PhD Position in the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ottawa, Canada

Description: A 4-year PhD position on modeling gas migration in bentonite-based engineered barrier for deep geological repository (DGR) of nuclear waste is now open in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Ottawa, Canada. The option of disposing of nuclear waste in a deep geological repository is currently being studied in several countries, including Canada. In a DGR system, a series of engineered (EB) and natural (NB) barriers will work together to contain and isolate nuclear waste to protect people and the environment. However, a significant amount of gas can be generated in a DGR from several processes. Gas migration through the bentonite-based barrier could jeopardize the safety of the DGR. Thus, a thorough understanding and proper modeling of gas migration through bentonite-based barrier is essential for the design and safety evaluation of a DRG. The successful applicant will: (i) develop suitable mathematical models to describe and predict gas migration in bentonite-based materials; (ii) validate the models against laboratory experiments and in-situ tests; (iii) numerically simulate gas migration through the buffer and shaft of a potential Canadian DGR. The selected candidate will collaborate as part of a research team, including, professors, federal and industry partners, with ongoing research activities on DGR technology in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Ottawa. In addition, the selected candidate will have the opportunity to participate in international conferences/seminars to present the results of his/her research.

Scholarship: The successful candidate will receive a PhD admission scholarship of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Ottawa (Admission scholarship | University of Ottawa (

Requirements: Applicants should possess a Master in Geotechnical Engineering, Civil Engineering, or related disciplines. Demonstrated research experience in the areas of constitutive modeling, finite element method and/or multiphysics modeling is required for this position. Applicants should meet the PhD admission criteria of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Ottawa.

Supervision: Prof. M. Fall, Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ottawa

Application deadline: August 31, 2022.

Application procedure: If you are interested in this PhD position, please send your CV and a motivation letter (email message) to Prof. M. Fall ( by August 31, 2022.

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