Postdoc: Accelerating Process Understanding for Ecosystem Functioning under Extreme Climates with Physics-Aware Machine Learning (EcoExtreML)

Droughts (water stress) and extreme heat events (rising temperature and vapor pressure deficit (VPD)) can drastically reduce carbon uptake via downregulating photosynthesis, and can trigger tipping points such as widespread vegetation mortality. Researches into the mechanisms governing when, where and how trees die have revealed that plant xylem hydraulic traits are the predominant significant predictors of cross-sites and species patterns in drought response of ecosystem functioning. Specifically, water stress-induced declines in xylem water potential, deteriorates the hydraulic conductance of xylem tissue and forms embolisms that impair water transport, cascading a series of failures of key dependent processes (e.g., gas exchange, photosynthesis, phloem transport), leading to tissue desiccation and ultimately to vegetation mortality. Furthermore, plant hydraulics  convolute with subsurface soil water/heat/carbon dynamics, which make the soil-water-plant-energy interaction an intricate topic.

Remote sensing of fluorescence and plant-hydraulics-based vegetation models are state-of-the-art approaches to monitor and predict drought responses of ecosystem functioning. In EcoExtreML project, you are expected to enhance/reinforce the coupling between the vegetation photosynthesis model (SCOPE) with the soil moisture/heat model (STEMMUS, considering dynamic root growth), synergized with Earth-Observation data, to understand how water-carbon dynamics of ecosystem vary with variable environmental and climate stress. You are expected to work with a multidisciplinary team, consisting experts from vadose zone hydrology, ecohydrology, remote sensing, big geodata analytics, machine learning, as well as eSciences.

More information to be found on this website:!/185/researcher-for-the-ecoextreml-project

PhD Position in Experimental Soil Mechanics at TU Delft

The section of Geo-Engineering at Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) is searching for a doctoral student to enhance the understanding and the modelling of the coupled hydro-mechanical behaviour of soft soils subjected to cycles of environmental and mechanical loads.

Soft highly organic soils are widespread in the foundation layers of the built environment all over the world. They contain organic matter, roots and fibres, which improve their mechanical response. However, these soils are extremely vulnerable to climate-related hazards. Increasing climatic stresses, such as heat waves, drought, and more frequent intense precipitation accelerate the degradation of organic soils, by increasing their drying and shrinkage rate above the water table and their decomposition rate under water, with gas generation and exsolution. Both these mechanisms, drying and gas exsolution, ultimately contribute to significant land subsidence and reduction in available resistance. Quantifying the geotechnical engineering consequences of seasonally varying loads, including drying-wetting, temperature cycles and degradation, on organic soils is extremely challenging due to the complexity of a proper description of multi-physics gas-liquid-solid interaction. The project aims at deepening the understanding and the modelling of these coupled processes, to mitigate the climate-related hazard in natural soils and to assist in the design of durable innovative green solutions.

The twofold aim of the PhD project is:

  • To experimentally investigate the coupled hydro-mechanical behaviour of organic soils subjected to cycles of environmental (e.g. drying and wetting, temperature) and mechanical loads. Soft soils reinforced with natural and artificial organic fibres will be tested, to quantify the role played by fibres, gas and fabric on their mechanical behaviour.
  • To enhance existing constitutive models in order to include the effects of environmental factors such as drying-wetting cycles, temperature cycles and degradation in the prediction of their geotechnical properties.

More information about the vacancy and the employment conditions can be found in this PDF FILE.

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 17 October 2021 via the TU Delft website (Job details ( and upload: a detailed CV, motivation letter (1 page maximum), contact details of 2 referees.

For further information please contact:
Dr. Stefano Muraro:
Prof. Dr. Cristina Jommi:

Post-doctoral researcher opportunity at the University of Nottingham, UK

The Nottingham Centre for Geomechanics (NCG) is currently undertaking two large multi-disciplinary projects related to investigating the behaviour of coal-mining spoil materials with a focus on the geotechnical, sustainability, environmental, socio-economic and long-term management challenges. NCG brings together expertise from the worlds of civil, geotechnical, and mining engineering as well as mathematics and material sciences to solve all forms of soil and rock-related design and construction problems. The projects are funded by the European Commission Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) and include project partners from across Europe. We seek a highly motivated researcher to join our team to work on this challenging project.

We are looking to recruit a post-doctoral researcher who will support the work of these RFCS projects as well as support the wider work of the research group. We are looking for someone with a strong numerical and/or constitutive modelling background in geomechanics, preferably someone with experience using ABAQUS.

Candidates should be inquisitive, with a strong interest in applied research, and the personality and drive to interact effectively with industry and project partners. They will have a first degree in Civil Engineering or cognate subject and will have been awarded a PhD (or have submitted their thesis for examination), ideally in an area of Geotechnical Engineering. The successful candidate will have good presentation and report writing skills. A good publication record will be an advantage but its absence should not hinder applications from those who have recently submitted their theses.

For application details see

Further information about the work of the Nottingham Centre for Geomechanics is available on

PhD Positions at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Dr Xuzhen He from UTS is seeking high-achieving PhD students in 2022. The research project is “Multiscale modelling of fluid–particle transport in porous media”, which is funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. Candidates with knowledge and research experience in computational fluid mechanics, discrete element method, and/or multiscale modelling are encouraged to apply.

Applications can be sent to Dr Xuzhen He ( The positions are open until filled.

More information in this pdf file.

CIVIL ENGINEERING PROFESSOR position at Polytechnique Montréal

The Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering of Polytechnique Montréal is seeking exceptional candidates for a tenure track faculty position at the assistant or associate professor level.

