PhD 9 : Geophysical signatures of spreading and mixing

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The Faculty of Geosciences and Environment at University of Lausanne is offering a PhD scholarship on the topic “Geophysical signatures of spreading and mixing” 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 9) will be based at Institute of Earth Sciences at University of Lausanne with research stays at CNRS Rennes and CSIC Barcelona.

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

Geophysical time-lapse inversions provide upscaled estimates of temporal changes in bulk properties that may provide constraints on dispersion (spreading), but they have never been used to-date to infer statistics of mixing, which controls (fast) chemical reactions. We suggest that simultaneous acquisition of geophysical data and concentration fields by means of millifluidic experiments will enable novel and fundamental insights that will ultimately influence hydrogeophysical research at the field scale. Millifluidic experiments in artificial media of varying complexity (developed by ESR 12) will provide high-resolution images of the concentration field during tracer experiments. Simultaneous acquisitions of geophysical data (representing effective upscaled properties at the scale of the sample) in the form of electrical resistance and self-potential (i.e., the electro-diffusive contribution) will be influenced by pore scale and mesoscale heterogeneities of the salinity and liquid phase. These combined data sets will be used to develop new theory and experimentally demonstrate how spreading and mixing of solutes in heterogeneous porous media, manifest themselves in geophysical data. These findings can then be used to make inferences about the statistics (not the actual salinity distribution) of spreading and mixing in porous media.

Principal supervisor is :

Niklas Linde, Institute of Earth Sciences at University of Lausanne

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
  • Disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad

Formal requirements

Applicants should hold an MSc degree with good results and have good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications, emphasis will also be given to previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.

Background of successful candidate

We invite candidates from different scientific fields to apply; geophysics, hydrology, hydrogeology, hydrogeophysics, biogeochemistry, microbiology, soil physics or a related discipline.. The candidate should have a solid background in physics and preferably some experience with laboratory work, modeling of geophysical processes and processing of experimental data. Furthermore, the candidate must have excellent personal skills and be able to work in a team. Experience with field work is also 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.

Niklas Linde,

Department/Location: Faculty of Geosciences and Environment at University of Lausanne

This position has been filled ! Please look at our other PhD positions offers !