Physicist gone Software Developer with a demonstrated history of working in a broad range of industries. Strong interest in Software Development, with programming languages including Python, Ruby, C, Javascript, CSS, HTML5, MatLab and Golang. Top frameworks are Ruby on Rails, AngularJS, EmberZNet, with some limited exposure to Django. Experienced with full-stack web development and cloud computing on AWS. Knowledge of embedded systems, working with Silicon Labs Mighty Gecko Cortex M4 Series building mesh connected devices over Zigbee. A physicist skilled in numerical modeling in the fields of Reservoir Geomechanics and Geophysics. Formal education includes a Master of Science (M.Sc.) from the Department of Physics at the University of Alberta and a B.Sc. in Pure and Applied Mathematics from the University of Calgary (First Class Honours).


I started out my professional journey with a B.Sc in pure and applied mathematics from the University of Calgary. My favorite subjects/topics included differential geometry, algebra and assembly coding. I TA'd courses in Linear Algebra and Calculus in my later years and did an NSERC URA exploring Fundamental domains of PSL(2, Z) and congruent subgroups using the mathematical Python library Sage. My early years was nothing but rigorous math and a number of computer science courses.

Then in 2008, the Canadian Army in full fighting mode in Afghanistan, I enlisted into the Forces as a Signal Officer. I was young, full of energy, and I wanted to see the world. I figured what's the hurry in getting caught up in the corporate life. During the summer years of my undergraduate studies I worked in the field on seismic exploration crews where we worked long hours in the mountains and prairies. In and out of the trucks and helicopters everyday. Running cable. Blowing stuff up. So much fun. I was told seismic was the closest thing to joining the army without actually being in uniform. So I thought, what the heck, time to join the army. I went on to train across Canada, based out of St. Jean QE, Borden ON, Gagetown NB, and Kingston ON. After my training was done, with the war winding down I decided to release out of the Regular Force with a component transfer into the Supplementary Reserve, where I eventually transferred into the Primary Reserve where I'm presently a Lieutenant at 41 Signal Regiment today.

I missed STEM. After releasing from the Regular Force I started an M.Sc in Geophysics in the Department of Physics at the University of Alberta. My research was running numerical models to better understand the micromechanics of rock fracturing and it's associated microseismicity. When you monitor the treatment of a reservoir, with high frequency geophysics recording equipment, you pick up small microseismic events that are a function of the fracturing and geomechanics of the rock. On the macro level, there's alot going on, on the micro level, there's also a lot going on. I ran Itasca's 3D Particle Flow Codes to explore the micromechanical behavior of rock fracturing. Itasca is a company full of civil engineers, geophysicists, and geomechanics engineers who are experts in the realm of numerical modeling of soil and rock mechanics. They build models to understand both short and long scale deformation of the subsurface. Modeling software includes finite element models and discrete element models which I used during my master's research. The highlight of the M.Sc was applying mathematics to real world phenomena. Building a model to replicate one small part of the world. And then there's wave propagation. Wave propagation and Fourier Analysis comes up in everything. Whether it's signal processing of voltages into a microprocessor or filtering the signal from an earthquake, it's Fourier analysis, something I'd studied in my undergrad, but never really gave too much of an applicable thought too.

M.Sc done. I did a 4 month internship with Shell, a short stint at ESG Solutions, and couple years with Itasca. At Itasca I was on a geomechanics team based out of Calgary where I ran reservoir numerical models (similar to the software I ran during my masters) to help clients better understand the geomechanics and microseismicity during completions for optimized well and reservoir design. The engineers are more or less fracking blind (pressure measurements their best sensor), any additional information they can use to augment their understanding of the nature of the fracture propagation can have a large effect on their completions strategies.


Muzooka - Full stack web development

Working in the music industry on a full-stack web application building with technologies Node.js, Typescript, React and AWS.

Sowilo Design - Embedded systems and full stack web development

I'm presently working in the IoT world programming up a Zigbee connected microcontroller using Silicon Labs EFR32MG13P series. The founder of the company built his our 5 channel led lighting strip; The Bifrost. I'm working on rolling out a Zigbee integrated controller. The project is embedded C, working with the Mighty Gecko series with EmberZnet and Bluetooth. The EmberZnet framework leaves me predominantly in the application layer, where all the heavy lifting of the mesh network is taken care of by Silicon Labs's Zigbee Libraries and plugins. There's a Micrium RTOS with tasks switching between Bluetooth Low Energy and Zigbee. I've designed the initial schematic and I'm working with an electrical engineer to bring the schematic to the PCB.

We've recently moved our shop over to shopify, but our previous company website and online store I built out with RoR. I am building out our internal tech with full-stack technologies including React, React-Native, Node.js, Rails, MongoDB, and cloud integrations with AWS. MQTT is the communication protocol between the gateway and our devices. The gateway is pretty much for our own internal testing, so it doesn't need to look pretty, but it's gotta be good enough for us to test test test, before rolling out the product with a Zigbee certification for integration with existing Zigbee 3.0 compliant gateways (Hue, Samsung, etc etc).

