Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Numerical Modelling of non-linear fluid flow in sedimentary basins

Sector Fluid Flow and Environmental Technology - Institutt for energiteknikk (IFE)

IFE is an independent research foundation based in Norway at Kjeller and in Halden. We are at the forefront internationally in several fields within digital technologies, material and process technology, flow and analysis technologies, radiopharmaceutical technology and nuclear technology. IFE develops new solutions for the industry and public sector in over 30 countries. IFE is host to the international OECD Halden Project. We are about 600 employees and the annual turnover is about NOK 1 billion. Read more about IFE at

Chimney flow and leakage through caprocks

An interdisciplinary team involving the Department for Environmental Analysis at IFE, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA) seeks a Post.Doc to work in a collaborative programme on development of numerical models for the formation of chimney- or pipe-structures in low-permeable rocks. Fluid escape pipes (chimneys) are considered as leakage pathways during subsurface CO2 storage, affecting stability and safety of long-term storage of CO2. These structures are now commonly observed with high-resolution seismic imaging at most places in sedimentary basins. Nevertheless, the formation of chimneys and their flow properties remain poorly understood. We will study processes that have led to chimney formation in the geological past and will evaluate critical parameters for triggering chimney formation during subsurface CO2 injection. The research will focus on what we expect is the two most relevant mechanisms for pipe generation and pipe flow associated with gas reservoirs. One is hydraulic fracturing and damage driven by pressure build-up. Another one is solitary porosity waves that arise in rocks with rate-dependent rheology. The results of the work will be used to assess the suitability of reservoirs and aquifers for safe long-term storage of CO2. In particular, we will evaluate injection scenarios for the possible CO2 storage site at Smeaheia formation in the North Sea with respect to chimney formation and leakage through chimneys. Finally, the project will develop monitoring strategies for detection of CO2 leakage.

Job description

The project will involve the development of FE and FD numerical codes that solve the relevant partial differential equations for fluid flow coupled with inelastic deformation in porous rocks.


The appointment requires a Ph.D. degree or equivalent in Computational Fluid Mechanics, Numerical Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Geophysics, Applied Physics or a related discipline. Applicants are expected to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the implementation of numerical methods for partial differential equations and excellent programming skills. The preferred candidate has experience with numerical methods for Stokes flow and elasto-visco-plastic deformations.

Education field: Maths/Stats/Physics

Education level: College/University, Doctorate

Personal qualities

  • Be self-motivated, organized, and eager to work on challenging research problems.
  • Possess solid analytical and programming skills.
  • Communicate and interact well with a multidisciplinary team including industrial partners.
  • Have an excellent level of spoken and written English.


  • English
  • Norwegian

We offer

  • A contract for a duration of 3 years without any teaching duties
  • An inspiring and friendly working environment
  • Attractive welfare arrangements
  • Salary according to agreement
  • Social benefits including pension, life insurance and accident insurance
  • We use background check as a part of our recruitment process

How to apply

To apply for the position, please visit: and follow the online process.

The announcement can also be view here:

posted: 25 April 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.