PhD project: Fracture behaviour of nanoporous shales and coals

Job description:

  • Transmission electron microscopy investigations on hydrocarbon source and reservoir rocks, as well as coals, focussing on pore space distributions
  • Micro- and nanomechanical characterization using in-situ nanoindentation
  • Establishment of a robust experimental routine to conduct these examinations (incl. evaluation of different preparation techniques)
  • Investigation of the interplay between geological processes (thermal maturation, diagenesis, etc.) and the resulting mechanical properties of the investigated sedimentary rocks and the organic matter therein.
  • Preparation of a PhD thesis on this topic based on research articles in international journals
  • The project will be conducted in close collaboration with the Chair of Material Physics at Montanuniversitaet Leoben


  • Master's degree in Geosciences or Material Sciences (or a closely related subject)
  • Personal interest to combine both fields and to advance the use of in-situ characterization techniques on geological materials
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English (German is desirable but not mandatory)
  • Participation in other related research projects and contribution to project proposals for funding agencies and industrial partners
  • Willingness to integrate into a team of researchers and to share work on joint projects
  • Enthusiasm to travel to national and international conferences and research partners (< 10 %)

Additional Skills:

  • Willingness to participate in teaching activities

The appointment will be for a period of three years, at the Chair of Petroleum Geology, Montanuniversitaet Leoben. Salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel ( 2.731,0 for full-time employment 40 hrs./week).

For online application visit: (reference no.: 1707WPC). Closing date: 04.08.2017

For further details, please contact:

posted: 10 July 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.