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.

Eligibility: To be eligible, applicants should have an excellent Bachelor’s degree in a suitable (numerate) discipline including geomechanics as a major component.  A Masters degree in a relevant topic is helpful but is not required. 

How to Apply: Complete the online application form by 31 January 2021. Please select PhD Applied Geoscience programme, and include the project reference number, project title and supervisor names on the application. 

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