Three Assistant Professors in Earth Sciences at Utrecht University

The Department of Earth Sciences at Utrecht University is seeking outstanding candidates (f/m) to fill three tenure-track positions in Earth Sciences at the Assistant Professor level. We may consider a higher-level appointment for one of the positions. The department’s mission is to advance our understanding and prediction capability of processes that govern the evolution of System Earth from the molecular to the planetary and from the microsecond to the geological time scale. Our ambition is to be a world-leading centre of excellence in scientific research as well as research training and teaching, and to contribute in a meaningful way to the challenges of a modern, sustainable society by acquiring new and fundamental geo-scientific knowledge and by directly addressing societal challenges related to the field of earth sciences.

Within the context of this mission and ambition, we seek enthusiastic scientists and educators who are able to develop their own internationally recognised research line in any field within the Earth Sciences. We are especially interested in research complementary (in field and/or techniques) to that already conducted in our department with the exclusion of themes covered in our sister department of Physical Geography and the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht.

See attachment for more information. You can also contact Prof Jack Middelburg, head of department, via j.b.m.middelburg@uu. nl.
You may also wish to visit our research pages at

The application deadline is March 15, 2021.

Advanced virtual course on “Modeling Granular Processes for Energy and Environment (GPE)”

Granular materials such as soils, powders and pharmaceutical products constitute the most abundant form of solid matter on Earth. Composed of a large number of grains interacting via frictional contacts and/or cohesive forces, they defy the standard scheme of classification in terms of solid, liquid, and gas. Their complex behavior has been at the focus of contemporary research in physics, mechanics, chemistry and geosciences. Today, the models and methods developed for two decades in this field represent a vast potential for application to technological and societal challenges related to energy, materials and environment.

The aim of this course is to provide a general introduction to both classical and modern concepts, models and methods developed for granular materials with a view of application to research issues in energy and environment. To bridge the gap between basic concepts and applications, several environmental granular processes and the related research issues are covered. As numerical simulations play a crucial role in modern research on granular processes, several methods will be introduced. Furthermore, an important part of the course will be focused on the multiscale modeling of granular materials from particle interactions and particle-scale inhomogeneities up to their collective and rheological behavior at the macroscopic scale.

Continue reading

Fully Funded PhD Research Studentship on Machine learning to determine soil properties

Project Title: Machine learning to determine soil properties: a smartphone-based solution for stakeholders

PhD Studentship: This 3.5 years fully funded doctoral program is a collaboration between Abertay University and the James Hutton Institute. Abertay University is one of the fastest growing universities in the UK. In the latest Guardian University League Tables, Abertay University is ranked 8th in the UK in Civil Engineering among 60 institutes and 1st in Scotland. Abertay University has been named UK University of Year for Teaching Quality by The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. The James Hutton Institute (based in Dundee and Aberdeen) is one of the largest environmental and agricultural research institutes in the UK, carrying out research in climate change, soil science, crop breeding, agronomy and many other topics.

Project Description: Soil properties, such as organic carbon, can be estimated using modern data mining and modelling approaches. The proposed approach will correlate soil colour with soil structure metrics extracted from images produced by smartphone and tablet cameras, as well as environmental factors. This approach was used as a foundation to develop a mobile phone app which measures Scottish soil organic carbon content. This research project aims to build on work done to date to develop a new machine learning model that enhances existing performance and functionality. Furthermore, the project proposes analysing the pH, bulk density, particle size distribution and permeability of the soil using images. Following development of the model, a new SolEst app will be developed and tested, which provides an environmentally-friendly and costless platform for land managers working in the construction and agriculture sectors to analyse these and other soil properties using their mobile phone. This interdisciplinary project merges geotechnical engineering, digital technology and artificial intelligence to introduce a cutting-edge method for soil analysis using widely available smartphone technology.

Continue reading

Two Postdoctoral Positions in Computational Geomechanics at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University invites applications for two postdoctoral positions in Computational Geomechanics.

About PolyU Hong Kong: the Hong Kong Polytechnic University is ranked the third-best universities for Civil Engineering in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities Ranking 2021.

Available positions: There are currently two postdoctoral positions at PolyU Hong Kong funded by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the year 2021. The positions offer the possibility of working on multiscale multiphysics modelling of fluid-structure-soil interaction in offshore geotechnics.