University of Alberta - Geomechanical Modeling of Rock Fracturing and Microseismiticty

In my spare time, I'm still working with my previous M.Sc professor, Mirko van der Baan, at the University of Alberta, running/analyzing Numerical Simulations to better understand the micromechanics of rock fracturing and it's associated microseismicity. You can check out our most recent JGR publication here. I also put together d3.js visualizations for the figures in the paper which you can see here. Visualizations built out with d3.js and Angular.js, and the webserver written in Go.

Department of National Defense - Army Signal Officer

Operations Officer - Managment and coordination of operations at 41 Signal Regiment 3 Squadron.


Programming Languages

Python · Ruby · Javascript · C · Golang

I wouldn't consider myself an expert in these languages, but they are definitely where my interests lie and what I use to build. Python, it is just so easy to pull stuff together and get up and running quick. There's a python library for everything. Ruby, I'm a pretty big fan of RoR, I've used Djano (very limited), but I personally feel that RoR >> Django. Javascript, well it's the language that powers the web, and the web powers the internet, the internet powers the world... C, the ability to drop an assembly instructions in the middle of one's code is a testement to how low level the language is. It can be painful at times, but I really enjoy it. Golang is such a consise language, it feels like a blend of Python, Javascript and C. Huge fan of the languages forced error handling. The langauge seems to drive proper coding etiquette by it's very nature.

Favorite Podcasts

Linux Unplugged · Security Now · Embedded · IoT Podcast · What Bitcoin Did · Hacking Humans · Coding Blocks

On going professional development and learning ...

The last 2 years I've been super busy diving in and getting my hands dirty with software development. Pure science is fascinating, but building is just so much funner. I've been augmenting projects with books, blogs and online courses. The highlights of my list so far are:

Next on the list


When I'm not working I like to go snowboarding in the winters and I like to get away to travel whenever I can, my most recent travels took me to Scotland, England, and the Netherlands. Was an amazing trip.


Conference abstracts and publications

Mirko van der Baan and Drew Chorney (2019) Insights From Micromechanical Modeling of Intact Rock Failure: Event Characteristics, Stress Drops, and Force Networks, JGR Solid Earth. See Figures here.

Chorney D.R, M. Mack, and S.C. Maxwell (2016) Hydraulic Fracture Sensitivity Study with a Fully-Coupled Microseismic Geomechanics Model, American Rock Mechanics Association.

Grob M., F. Zhang, S.C. Maxwell, D.R. Chorney, and M. Mack (2016) Geomechanical Modeling of Induced Seismicity Associated with Triggered Fault Slip during Multi-Stage Hydraulic Fracturing, CSEG GeoConvention.

Smith M, S.D. Goodfellow, D.R Chorney, and S.C. Maxwell (2016) Investigation of Increased Microseismic Deformation along a Hydraulic Fracture Treatment Well, CSEG GeoConvention.

Chorney D.R, B. Lee, and S.C. Maxwell (2016) Microseismic Geomechanical Modeling of Asymmetry of an Upper Montney Hydraulic Fracture, CSEG GeoConvention.

S.C. Maxwell, M. Mack, F. Zhang, D. Chorney, S.D. Goodfellow and M. Grob (2015) Differentiating Wet and Dry Microseismic Events Induced During Hydraulic Fracturing, URTEC.

S.C. Maxwell, D. Chorney, and S.D. Goodfellow. (2015) Microseismic Geomechanics of Hydraulic-Fracture Networks: Insights into Mechanisms of Microseismic Sources, The Leading Edge.

Chorney D.R., and S.C Maxwell (2015) Reservoir Characterization for Improved Fracture Modeling and Microseismic Prediction, Society of Exploration Geophysics, New Orleans

Zhang F., D. Chorney, M. Grob, S. Maxwell, B. Damjanac, and J. Hazzard. (2015) Effects of Hydraulic Fracture Crossing Natural Fractures: Numerical Study Using Hybrid Discrete-Continuum Modeling, International Symposium on Rock Mechanics.

Chorney D., Jain P., Grob M., and Van der Baan M. (2014) Numerical Analysis of Acoustic Emissions, the Radiated Energy and their Moment Tensors in Triaxial Deformation Tests, American Rock Mechanics Association.

Chorney D., P. Jain, M. Grob and M. Van der Baan. (2013) Modeling of Microseismicity Associated with Rock Deformation and Fracturing, GeoConvention, CSEG.

Chorney D., Jain P., Grob M., and Van der Baan M. (2012) Geomechanical modeling of rock fracturing and associated microseismicty, The Leading Edge.

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