PhD Position on “Rheology and transport properties of rock salt”

Title: Rheology and transport properties of rock salt: application to salt cavern storage

Research outline: The PhD candidate will work in the framework of the ANR RockStorHy project, which investigates the rheology and the transport properties of rock salt (in particular, tightness to gases stored in the context of the energy transition).
Several PhD students and French research laboratories will collaborate in the project. A major outcome of this PhD work is to propose a unified constitutive law covering a wide range of stress ranges, which will be fit against the quantitative results of macroscopic tests and the qualitative lessons drawn from microscopic analysis conducted during the project. Transport properties will be examined at the micro and macro-scales (experimental and numerical work). Numerical computations at the cavern scale will be performed using, for comparison, several standard constitutive laws and the unified law resulting from the experimental efforts. Emphasis will be put on cycled operation of hydrogen storage caverns.

Keywords : rock salt, rheology, underground storage, energy transition

Prequisite skills and knowledge:

  • Continuum solid mechanics
  • Strong background in mathematics
  • Knowledge of the finite element method (modeling experience if possible)
  • Willingness to perform experimental work on rocks
  • Fluent in English and French (oral, spoken, written)
  • Eager to work in a multidisciplinary environment


Starting date: not later than January 2, 2023 (grant is for 36 months)

Deadline for applications: September 23, 2022

Please send your application as one pdf file including: CV, letter of motivation, two recommendation letters, bachelor and master grades

Joint PhD position at Polytechnique Montreal and Université de Montpellier

“Multi-scale approach to study the effect of fines content and particle shape on static liquefaction potential of loose mine tailings”

Mine tailings are silty sand slurries deposited by hydraulic filling in storage facilities, where the material remains saturated, loose, and might be liquefiable causing catastrophic mudflows. Empirical evidence shows that intrinsic material parameters, such as characteristic particle size, particle size distribution, and non-plastic fines content, could significantly affect the tailing liquefaction potential. However, it remains unclear what are key elements and physical mechanisms at the source of these observations. The main objective is to develop a general multi-scale framework to assess the static liquefaction potential of loose tailings as a function of fines content and grain shape, based on experimental testing and numerical DEM simulations.

We offer a fully-funded 4-year PhD position, as part of a collaboration between academic institutions, Polytechnique Montréal (Canada) and Université de Montpellier (France), and industrial partners SRK Consulting (Canada) and Peñoles Mining Company (Mexico).

Candidates must have experience with numerical modeling of materials. Experience with experimental set-up and testing of geomaterials, although not necessary, is highly appreciated. Programming skills with python are essential. Students having a Mechanical/Civil Engineering or Physics background are invited to apply.

We invite the candidates to send a detailed CV (including the contact details for 2 references), a motivation letter and Bachelor and Master transcripts to Prof. Carlos Ovalle ( & Prof. Emilien Azéma (

Note: The recruitment process will ensure that the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion are respected, and in the case of equal skills among candidates, preference will be given to the recruitment of women, underrepresented minorities, and individuals with disabilities.

Geotechnical Research Engineer at Bentley/Plaxis

At Plaxis (a Bentley Systems company), we are looking for a Research Engineer to join our geotechnical R&D team in Delft, The Netherlands.
We require a Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering (or affine), a vivid interest in numerical analysis in geotechnical engineering, and Python programming skills.

To read the detailed job description and apply for the position, please use the following link:

PhD Position at EPFL, CH

We are offering one fully-funded, 4-year PhD position in the Laboratory of Experimental Rock Mechanics at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

PhD Project: Earthquakes mechanics at the Brittle to Ductile transition. We will experimentally study earthquake mechanics at conditions representative of the brittle to ductile transition in the earth curst, i.e confining pressure up to 400 MPa and temperature up to 1200°C.  We will use a recently developed high temperature gas medium triaxial press.  Experiments will be coupled with in-situ seismic waves measurements, microstructural analysis, and modelling of the small scale physical processes.  

