PhD position in experimental geomechanics at Delft University of Technology

The safety, sustainability and efficiency of many geotechnical structures (e.g. geological disposal of hazardous waste, dikes, landfills) strongly rely on the performance of clays, which are used as natural or engineered barrier to limit fluid flow and pollutant transport.  Accordingly, fractures that develop in clays as a result of mechanical and/or environmental loading often represent a threat to the structures. Understanding the development and fate of these fractures is therefore crucial to assess the performance of geotechnical structures.

The aim of the PhD project is to experimentally investigate the development and fate of cracks in clays subjected to mechanical and environmental loads. Emphasis is on understanding the self-sealing and self-healing mechanisms.

As part of the research project, the PhD candidate will develop a novel experimental set-up to track the state of fractures during the self-sealing and self-healing process. The PhD candidate will therefore benefit from world class laboratory and imaging facilities already available in the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of TU Delft and partner institutions (via existing strong collaborations such as EPOS-NL), and the support of experience technical staff.

This position is linked to the Veni project “How do fractures perish? A novel framework for modelling self-healing of clays” funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). The PhD candidate will also integrate the European Joint Research Programme in the management and disposal of radioactive waste (EURAD) funded by the European Commission.

Further information on eligibility criteria and application procedure can be found here.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Anne-Catherine Dieudonné,

The closing date for applications is 5th January 2021.

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