Retired Faculty
2009 - Present

David  Blackwell 
Dedman College  2013

David Blackwell holds the William B. Hamilton Chair in Earth Sciences in Dedman College. He earned a B.S. in geology and mathematics at SMU, followed by M.S and Ph.D. degrees in geophysics at Harvard University. A member of the SMU faculty since 1968, he served as chair of the Department of Earth Sciences from 1982-1986. Blackwell is best known for his studies of the thermal structure of the continental crust. He is co-discoverer of the relationship between surface heat flow and surface heat production from radioactivity, which is significant for understanding Earth's thermal history. His work on the thermal structure of sedimentary basins is important for understanding the origin of oil and gas and enhanced geothermal systems, a renewable source of future clean energy. A major proponent of commercialization of geothermal energy, Blackwell has served as president of the Geothermal Resources Council and received its Aidlin Award for outstanding contributions to the development of geothermal energy. His leadership in developing the U.S. Department of Energy's National Geothermal Database will facilitate the future development of geothermal energy. Blackwell is a fellow of the Geological Society of America. He retires as Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences.