Post-doc position on permafrost/frozen ground at Westlake University

This is a post-doc position in Liang Lei’s lab for a joint permafrost project collaborating with Ling Li’s lab and Sergio Andres Galindo Torres’s lab.

Introduction of The Lab/Research Field

Dr. Lei’s research on porous media features temperature, pressure and stress control, pore-scale insights based on micro-CT technique integrated with conventional testing, multi-physics experiments and theoretical analysis. Targeted areas include: (1) particulate material and porous media under abnormal conditions and their interaction with pore constituents; (2) energy, marine, and resource geo-engineering; (3) permafrost and outer space sediments; (4) natural gas hydrates and their hosting sediments; (5) massive energy storage; and (6) multi-phase flow and crystallization in porous media.

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PhD opportunity: “Experimental and numerical investigations of puncture failure of geomembranes lining systems”

Laboratory experiments dealing with interactions between granular materials and geomembranes will be conducted in the project. Then DEM modeling of the experiments will be designed following a “digital twin” approach. The objective of the PhD is to precise the local processes of geomembrane failure subjected to puncturing actions and precise the design of protective layers of geotextiles. More information in the attached proposals (french and english).

The PhD project will be conducted at INRAE in Aix-en-Provence (France) and may start as early as October 2021 (with some flexibility).

Applications (CV and cover letter) should be sent to Guillaume Stoltz ( and Antoine Wautier (

Position: ATER at Centrale Nantes

L’École Centrale Nantes recherche un.e Attaché.e Temporaire d’Enseignement et de Recherche pour l’équipe de Géomécanique – Génie Civil.

Activités d’enseignement :

Le (la) candidat(e) devra enseigner dans les matières liées au Génie Civil et à la Mécanique des géomatériaux. Il (elle) interviendra notamment dans les différents Unités d’Enseignement liées avec la Géomécanique/Géotechnique et en général le Génie Civil dans les différents parcours de la formation Génie Civil au sein de Centrale Nantes (ingénieur (sous statuts étudiant et apprenti), master). La capacité d’enseigner en anglais est un plus. Le (la) candidat(e) retenu(e) participera à la vie de l’École et de l’équipe pédagogique.

Activités de recherche :

Le (la) candidat(e) mènera ses activités de recherche au sein de l’Equipe Matériaux – Environnement Ouvrages – du GeM.

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PhD Opportunity: “Development of novel grouting technology for subsurface engineering & the net-zero carbon revolution”

The University of Strathclyde is currently recruiting for a funded PhD project in subsurface engineering.

This lab-based project will focus on developing micron- and nano-scale technology to create novel grouts for enhancing the hydro-mechanical properties of the subsurface. During the project, different subsurface engineering applications will be scoped with the aim of targeting net-zero carbon related opportunities such as energy storage (compressed air, hydrogen), geothermal energy, and carbon sequestration. The candidate will be joining a research group with a track record in developing novel grouts, and in using advanced techniques such as X-ray micro CT and bespoke designed mechanical testing equipment to characterise and evaluate the grout effectiveness.

The deadline for the application is the 13 August 2021. For more details or information on how to apply, please see this file.

Post-doc Position at the University of Southampton (UK): SEAMLESS ‘SharEd Anchor Multidirectional Load Envelopes with Strength Synthesis’

We are hiring a post-doc for a 12months project on shared anchors for floating offshore renewable energy technologies. The project will systematically investigate the cyclic behaviour of those anchors by geotechnical centrifuge modelling in the new National Infrastructure Laboratory. Centrifuge tests will be complemented by X-ray tomography to investigate the anchor failure mechanism. This is an excellent opportunity to work closely with the offshore industry on the future of offshore engineering, as the project has several industrial partners (NGI, EQUINOR, CORPOWER, Lloyds Register and ORE CATAPULT).

More details can be found in this file or on the site of the University of Southampton:

Joint PhD position at the CY Cergy Paris Université (France) and the University of Warwick (UK)

PhD Studentship: REcycling of waste geomaterials and their application as primary
constituents for high-level CONstructions (RECON)

We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated PhD student with proven interest and background in geomechanics and/or construction materials fields. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a joint PhD research supported by the EUTOPIA PhD Cotutelle programme. The PhD study will be carried out at the CY Cergy Paris Université (CY) in France and the University of Warwick (UoW) in the UK. The doctoral student will spend half of the PhD in CY and half of the PhD in UoW.

More information in this attachment.

PhD position at Heriot-Watt University (UK)


What is the problem?

