PhD Position in Experimental Soil Mechanics at TU Delft

The section of Geo-Engineering at Delft University of Technology is searching for a doctoral student to enhance the understanding and modelling of the hydro-mechanical behaviour of organic soils containing gas bubbles.

Organic soils are extremely vulnerable to climate change as increased temperatures accelerate drying, shrinkage and decomposition of the organic matter. Gases such as CH4 and CO2 produced by the decomposition of the organic matter saturate the pore fluid and can eventually be exsolved as bubbles by temperature increase, atmospheric pressure decrease, and unloading. Gas bubbles in soils can compromise the performance and safety of structures and infrastructure with irreversible deformations and reduction of resistance. Research on the effects of gas bubbles on the response of organic soils is still at an early stage and a comprehensive geotechnical model for the effects of gas in organic soils is still lagging behind. The project aims at deepening the understanding and modelling of the hydro-mechanical behaviour of organic soils containing gas bubbles to mitigate the impact of climate-related hazards in natural organic soils.

The twofold aim of the PhD project is:

  • To experimentally investigate the coupled hydro-mechanical behaviour of organic soils containing gas bubbles both at the micro- and the macro-scale with advanced image analysis techniques and element testing.
  • To enhance existing constitutive models for organic soils in order to include the effects of gas in the prediction of their geotechnical behaviour.

The selected candidate will collaborate in a research team with ongoing research activities in experimental soil mechanics at TU Delft. The PhD candidate will benefit from advanced experimental laboratory facilities including triaxial apparatuses, geotechnical centrifuge and X-ray micro-CTalready available in the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of TU Delft and partner institutions, and the support of experienced technical staff.

More information about the vacancy and the employment conditions can be found in this PDF FILE.

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 22nd August 2022 via the TU Delft website (Job details ( and upload a detailed CV, a motivation letter (1 page maximum), and contact details of 2 referees.

For further information please contact:

Dr. Stefano Muraro

Prof. Dr. Cristina Jommi

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