PhD position on modeling seismicity in
geothermal reservoirs

We have a PhD position available on our group within the GEO-N project SECURE funded by the Bundesministerium für Forschung und Bildung (BMBF) in Germany. The project aims to better understand the relation between fluid motion and the occurrence of seismicity in a geothermal reservoir. We will use numerical models to investigate how complex geological structures, stress variations within and around the reservoir, rock properties and fluid flow affect plastic failure (seismicity) within the reservoir.

Full project title: Geomechanical modeling of fluids and seismicity in producing geothermal reservoirs
Starting date: As soon as possible
Duration: Three years fixed-term appointment
Employment Type: Part-time (75%)
Salary: TV-L13 (German collective agreement for public employees)
Location: Mainz


The candidate will conduct poro-elasto-plastic 2D/3D simulations of fluid motion and crack propagation, using software developed in our group. Systematic simulations will be used to identify key parameters that are responsible for the occurrence of seismicity. We will use a probabilistic approach to create a catalogue of possible scenarios and examine how uncertainties in the model parameters influence the propagation of the hydraulic network. Depending on the interest of the student, the project will also involve code (further-) development in collaboration with senior staff members. The project itself is part of a larger BMBF project with several institutions (among others GFZ Potsdam, LMU München and several industry partners) and involves frequent meetings with the project partners.


The candidate should be highly motivated and should be willing to work in an interdisciplinary team. The candidate must have a Master's degree or equivalent in geophysics, physics or geosciences. Preferably, the candidate should have some experience with continuum and/or reservoir mechanics. A solid background in programming (C/C++/MATLAB/Python) is required and some experience with the UNIX environment is advantageous. A good knowledge of German is advantageous; English will be communication language in the working group as well as with project partners.


Applicants must send a combined PDF file containing a letter of application, CV and names of two referees via email to Dr. Tobias Baumann ( Applicants should also add a list of classes attended and marks obtained, and should demonstrate proficiency in English. We start evaluating applications now, until the position is filled.

posted: 07 September 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.