When we use the subsurface to store CO2 or Hydrogen, the rocks can deform inelastically as the reservoir conditions change – processes well described in geomechanics. But this permanent strain can lead to significant leakage and to induced seismicity risks during operation and/or long term storage. At worst, these risks pose a substantial threat to property and health – so much so that regulators and investors may halt projects before they start as we can’t correctly estimate the geomechanically-derived risks.

The key technical challenge for most storage reservoirs is to accurately quantify uncertainties and risks associated with geomechanical property changes from a few computer model forecasts. Geomechanical simulation software is complex and data-intensive, each run taking many hours to days. Such long run times make statistically thorough methods to quantifying uncertainty impractical. In most circumstances, we can’t afford the thousands of required model realisations. So such risks may be misestimated or even missed.

The longest model run times occur when we couple simulations of fluid flow (production and injection) with geomechanical simulations to predict how a development plan may alter the reservoir rocks properties and how this will impact fluid movement and field operations. To solve the system of equations for fluid flow and geomechanics together, we need to connect very different modelling approaches, the differences in the solvers typically precluding full coupling. Instead, the packages interact by running separately but simultaneously and passing data back and forth between iterations. This is a technically monumental challenge and the run times of the models are far longer than the combined times of each model run separately.

To accurately quantify uncertainties in geomechanically sensitive reservoirs we must run many more models than we do today, exploring a more diverse set of geological scenarios. But to run more models, we must significantly improve the efficiency of coupling fluid flow and geomechanical simulations. Machine learning provides one solution: once trained on an appropriate data set it can capture complex, non-linear systems very rapidly.

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PhD position (teaching assistant) at the University of Liège (Belgium)

Applications are invited for a PhD student at the University of Liège, to work on Unsaturated soil mechanics – Experimental and constitutive focus on desiccation cracking in fine-grained soils.

The PhD candidate will also take part in teaching activites related to soil and rock mechanics courses. The research and teaching assistant position is granted for a first term of two years, renewable for up to 2 further periods of 2 years.

Project description

The mechanics of desiccation cracking is a complex hydro-mechanical process, induced by soil drying in partially or totally strain-constrained conditions. Desiccation cracks may affect significantly the hydro-mechanical properties of fine-grained soils (strength weakening, increased compressibility, increased permeability), leading to potential geotechnical issues (landslide triggering, soil erosion, leakage of impermeable barrier, …).

In the framework of unsaturated soil mechanics, this study will investigate the conditions of desiccation cracks triggering, their propagation and their aperture evolution, from experimental and constitutive approaches. Suction control techniques, image analysis and tensile strength testing will be developed. A particular attention will be devoted to the determination of tensile strength criterion at various suctions, through innovative experimental developments

The experimental characteristics will then be encapsulated in constitutive laws and implemented in a finite element code. The numerical simulations will incorporate the modelling of water evaporation, the hydro-mechanical response of soil upon drying, the tensile strength criterion and the impact on the presence of the crack mechanical and hydraulic response of the ground. Finally, the methodology will be applied to study the conditions of occurrence of desiccation cracking in full-scale problems (earthfill dike, nuclear waste disposal gallery, landfill waste disposal, agricultural soils, …).

Requirements and application procedure

The position is open to graduated students (Master degree) in Civil Engineering, Geosciences or related disciplines.

Applicants should have a high level of proficiency in written and spoken English. The successful candidate is also expected to learn French during his first two years.

Applications must be sent by email to Prof. Frédéric Collin ( It should include a motivation letter, a CV and a short abstract of the Master thesis. Please contact Prof. Frédéric Collin if you need more information.

Applications are welcome before 12th July 2021. The starting date is at the latest the 1st October 2021.

Joint PhD position opening in Offshore Geotechnics at KULeuven and UCLouvain (Belgium)

Applications are welcomed for a joint PhD position KULeuven-UCLouvain starting October 1, 2021.

The objective of the project is to develop a better understanding of the soil-structure interaction during the installation and operational use of piles installed by vibratory driving for Offshore wind turbines. Semi-analytical and numerical models will be developed and calibrated using cyclic triaxial tests in conditions characteristic for offshore environments. The results of the models will be compared to reduced scale experiments of impact and vibratory driving for the installation and the extraction, but also the mechanical behavior of the pile subjected to cyclic loading under wind and wave loading. The developed methodology will be applied to actual case studies, aiming at a characterization of the soil-pile interaction and providing design guidelines.

To apply and get more detailed information, please see