvers to better investigate such regions numerically, with the potential to highly improve resolution and reliability in seismic imaging. These techniques and solvers can be applied to hydrocarbon exploration as well as regional- and global-scale seismic tomography. Prof. Peter’s research at KAUST will focus on the development of new algorithms in seismic wave propagation and applications in seismic tomography across all scales.


KAUST is at the forefront of computational science with a unique combination of research expertise and access to high-performance computing facilities. The faculty provides an incredible depth of knowledge with an agenda driven by fundamental and applied research and innovation. In this remarkable environment, research ideas effortlessly cross disciplinary boundaries to advance science and at the same time greatly enrich the personal experience in an incredible surrounding. KAUST and its community truly reflect on a modern Arabic contribution to a global vision.

Why computational seismology?

To advance the current knowledge about Earth’s structure, state-of-the-art research must harness large computing facilities for seismic tomography and exploration. As a computational seismologist, my research very much relies on algorithmic developments and applications of high-performance computing. Such numerical experimentations and simulations are a powerful tool to further our physical understanding of complex phenomena. We must, therefore, study and teach computational knowledge and innovation as a key driver to address future natural hazards.

Education Profile

  • PhD Geophysics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), 2008
  • MSc Physics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), 1998

Professional Memberships

  • Senior scientist, Institute of Geophysics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) & Department of Computer Science, Universita della Svizzera italiana (USI Lugano), 2012 – 2015
  • ​Associate research scholar, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, 2011-2012
  • Postdoctoral research associate, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, 2008-2011