Fracture, Flow & Reactive Transport in
Carbonate Reservoirs

Faculty/department: Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Level: Master degree
Maximum employment: 38 hours per week (1 FTE)
Duration of contract: 4 years
Salary scale: €2191 to €2801 per month gross

Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) provides leading international research and education, with innovation and sustainability as central themes. Research and education are closely interwoven and address societal challenges. The Faculty consists of the departments of Transport and Planning, Structural Engineering, Geoscience and Engineering, Water Management, Hydraulic Engineering, and Geoscience and Remote Sensing.

The Department of Geoscience and Engineering performs top-level education and research aimed at finding answers to questions related to the current and future use of the Earth's natural resources and its subsurface space. It benefits from an international faculty and student body and is organised in five sections: Applied Geophysics and Petrophysics, Applied Geology, Petroleum Engineering, Geo-Engineering, and Resource Engineering. There is a very high degree of collaboration within and outside the department.

Because of its highly interdisciplinary character, the project will run under three Sections, Applied Geology, Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics and Petrophysics. The three groups have a strong expertise in the domain of the characterisation and modelling of fractured reservoirs

Job description

The PhD position we are offering is part of the CarbFrac project, an initiative supported by the Dutch government with the participation of industry partners. The main object of the project is to further our understanding of the mechanical and fluid flow behaviour of fractured carbonate reservoirs, both for hydrocarbons and geothermics. In past years, we have developed deep knowledge of geometry and properties of fracture networks in outcrops (Applied Geology), the mechanical behaviour of multilayer rocks (Applied Geophysics and Petrophysics) and advanced modelling of flow (Petroleum Engineering). With the CarbFrac project we aim to take the next step and investigate multiscale fluid-rock interactions in fractured carbonate reservoirs. Such interactions are key for the understanding of dissolution and cementation patterns, widely seen as one of the most important challenges in the hydrocarbon and geothermal industry.

The new PhD candidate will fit into a very dynamic environment with more than four PhD candidates working on related topics at the TU Delft, including outcrop analysis, rock mechanical deformation, and numerical modelling, and with 2-3 PhD candidates working in the Department of Structural Engineering at the Technical University Eindhoven, our partner in this research endeavour.


For the CarbFrac project we are looking for a young, enthusiastic candidate with a strong numerical background (programming and numerical solutions of partial differential equations). He/she needs to have a clear affinity with the chemical processes involved in carbonate dissolution and precipitation, and strong enough geological knowledge to interact efficiently with the other members of the project. Some experience in running chemical experiments in the lab is welcome. Versatility and ability to work in a team is a necessity.

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers an attractive, customisable compensation and benefits package, including a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers day care, before- and after-school care and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Giovanni Bertotti, phone: +31 (0)15-2786033, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV and a letter of application by 15 March 2016 to Prof. Bertotti, When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number CITG16-58.

posted: 28 February 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.