William Benzel


My graduate work focused on geologic membranes trying to understand fluid flow in basins and evaluate methods to isolate hazardous materials, such as nuclear wastes injected in deep wells.  While working in the oil industry, I continued my studies in fluid flow through geologic materials working on methods to improve oil production.  I moved on to work in the mining industry, supporting efforts to locate and process gold ore as well as studying world-wide talc deposits for hazardous contaminants.  Since joining the USGS, I support two Teams (GGGSC and CERSC) providing mineralogy and material characterization.  My research efforts are focused on improving quantitative mineralogy by combining and rectifying X-ray diffraction scans with chemical data sets.       



2008 -Present

  • Physical Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey, Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center,  X-ray Specialist

2000- 2008

  • Consultant, providing geochemical interpretations of laboratory data: including x-ray diffraction, x-ray fluorescence and transmission/scanning electron microscopy as well as other test results.


  • Qualified Inspector (QI082) State of Colorado, Department of Health, Radiation Control Division; specializing in industrial x-ray and radiography audits for compliance with Colorado Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Radiation Control

1990 - 2000             

  • Senior Geologist, Analytical Resources Department, Petroleum Technology Center, Marathon Oil Company, Littleton, CO
  • Inorganic Geochemistry Program - designs and directs all studies of inorganic materials among Geology/Engineering/Refining Groups. Specialty areas include whole rock and clay mineralogy, catalysts, corrosion scale/deposits, crude oil characterization and sulfur in fuels. Chairman Radiation Protection Committee.


  • Research Geologist, Instrumental Analysis Section, Denver Research Center, Marathon Oil, Company, Littleton, CO


  • Geologist, Instrumental Analysis Section, Denver Research Center, Marathon Oil Company, Littleton, CO


  • Geochemistry Research Assistant, Department of Geology, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL


  • Chemistry Research Assistant, Illinois State Geological Survey, Physical Chemistry Section, Champaign, IL



Ph.D.   Department of Geology, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, 1982

M.S.    Department of Geology, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, 1978

A.B.     Geology and Chemistry double major, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, 1975

North Haven High School, North Haven, Connecticut 1971