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PhD Improving Geomechanical and Thermal Reservoir Property

Job Delft, NL
Posted 7 May 2021

Degree level

Bachelor

Job function

Research

Required language

English (Fluent)

Work experience

1 to 3 years

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Job description

The ambition of the geothermal industry is to build 700+ geothermal energy projects in the Netherlands by 2050. This means that hot sedimentary aquifers that are currently used have to be exploited in adjacent locations and that similar reservoirs have to be found in more distant areas or deeper in the subsurface, where significantly less data are available. Moreover, geomechanical and thermal properties of target reservoirs are poorly known. Both of these properties are needed for accurate reservoir character prediction and to ensure safe and economic project performance.

The ambition of this project is to significantly enhance the knowledge, mapping, and prediction of the geological character of Dutch geothermal plays, focussing on thermal and geomechanical properties. The aim is to improve fundamental understanding of the geological causes behind rock properties, the understanding and quantification of the conversion of downhole log properties into rock properties, the statistical approaches to study these properties, and the implementation of rock properties into reservoir models. The study targets lower exploration costs for geothermal operators, lower uncertainties concerning production prediction and risk assessment, and improved production due to more optimal well placement and production strategies. The fully open-access results should be applicable to all geothermal targets in the Netherlands and thereby be able to calibrate reservoir, geomechanical and thermal reservoir models with the ultimate goal to optimise the exploitation of geothermal heat in the Netherlands in a sustainable and safe way.

The PhD candidate focusses on measuring and correlation components of the project. Geomechanical, mineralogical, and thermal properties are to be measured from nm to dm scales in different laboratories involved and using existing and new techniques. Data production and analysis will occur in continuous collaboration with specialists in each field. Geological understanding of rock properties is important for upscaling and uncertainty quantifications. The PhD will further attempt to link rock properties to petrophysical log data using traditional and innovative means, including machine learning. Upscaling and validation within the project are lead by industry partners, but the candidate will continuously interact on the width of the project with all six project partners to ensure optimal data and model exchange within the project. Outreach meetings with geothermal operators are foreseen to be organized by the PhD student.

Requirements

You are enthusiastic about the project description and wish to devote 4 years to the project!

You have a strong background in geology or engineering geology.

You preferably have experience or demonstrable affinity with modelling and analytical tools (programming and numerical solutions).

You have a good understanding of geological techniques, petrophysics and statistics or the strong wish to develop these skills.

You love to work in a team and even like to lead the team (eventually).

You are a social person with affinity for university, research institutes and industry.

If your mother language is not English and you do not hold a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction, you must submit proof of English proficiency from either TOEFL (minimum total score of 100) or IELTS (minimum total score of 7.0). Proof of English language proficiency certificates older than two years are not accepted.

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 

Faculty Civil Engineering & Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

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De fascinatie voor science, design en engineering is wat ruim 13000 bachelor & masterstudenten en 5000 medewerkers van de TU Delft drijft. De Technische Universiteit Delft is niet alleen de oudste, maar ook de grootste technische universiteit van Nederland: een universiteit die continu op zoek is naar jou als (inter)nationaal talent om het onderzoek en onderwijs van deze unieke instelling...


De fascinatie voor science, design en engineering is wat ruim 13000 bachelor & masterstudenten en 5000 medewerkers van de TU Delft drijft. De Technische Universiteit Delft is niet alleen de oudste, maar ook de grootste technische universiteit van Nederland: een universiteit die continu op zoek is naar jou als (inter)nationaal talent om het onderzoek en onderwijs van deze unieke instelling op topniveau te houden. Met ongeveer 5.000 medewerkers is de Technische Universiteit Delft de grootste werkgever in Delft. De acht faculteiten, de unieke laboratoria, onderzoeksinstituten, onderzoeksscholen en de ondersteunende universiteitsdienst bieden de meest uiteenlopende functies en werkplekken aan. De diversiteit bij de TU Delft biedt voor iedereen mogelijkheden. Van Hoogleraar tot Promovendus. Van Beleidsmedewerker tot ICT'er.

Engineering
Delft
5,000 employees