PhD 13 : Fully coupled hydrogeophysical inversion of 3D tracer tomography using temporal moments and Ensemble Kalman Filtering

The Center for Applied Geoscience at the University of Tübingen is offering a PhD scholarship on the topic “Fully coupled hydrogeophysical inversion of 3D tracer tomography using temporal moments and Ensemble Kalman Filtering” starting preferably before July 1, 2017.
The project is funded by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network “ENIGMA – EU Training Network for In situ imaGing of dynaMic processes in heterogeneous subsurfAce environments” within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission.
ENIGMA is a consortium of high profile universities, research institutions and companies located in France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, USA and UK, and will train 15 PhD students in total (Early Stage Researcher, ESR). This particular PhD (ESR PhD 13) will be based at the Center for Applied Geoscience at the University of Tübingen with research stays at ULG Liège.

In order to be eligible, each applicant must fulfill the following criteria at the time of recruitment:

  • Mobility: At the time of recruitment, the applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc…) in the country of the host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
  • Qualifications and research experience: The applicant must fulfil the requirements defined for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs): ESRs are researchers who, at the time of recruitment, have NOT yet been awarded the doctorate degree and are in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of the research career.

Project description

3-D time-lapse ERT will be used for monitoring of salt tracer experiments and will be combined with GPR imaging of salt-tracer tests (with a secondment to the University of Liège), transient hydraulic tomography, heat tracer testing (also using natural sources as input signal). Other geophysical surveys may be used to obtain structural information of the subsurface. Fully coupled inversion methods of the hydraulic-geoelectrical system will be developed. The innovation of the ESR project lies in the development of fully coupled 3D-inversion methods for the joint analysis of field-scale tomographic data sets from multiple investigation techniques. In this context, Ensemble-Kalman methods will be adapted as inversion techniques. Field testing requires the extension of experimental concepts for tomographic salt-tracer testing with ERT and GPR monitoring and will be validated at the Lauswiesen test site of the University of Tübingen and then applied at other ENIGMA sites (Krauthausen, Hermalle, Selke).

Principal supervisor is Professor Olaf Cirpka, Center for Applied Geoscience, Universität Tübingen, E-mail: olaf.cirpka(at) , Ph: +49-7071-2978928 .

Job description

The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements
Applicants should hold an MSc degree (or equivalent) with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on relevant work experience and previous publications (if any).

Background of successful candidate
We invite candidates from different scientific fields to apply; geophysics, hydrology, hydrogeology, hydrogeophysics, or a related discipline.. The candidate should have a solid background in geophysical methods and mathematical analysis, modeling of hydrological processes and handling of large data sets. Furthermore, the candidate must have excellent personal skills and be able to work in a team. Experience with hydrogeological and / or geophysical field work is highly desirable.

Terms of Employment
The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for early stage researchers. The exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on the country correction factor (to allow for the difference in cost of living in different EU Member States). The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if married). The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months (i.e. EC funding, additional funding is possible, depending on local supervisor).

For instance, for the ESR in France the annual salary will be :
41 425,20€  + 7,200€ (for mobility allowance) + €6,000 (for family allowance, if eligible); this is before any applicable tax and/or deductions.

Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically through the ENIGMA Recruitment Form  and must include the following:

  • Cover Letter, stating your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
  • CV, including list of publications (journal articles, master’s thesis)
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • References

The University of Tübingen wishes the staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.
There will be a first round of evaluation between January, 23rd and January, 31st.
There will be two others evaluation processes  in March 2017 and in June 2017.

For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor.

Olaf Cirpka
E-mail: olaf.cirpka(at)
Ph: +49-7071-2978928 .


Application deadline: 23-01-2017
Start date: 01-07-2017
Department/Location: Center for Applied Geoscience, Universität Tübingen

To apply : use our Recruitment Form !