PhD 6: Active Fiber-Optic DTS methods to monitor subsurface flow dynamics

This position has been filled ! 

The Department of Geosciences at CNRS Rennes is offering a PhD scholarship on the topic “Active Fiber-Optic DTS methods to monitor subsurface flow dynamics” 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 6) will be based at Department of Geosciences at CNRS Rennes with research stays at CSIC Barcelona, OSU Oregon, SILIXA.

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 fulfill 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

Fiber Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing (FO-DTS) is an innovative tool that allows continuous temperature monitoring with an excellent spatial resolution. Recent applications demonstrate the utility of passive FO-DTS for characterizing flows and monitoring thermal tracer tests in heterogeneous media. Passive methods are however often limited to qualitative information about flow distribution. Active methods, which consists in using heated cables or local thermal sources showed very promising results to quantify distributed flow velocities. The first objective of the ESR will be to adapt these recent developments in various hydraulic conditions (cross-borehole interference tests, periodic hydraulic tests and ambient conditions) to develop an innovative hydraulic tomography approach in fractured media (Ploemeur and Äspö sites) based on distributed data on flows and temperature changes. The second objective of the ESR will be to develop similar active DTS methods in buried cables within saturated porous media in order to quantify in-situ fluxes within sandy aquifers (Hermalle site), saline wedges (Argentona site) and/or within the hyporheic zones (River Selke site). The obtained data and the results of inversion will be compared and combined with data and/or inversion scheme developed by ESR 2, 3, 4, 7, 11 and 14

Principal supervisor is :
Professor Olivier Bour, Department of Geosciences, University of Rennes 1,
E-mail: olivier.bour(at) .

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 have good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications, emphasis will also be given to 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, civil and petroleum engineering, soil physics and soil mechanics or a related discipline. The candidate should have a solid background in civil engineering, fluid flow and heat transfer in porous media, 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 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 website : and must include the following:

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

IN ENIGMA, we wish to recruit ESRs that 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 other evaluation processes in March 2017 and in June 2017.

Candidates can continuously apply until June 2017

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

Olivier Bour
E-mail: olivier.bour(at)


Start date: 01-07-2017
Department/Location: Department of Geosciences CNRS Rennes

This position has been filled !