Postdoctoral Fellow (CO2 – ultramafic rocks physical and chemical interactions)

The Department of Geological Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin seeks to hire a talented and innovative postdoctoral Scholar who will be supervised by Nicola Tisato and D. Nicolas Espinoza. The scholar will collaborate with scientists in the Rock Deformation Laboratory, the Department of Geological Sciences, and the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department at UT Austin.


  1. To conduct independent research focused on the carbonation of ultramafic rocks through an activity revolving around laboratory experiments.
  2. Design, prepare and perform rock mechanics and rock physics experiments. The experiments will require the postdoctoral fellow to collaborate with project partners to secure rock hand samples from which to prepare rock core plugs (cylinders) by using a drill press and a lathe in a fully equipped laboratory.
  3. Characterize such core plugs using common laboratory tools such as a scale, a caliper, and a gas pycnometer.
  4. Using internal UT Austin or external laboratories to prepare thin sections and perform analyses to characterize the rocks, for example, using scanning electron microscopy analyses.
  5. Perform other analyses on the studied rocks that will require manipulating the samples (e.g., grinding to powder).
  6. Perform experiments on the core plugs by means of high-pressure and temperature-pressure vessels also in combination with X-ray imaging techniques to assess the dissolution and precipitation of new mineral phases when CO2 and water are injected into the core plug. Thus, the Postdoctoral fellow is required to work with apparatuses that can hold high-pressure (max 200 MPa) fluids and produce elevated temperatures (max 400 degC).
  7. Performing these experiments will require the Postdoctoral fellow to set up the experiments, which could include collaborating with machine shops (internal to UT Austin) to engineer new mechanical parts and devise other electric or electronic parts in collaboration with the PIs.
  8. Acquire and analyze experimental data and use rock physics laws and tools to model the results.
  9. Perform literature reviews, give presentations at conferences, write manuscripts for peer-review journals, and write research grant proposals if needed.
  10. The postdoctoral fellow will have direct access to several facilities at UT Austin, including the Rock Deformation Laboratory and the Rock Mechanics Laboratory.

 Preferred Qualifications

Research experience in carbon dioxide sequestration. Research experience in fluids-rocks chemo-physical interaction. Experience in analytical methodologies (e.g., XRD, XRF, CT-scanning). Experience with CT-scan imaging and imaging processing software (e.g., imageJ, etc). Experience with sensors and microcontroller programming (e.g., Arduino, etc).

Apply here:—Postdoctoral-Fellow–CO2—ultramafic-rocks-physical-and-chemical-interactions-_R_00026598

More information and questions: Nicola Tisato (, D Nicolas Espinoza ( and on this attached pdf file.

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