Main Navigation

Jonathan Voyles

Jonathan VoylesHonors Alumnus Jonathan Voyles recently graduated from Stanford University with a Master’s degree in Geophysics and started working at Chevron as a Seismic Imaging Researcher focused on fiber-optic geophysics in Houston, Texas.

Jonathan has always been fascinated by rocks and minerals. As a child, he dreamed of owning a jewelry store called “Jonathan’s Gems and Jewels.” He later discovered that he was more interested in the science of rocks rather than the business of rocks.

Jonathan’s current work focuses on applying emerging fiber-optic recording technologies to problems concerning the Earth. Of particular interest to him is the energy transition, where he is striving to supplement the use of fossil fuels with renewable energy to meet society’s rapidly growing demand for energy. Jonathan began his first job out of graduate school working at the Chevron Technology Center. He admits it may seem contradictory for someone with a passion for the energy transition to work for Big Oil, but Jonathan believes that oil companies are in the best position to make the change to renewable energy, as these companies already have the funding, infrastructure, and intelligence needed to work towards these goals.

The field of Earth Science is fairly young when compared to other sciences and is growing exponentially. Jonathan believes that this field is ideal for students looking to explore and make new discoveries. He would encourage students who want to follow a similar educational or career path to also get involved in computer or data science, as these skills will give students an advantage in the workplace.

Jonathan is grateful for his experiences in the Honors College and at the University of Utah which helped set him up on a path to success. One of Jonathan’s most memorable experiences during his time at the University of Utah was researching at the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, a research group that works on detecting and understanding earthquakes occurring across Utah and Yellowstone National Park. Through his research as an undergraduate student, Jonathan was able to publish a first-authored publication in a peer-reviewed journal, which he was able to use as a chapter in his Honors thesis. Jonathan believes that having a positive track-record in research helped him prove to graduate schools that he could keep up and be successful within graduate education.

Jonathan is now thriving in a career that he is passionate about and hopes that every student can find a meaningful career path. He would encourage students to dive deep into their own passions and interests and to be careful of comparison. Jonathan shares that when you stop comparing yourself to others, you’re able to be content with your life and freely pursue your own passions.

We are grateful for Jonathan’s decision to pursue his passion in Geophysics and we are excited to see his impact making sustainable energy more accessible within our community.