Continue reading

PostDoctoral position in multiphase flow and hydrodynamic transport in permeable media: experiments, data analysis, and simulations

The University of Barcelona (UB) and the Spanish National Research Council (IDAEA-CSIC, Barcelona) invite applications for a postdoctoral position to study multiphase flow and hydrodynamic transport in permeable media. The position is part of the HydroPore project, a joint project between the IDAEA-CSIC, the UB and the Technical University of Madrid (UPM).

You will find more details on this project and conditions to apply in this attached file. You may apply for this position until February 14, 2021.

PhD Position in geo-environmental science and engineering

PhD position in the newly formed Westlake Institute for Advanced Study in Hangzhou China. Full scholarships available. The project is focused on creating advanced modelling techniques for the complex physics present in geoenvironmental problems. Excellent applicants coming from Mathematics, Physics, Civil or Mechanical Engineering, or related fields are welcome to apply. Experience in computational methods such as Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics, Particle Finite Element Method, Material Point Method and related methods is also highly desirable.

The Westlake Institute for Advanced Study is a newly formed university with great support from the local government as well as the private sector. For more information about the Institute please visit its website

Information on the group research activities can be found in . To discuss the position, please contact Associate Professor Sergio Torres at

Instructions on the PhD program can be found in

3 “STARS program” PhD positions related to soil mechanics open at Charles University

The STARS program provides fully funded PhD positions at Charles University, Faculty of Science. Now there are 3 calls related to soil mechanics and groundwater flow open until 11th of March (starting date Oct 2021):

PhD positions at Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, Scotland)

The Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, offers two open PhD positions, starting in September 2021, that are possibly of interest to ALERT students.  These PhDs are open to worthy candidates from all nationalities, and are to be awarded competitively.  Successful candidates receive a living grant (‘salary’) of £15,285 (approximately 17,250€) per annum.  Tuition fees are covered.  The application deadline is soon, on 31 January 2021.  The application form is available here   Both PhDs are also advertised through

  1. Efficient uncertainty quantification of CO2 storage sites through machine learning to better assess the risk of leakage: Summary: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is potentially a game changer for CO2 mitigation, yet it is not widely used, in part because of significant risks of leakage to surface which are difficult to quantify.  Top seal leakage occurs when any fracture or fault (new or pre-existing) opens through the sealing layer to allow CO2 to escape.  This PhD project addresses sealing and leaking of topseals over CO2 storage sites by simulating both the fracture development (geomechanical simulation) and the fluid scenarios (fluid flow simulation) to identify safe and unsafe scenarios.   1st supervisor Dr Helen Lewis:
  2. Digital-Rock Micro-Mechanics Approach to Derive Poroelastic Behaviours: Summary: This project represents a major new direction for digital-rock research, going beyond the current perspective that the solid framework is rigid. The project builds on a new paradigm for fluid-solid geomechanical interactions, creating numerical methods to implement this new process understanding in realistic digital-rock models. The project adopts a quasi-static perspective that accounts for changes in states, but with a design philosophy that envisages a subsequent move to full dynamic conditions.  1st supervisor Dr Gary Couples:

Please feel free to discuss with the supervisors.

Continue reading

PhD position in Computational Geomechanics at NTNU (Norway)

We have a vacancy for a 3-year PhD fellowship at the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP). The position is within computational geomechanics. The research will include development and implementation of boundary-element methods (BEM) with plasticity. The PhD student will be assigned to the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum and will be supervised by Prof. Alexandre Lavrov. 

The main goal of the PhD project is to develop, implement and test a robust and computationally efficient numerical method in 2D and 3D, to enable modelling of deformation and failure around underground excavations.

For more information:

PhD Position at TU Delft

Coupled Multiprocess Research for Reducing Landfill Emissions

The aim of the project CURE (Coupled Multiprocess Research for Reducing Landfill Emissions) is to develop a tool for predicting settlement and emissions from landfills during and after full scale in situ treatment that includes aeration and/or leachate recirculation. This knowledge is vital to reduce the long-term cost of landfill operations and to assess the viability of sustainable landfilling practices.

This particular PhD project searches for a fundamental stochastic framework that explains the dynamics in the observed leachate quantity, quality and waste stabilization. Based on evidence by laboratory experiments, in situ field and modelled data, this framework has to take into account a variety of landfill characteristics and processes, such as gas, water and solute dynamics, biogeochemical reactivity, as well as mobile and immobile porosity. Calibration of this framework will require the use of Travel Time Distributions (TTD), Storage Age Selection functions (SAS) and Bayesian Inference (BI). The research requires a significant amount of data handling in the form of Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) processes and querying (SQL) due to the great variety in data sources, time and dimensional scales.

See attached file or the link below for more information: