PhD Position: Process-Based Fluvial Models at (Sub)Reservoir Scale

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, Netherlands 🇳🇱

Challenge: Predicting subsurface properties and their heterogeneity
Change: Simulating the processes that built the rock record
Impact: Better managing resources from the subsurface

Job description

From freshwater to energy and raw materials, our entire society is built on resources from the subsurface whose distribution depends on how fluids circulate underground. To better manage those resources, we need to better predict fluid flow in the subsurface, and to better predict fluid flow, we need to better predict the physical properties of the rocks and sediments that steer it. Unfortunately, the sparsity and poor quality of subsurface data means that we only have a rough overview of what lies below the ground, while subsurface properties can change drastically even over short distances.

In this project you will aim at developing an approach that captures the wide range of processes that shape fluvial deposits to simulate 3D models of sediment proportions at decameter resolution and over geological timescales. A large part of your work will consist in implementing models of fluvial processes and exploring the impact of those processes and their interaction on the distribution of sediments in the subsurface.

You will be part of the Applied Geology section in the department of Geoscience & Engineering. Dr. Guillaume Rongier will be your direct mentor, and you will work in collaboration with other members of the section and with CSIRO. You will steer the development of the project depending on your own interests and you will interact with the experts from the different faculties at TU Delft to foster applications of the approach, which can involve a large variety of fields going from geology, reservoir engineering, or geophysics to high-performance computing, geostatistics, or deep learning.


To be considered for the position you will have:

  • A Master’s degree in a relevant field, i.e., Geoscience, Physics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science.
  • Demonstrated interest for interdisciplinary approaches and collaborative research across multiple disciplines.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of a high-level programming language (preferably Python or Julia).
  • Demonstrated ability in written and spoken English.

It would be a strong plus for you to have:

  • A background in computational geoscience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of a low-level programming language (e.g., C, C++, Fortran).
  • Experience in software development.

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 € 2434 per month in the first year to € 3111 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.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Guillaume Rongier ([email protected]).

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 31 January 2022 via the application button and upload:

  • A motivation letter (500 words at most) outlining your interest in pursuing a PhD and your interest for this particular project.
  • A curriculum vitae including, if possible, a link to your MSc thesis.
  • A list of courses and grades of the MSc curriculum you follow(ed).
  • Contact information for two referees we can call for feedback (no letter needed at this stage).

Our goal is to help the next generation of scientists thrive in a safe and inclusive environment. Fostering a community representative of our society in our department and in the geosciences is essential to tackle the world’s most critical problems, and we encourage women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities to apply.

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • A pre-Employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.