Post-doctoral position at INERIS

Underground Coal Gasification context
Position: One year post doctoral position
Duration: The project is immediately available for one year
Contact: Dr F. Laouafa

Job Description
Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) is a method that converts in situ coal into a synthesis gas. The UCG combustion zone develops within and around a cavity that will be partially filled with caved coal rubble and possibly caprock rubble from the roof of the cavity. This zone propagates between injection and production wells. The temperature within the combustion zone can reach several thousand Celsius degrees. Host-coal/rock thermal conductivity affects heat conduction. Permeability, particularly within fracture networks and damaged zones, along with hydrostatic pressure, affects water flows. Hydraulic, thermal and mechanical properties of the hosted rock are strongly affected by high temperature. Such properties of the matrix affect naturally both behaviour and stability of roof materials. Fracture or damage properties will dynamically change as combustion proceeds. All of these effects will interact in a highly dynamic, non-linear manner, influencing the growth of the coal cavity within a heterogeneous host-coal/rock environment. The objective of this research work is to analyse numerically the consequence of UCG on the host rock. The focus of this work is on the induced thermo-hydro-mechanical forces. Modeling will be made on the basis of accurate description of the mechanical properties of the involved materials. Proper rules for crack or damage initiation will be developed on the basis of fracture mechanics and material nonlinearity.
This research project is performed in the framework of scientific collaboration between INERIS and TOTAL.
Applications are invited for the position of a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Thermo-hydro-mechanic computations in the Ground and Underground division at INERIS institute, close to Paris. The position can begin in March 2012. Applicants should have a Doctoral degree in Computational Geomechanics, Computational Mechanics or Rocks mechanics. Special consideration will be given to applicants with a strong background in either computational multi-physics, computational mechanics or mathematical modeling. Interested applicants should contact Dr F. Laouafa at the address given below and provide PDF files of (i) an up-to-date CV, (ii) research publications in Journals and (iii) names of two referees including the doctoral supervisor.
Dr Farid Laouafa
Unité Risques Naturels, Ouvrages & Stockages Direction des Risques du Sol et du Sous-sol
Parc Technologique ALATA, BP N°2, 60550 Verneuil-en Halatte – FRANCE
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