Postdoctoral Researcher, Groundwater Resources: Surface Water Intrusion as a Risk for Water Utilities in Cold Climate

University of Oulu

Oulu, , FI

We, at the University of Oulu, work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent, and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility, and succeeding together build strong foundation in all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university’s several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.


The Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit (WE3) is opening a 2-year position for a Postdoctoral Researcher to work on northern groundwater resources and water supply. The position will be in the Hydrosystems engineering and management research group led by Associate Professor Ali Torabi Haghighi. It will be part of the “groundwater and water supply” research in the WE3 and led by Assistant Professor Pekka M. Rossi.

WE3 research covers a broad area of expertise including hydrology, water resources, energy systems and environmental studies ( The research unit is a multinational group working in a modern, up-to-date research environment. The unit has a staff of 60 including 25 full-time doctoral students working with new discoveries in water resources science, engineering, and management.

Work description

A successful candidate is expected to have a strong background and experience in groundwater engineering, geohydrology and/or water flow modelling. Experience with stable water isotopes and GIS analyses are considered as a strong advantage. The research is concentrating on the risks of potable water wells in shallow cold climate aquifers using natural tracers and modelling as tools. The study will include majority of the municipal groundwater sources for potable water in Northern Finland. The candidate is expected to work for example with:

Risk assessment of surface water connections for potable water wells
Stable water isotopes as a tracer
Spatial GIS analysis

Monitoring groundwater-surface water dynamics of selected sites
Conceptual hydrogeological model of sites
Temporal monitoring of tracers

Modelling of groundwater-surface water dynamics
Integrated modelling of selected well-surface water systems

Research is done in collaboration with microbiologists who are studying the bacterial communities of the groundwater in wells with surface water connections. Work tasks can also include teaching responsibilities in groundwater engineering and hydrology.


Assessment of the applicants’ qualifications will be based on the following criteria:

  • doctoral degree in Environmental Engineering, geohydrology, water resources management or related field considering groundwater resources. The degree must have been completed latest by the start of the employment
  • demonstrated strong background in groundwater related research
  • experience with GIS, water flow modelling and/or stable water isotopes are strong advantages
  • strong English language skills both in oral and written communication
  • ability to work both independently and with different research groups and teams
  • good track-record of scientific publishing in top journals of the research field

Terms of employment

The duration of the position is 2 years, beginning on May 1, 2021 (or as soon as possible thereafter). At the University of Oulu, a six-month trial period will be applied to all positions.

The salary is in accordance with the university salary system for teaching and research personnel level 5 of the demand level chart. In addition to the basic salary, supplementary salary will be paid for personal achievement and performance, the sum rising to a maximum of 50 % of the basic salary level for the post. The typical salary for a starting postdoctoral researcher is €3,300 per month but may be larger for exceptional candidates depending on experience and qualifications. The applicant is later encouraged to apply for additional external funding (e.g. Academy of Finland).

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by March 31, 2021 at 23:59 (Finnish local time).

The eligible applicants best fitting the expected research profile are invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process has been completed.

The application should be written in English and include the following documents:

  1. cover letter (1 – 2 pages) describing the applicant’s experience and suitability for the position
  2. CV incl. list of publications; Follow the curriculum vitae model of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity, available from
  3. A copy of the applicant’s doctoral and master’s degree diplomas, or, if not available at the time of application, a statement from the applicant and their supervisor(s) regarding the expected completion date.
  4. Contact information of two senior/experienced researchers who may be asked to give a statement on the candidate.

For further information, please contact:
Assistant Professor Pekka Rossi, pekka.rossi(at), +358 29 448 4395
Associate Professor Ali Torabi Haghighi, ali.torabihaghighi(at), +358 40 449 2894
Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu