PhD position at the Catholic University of Leuven and the Belgian Nuclear Research Center

In support of the research programme related to the safe disposal of nuclear waste, KU Leuven and SCK CEN are looking for a PhD candidate for following topic:

Diffusion of gases in desaturated clay-based materials

The main aim of the PhD is to investigate how desaturation influences the diffusive properties of the samples for gases. This will be accomplished by performing diffusion experiments on different clay-rich materials (e.g. Boom Clay, Opalinus Clay, bentonite, sand-bentonite mixtures, …) at different degrees of saturation (but still highly saturated to avoid a continuous gas pathway), using different gases (He, Ne, CH4, C2H6). Different methods to perform transport experiments under desaturated conditions exist (e.g. osmosis method, saturated salt method …), but none of them has been used to measure diffusivity of dissolved gases. Diffusivity data will be complemented with a full petrophysical characterisation of all samples in order to assess the effect of changing petrophysical properties on diffusivity, and to compare the observations to those of fully saturated samples. The PhD will be executed in the international context of the EC-EURAD project, with close collaboration between SCK-CEN and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI, CH) and other partners involved in EURAD. More information on the topic & how to apply can be found on

For further details, please contact Dr. Elke Jacops (

Deadline for application is September 4th, 2020

Academia during the COVID-19 pandemic (survey results)

Dear Colleagues,

The coronavirus pandemic and associated isolation periods have affected all academic activities in every corner of the globe.

The attached essay reports the results of an early study that examines the implications of this period on education and research within the geotechnical and earth science academic communities in four distinct geographical locations. It also includes the results of complementary surveys conducted to explore faculty choices for online education and student preferences.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any comments and feedback.

With best wishes to you all,

Carlos Santamarina

PhD proposal in Grenoble (INRAE and 3SR laboratory) on double-scale modelling of snow avalanche release

Snow is a fascinating material with a complex and evolving microstructure. Snow avalanches, notably slab avalanches, are generally initiated by failure and collapse in the snowpack of a so-called weak layer, whose thickness can be very small (a few mm). This phenomenon, in which the instability of a whole slope is ultimately controlled by rupture mechanisms at the scale of the microstructure of the weak layer, is intrinsically multiscale.

Key points of the PhD:

  • Development of an innovative numerical approach
  • Applications to natural hazards (snow avalanches)
  • Stimulating and multidisciplinary work team

More details in the attached file.

PhD position on landfill stabilisation (project CURE)

The project CURE (Coupled multiprocess research for reducing landfill emissions) investigates the reduction of the emission potential of landfills by in situ stabilisation measures and will develop predictive tools to forecast the pertaining processes and residual emissions. The objective of the research carried out in this particular PhD project is to quantitatively analyse the spatio-temporal response of landfills to different in-situ stabilisation measures by monitoring the change in quantity and quality of emissions through the water and gas phase as well as the change in the landfills’ structural architecture. This will be achieved by high-resolution measurements of

  • Leachate quantity and quality, including stable isotopes and DNA/RNA profiling
  • 3D temperature time series and 3D water content time series
  • Gas quantity and quality
  • Stabilisation-induced consolidation.
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Post-Doc opportunity in the CIMNE-UPC Geomechanics group

I would like to invite applications for a Severo Ochoa PostDoc Researcher Position at the CIMNE-UPC Geomechanics group  in Barcelona. It is an opportunity to join an active research group working in advanced coupled numerical analysis.  The appointment is intended to run for three years. The deadline for applications is June 14th.  More details are provided in the attached file.

Antonio Gens

Call for Submissions – Geo-Extreme 2021

Dear Colleagues:

We would like to draw your attention to the attached Call for Submissions for Geo-Extreme 2021, a specialty conference organize by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to be held at the Hyatt Regency Savannah, in Savannah, GA, USA, on August 15-18, 2021.

Geo-Extreme 2021 aims to create a multi-disciplinary forum to discuss how the geo-engineering community can work with other professionals, e.g., climate scientists, engineers, emergency managers, resilience and sustainability investigators, insurance experts, and policy makers, to cope with extreme events (such as hurricanes, floods, extreme precipitations, droughts, wildfires, debris flows, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides) under a changing climate.

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PhD position within HoTMiX project

Context:This PhD will take place within HoTMiX which is a joint French-German academic research project funded for 3 years by the ANR and DFG agencies. It brings together 6 academic labs and is supported by the St Gobain and Safran companies. The aim of the project is to provide a deep understanding of the relationships between the nonlinear mechanical response of oxide materials at very high temperature and their microstructure at the nanoscale. The relationship between microstructure and mechanical properties will be explored by combining two different approaches. In situ measurements at very high temperature or under applied stresses will be carried out using X-ray based advanced techniques at synchrotron radiation beamlines and accurate microstructural modelling based on virtual microstructures submitted to temperature and external stresses evolutions will be developed. More details on the HoTMiX project can be found here:

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A joint PhD position on Investigation of hydromechanical and electrokinetic couplings during gas migration in saturated clayey rock at mesoscopic scales

Applications are welcomed for a joint PhD position between GeoRessources laboratory (University of Lorraine), LFCR laboratory (University of Pau) and IRSN. The objective of this thesis is to propose mesoscopic models capable of taking into account Hydromechanical and Electrokinetic couplings when simulating flow and transport in large representative elemental volumes (REVs) typically out of reach of molecular methods.

The candidate must be a highly motivated and autonomous person with a recent university master’s degree (or equivalent) in mechanics, reservoir engineering, applied mathematics, civil engineering or other relevant field. He or she must demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the principles of fluid mechanics governing the behaviour of porous media. Experience in the development of numerical methods, in particular LBM methods would be an asset. The successful applicant will work under the supervision of

Dr Fabrice Golfier (GeoRessources) and Dr Amael Obliger (LFCR), as well as Dr Anne-Julie Tinet (GeoRessources) and Dr Magdalena Dymitrowska (IRSN).

Candidates are invited to submit their CV, master’s transcripts and cover letter here:

More information in the attachment.

PhD position at Laboratoire 3SR (Grenoble)

Subject: “A micro-mechanical approach to cemented granular materials”

You will find the project description and more information on the recruitment process in this attached file.

Supervision team
• Alessandro Tengattini (
• Cino Viggiani (
• Pierre Bésuelle (

Please send a detailed CV and a letter of motivation to all three emails above.

Application deadline: 31st May