The successful candidate must hold a Bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in Civil engineering or a relevant discipline, with a specialization in geotechnical engineering.

Candidates are invited to submit an application that includes:

  • their résumé;
  • a description of their area of expertise;
  • a statement of their teaching and training objectives;
  • a description of their proposed research objectives and program;
  • official records of their diplomas;
  • full contact information of three (3) persons able to provide references;
  • a few examples of work relevant to the position;
  • three (3) recent scientific contributions;
  • teaching evaluations if applicable.

Applications must be received no later than November 1st, 2021 at 5:00 pm, and submitted to:

Professor Richard Simon, ing., Ph.D.
Acting Director
Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering
Polytechnique Montréal
PO Box 6079, Succ. Centre-Ville
Montreal (Quebec) H3C 3A7


Examination of the applications will begin as soon as possible and will continue until the position is filled.

More information on this website.

Getting to Aussois by train

Dear all,

For those of you who are registered to the workshop and school in Aussois, and come by train, a bus has been planned to pick you up at the station at around 19h00, Sunday 26 September.

A bus will also be planned to drive you back to the station at the end of the school but more information will arrive later.

See you soon in Aussois !

International Young Professionals Workshop on Road-Rail Infrastructure (Hybrid), 26th November 2021, Sydney

The Transport Research Centre is organising the International Young Professionals Workshop on Road-Rail Infrastructure (Hybrid), 26th November 2021, Sydney, as we are now taking Registrations (

The workshop will showcase the recent advances in the field of Transport Infrastructure with special reference to ground engineering and the utilisation of novel construction materials. Research students and young professionals will present a range of emerging themes focused on the advancement of rail geotechnology and pavement engineering, including topics covering soil-structure interaction, embankment and substructure design, track construction materials, ground improvement and moving load dynamics.

We invite you all to check the Programme at our website

For further information, please contact

Tec 21 Winter school on “Multi scale approaches and multiphysics couplings in fluid and solid mechanics » (5th Edition)

Grenoble – 31st January to 4th February 2022

Important societal issues require to solve problems of increasing complexity. A key vector of progress relies on multi-scale and multi-physics approaches. The objective of the winter school is to review the different approaches, numerical and experimental techniques to tackle the complexity of today’s engineering problems. All the courses are illustrated through various up-to-date examples. Two days are devoted to practical laboratory work on «high-tech demonstrators» , combining experiments and numerical modeling. The last day  of the school is dedicated to a particular theme. This year this day will be dedicated to “mechanics at the nanoscale”.

• Web Page:

The number of participants is limited and registrations are subject to availability. Registration dead line: 31st December 2021.

The Organizing Committee
Contact :

PhD Positions at Westlake University, Hangzhou, China

We are now seeking highly motivated PhD students to conduct advanced research topics associated with geoenergy, geoenvironment and geohazards in Westlake University (a brandnew high-level research institution in China).
Dr. Sergio’s M3 Lab has the expertise, and in-house codes, on several areas of computational, physical and theoretical modelling of complex processes commonly found in Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering.

Research Topic

The PhD program mainly focuses on interactions between solid, liquid and gas phases at microscopic scale during the processs of gas transport in saturated granular materials. Both experimental and numerical studies will be conducted to understand the complex multiphysical process. The Lab provides advanced experimental facility and in-house code (MECHSYS: to perform the research. The outcome of the research is expected to be beneficial to the gas hydrate development, carbon dioxide sequestration and solid waste disposal, etc.

How to apply

Please contact Professor Sergio Torres ( with your CV and transcripts.

Useful Links

Dr. Sergio’s M3 Lab
Westlake University


Dear ALERT community,

As you may know, the registration for the ALERT Workshop and School 2021 is open! The preliminary program of the Workshop and School is available here.

It was decided to propose you two alternatives for your registration to the workshop and doctoral school: either you can come and participate in Aussois, or you can attend those remotely.

UNFORTUNATELY, the number of participants that can come to Aussois is limited to 160, and has been reached. The only registration possible from now on is therefore remotely.


As a reminder, the restrictions for entering France will depend on your country of departure and your vaccination status (more information here and here).

Your stay (and access) at the CNRS “Centre Paul Langevin” where the event takes place is conditional on the presentation of a HEALTH PASS upon your arrival. This means that you must have at least one of the following documents:

  • A vaccination certificate (provided you have a complete vaccination schedule);
  • A negative test (RT-PCR or antigen of less than 48 hours). For unvaccinated travelers from Cyprus, Spain, Greece, Malta, the Netherlands and Portugal, a negative PCR or antigen test of less than 24 hours is required;
  • A certificate of recovery from Covid-19 (RT-PCR or positive antigen test dated at least 11 days and less than 6 months).

More information can be found here. For members of “green list countries” (see the website), a sworn statement attesting to the absence of symptoms of covid-19 infection and contact with a confirmed case of covid-19 is also required. You can find it here.

Furthermore, the center has implemented a strict health protocol, providing for the wearing of masks in all premises and common areas in order to guarantee the safety of all. The full health and safety protocol can be accessed here, please read it before your arrival.


Please read the hints in the registration form! After filling the form and pressing the button “Register”, a window will open with your invoice. Please print the window with the invoice for your records! You will also get an email with the registration data afterwards. If you are an ALERT members, the corresponding representative of your ALERT institution will receive the registration data too.

Click here to register for the ALERT Workshop and School 2021.

The deadline for the registration is the September 17th! 

Looking forward to (safely) meeting you in Aussois!