Main duties and responsibilities include:

  • Carrying out research activities related to rock mechanics under crustal conditions
  • Experiment design and execution
  • Analysing and interpreting experimental results
  • Developing frictional and rheological laws
  • Writing scientific articles for publication in peer-reveiwed journals
  • Participating in laboratory teaching activities, as needed (assisting with exercises, correcting exams, supervision undergraduate and Master research students)
  • Presenting at international conferences

We are looking for candidates with:

  • An MSc degree in the fields of:  Geophysics, rock mechanics, civil engineering, mining engineering, geology
  • An interest in high-pressure and high-temperature experimental techniques, with application to renewable geo-resource, geo-hazard development
  • Good communication skills and willingness to work as part of a team;
  • Enthusiasm, scientific curiosity, willingness to learn, good organisational skills, rigor in experimental work, versatility
  • Experience in rock mechanics, and physics is an asset
  • Fluency in English, facility in French is an asset
  • Proficiency with programming languages (Matlab, Pyton, Labview)

EPFL is an international and world-class engineering university. We offer:

  • An opportunity to develop a scientific career in experimental rock mechanics and physics, which can be ported to careers in both academia and industry
  • A world-class research and training environment with access to state-of-the-art research facilities
  • Competitive remuneration
  • A multi-cultural and stimulating work environment
  • Affiliation with the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC)

Starting date: Starting September 2022, exact start date is negotiable

Term of employment: 1-year fixed-term contract (CDD), renewable for 4 years ( 54 KCHF/ year)

To be considered, your application should be submitted as one single pdf file and include:

  • A letter of motivation
  • A detailed CV, including the contact details for 2 referees
  • Bachelor and Master grades

To submit your application and for any additional information, please contact : Prof. Marie Violay

2 PhD Positions at Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is seeking candidates for 2 PhD positions within the research programme RESET (Reliable Embankments for the Safe Expansion of Rail Traffic). These positions are respectively related to data science/machine learning and numerical/probabilistic modelling:

  1. Stochastic Characterisation and Modelling of Embankment and Subsurface Using Data from Multiple Sources: link
  2. Reliability/Risk-Based Modelling for Assessing Railway Embankment Stability: link

Deadline for applications: 11 September 2022

PhD Position on “Modeling unstable gas infiltration through initially saturated geomaterials”

A co-tutored thesis between Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France) and Université de Liège (Belgium) is available on Modeling unstable gas infiltration through initially saturated geomaterials.

Interested candidates must submit their complete CV, their grades and their diploma together with a copy of their passport/identity card on the web site of Université Bretagne Loire before August the 25th:

More information on this pdf file.

Assistant Professorships in Geoscience and Engineering (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is seeking candidates for multiple Assistant Professors on geo-related topics. Topics of interest include:

  • Geological interpretation of seismic data
  • Near-surface geophysical characterization and monitoring
  • Dynamic simulation of sediment deposition in deltas
  • Metal-speciation in mineralogy / geochemistry
  • Bio-geochemical leaching of rocks
  • (Bio geochemical) reactive transport in porous media
  • Bio-geochemistry for Resources and Waste Engineering

See link for more details.

Deadline for applications: 30 September 2022.

Postdoc position at Politecnico di Milano 

A 1-year post-doc position is available at Politecnico di Milano, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, on Molecular Dynamics simulations of superlubric granular particles. 

The position is part of the project “SSLiP: Scaling-up SuperLubricity into Persistence” funded by an HORIZON-EIC-2021 Pathfinder-Open Grant. The project aims at studying the advanced lubricant properties of particular granular materials to establish a radically new way to drastically reduce friction. 

A full description and information how to apply is given in the attached pdf and at

Candidates must hold a PhD degree in one of these disciplines: Computational Mechanics, Mechanical/Mathematical/Civil Engineering, Granular Physics, Computer science, Tribology or similar fields. 

A background in computational mechanics, especially on molecular dynamics simulations, and in data processing is preferential. 

For any additional information, please write a message to 

Project starting date: October 1st, 2022 

Net salary per month: ~EUR 1,500 

Supervision: Prof. Diego Berzi, Dr. Dalila Vescovi 

Application deadline: August 31st, 2022 

Postdoc positions SAGE-SAND

Applications are welcomed for 5 Post-doc positions starting in November 2022.

These positions are part of a large project (SAGE-SAND) funded by the Energy Transition Fund in Belgium, and will be co-supervised by the different partners (KULeuven, UCLouvain, ULiège). The duration of the project is 3 years and include large scale pile tests and monitoring, advanced micromechanical characterization and testing (SEM, X ray microtomography), micromechanical modelling (Discrete Element method, Phase field modelling) and macroscale nonlinear and dynamic modelling.

More information in the attached file.