Research Associate - Measurements of zeta
potential in carbonate rocks

Salary: £37.904 - £45,547 per annum
Location: South Kensington, London

Applications are invited for a Research Associate to join a multidisciplinary project in the NORMS (Novel Reservoir Monitoring, Modelling and Simulation) Laboratory for Reservoir Physics at Imperial College London. The project will investigate the zeta potential of natural carbonate rocks. The focus is primarily experimental, using an established method and leading-edge equipment to determine the impact of temperature, brine composition and wetting state. However, theoretical or numerical models may also be developed, constrained by the experimental data.

The specific motivation of the project is to understand the pore- and mineral-surface-scale processes that underpin improved oil recovery during controlled salinity waterflooding. It is well known that modifying the composition of injected brine can improve the efficiency with which oil is displaced from the pore-space of a reservoir rock. The processes that dictate the optimum brine composition are still poorly understood, but previous work suggests that changes in the zeta potential of the oil-brine and mineral-brine interfaces play a key role. The aim of this project is to test this hypothesis using natural carbonate rock samples and a range of brine and crude oil compositions.

This is an exciting opportunity for a talented individual to work within a large multi-disciplinary research group developing and applying advanced experimental techniques to measure and understand the self-potential in natural porous media for a wide variety of applications. The post is funded by TOTAL and is part of a substantial research program at Imperial College London. You will be expected to regularly publish papers in international refereed journals, and present your research at relevant international conferences.

Applicants should be educated to PhD level in any of the following disciplines: physics, mathematics, engineering, materials science, petrophysics, numerate and/or experimental earth or environmental science, or equivalent.

You will be offered extensive opportunities for collaborative work both within and external to Imperial College, to acquire high quality laboratory data and develop new physical understanding.

Experience in one or more of the following areas is desirable: theory and measurement of zeta potential and other electrical properties of natural porous media; theory and measurement of self-potential; experimental measurement of multi-phase flow in porous media; theoretical or numerical modelling of zeta potential; petrophysics.

You will join a dynamic, close-knit research team working on a challenging project. Your research will also contribute to the Department's ongoing experimental program in multi-phase porous media flow, and successful applicants will be encouraged to develop their research careers over a longer timescale within this framework.

This is a 12 month fixed term contract.

Our preferred method of application is online via our website: and search using reference number ENG00572.

Informal inquiries about the position can be made to Professor Matthew Jackson, e-mail tel. ++44 (0) 20 7594 6538.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see

Committed to equality and valuing diversity, we are also an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and are working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

Closing date: 18/01/2019

posted: 26 November 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.