Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Microphysics of evolving rock viscosity in the seismic and glacial cycles (Fixed Term)

We are inviting applications for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) position in the microphysics of evolving rock viscosity in the seismic and glacial cycles, to be held within the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge. This project aims to develop new models for the high-temperature transient creep of key geological minerals in response to changes in stress, such as those imposed by seismic loading or changes in ice-sheet volume.

The project will involve state-of-the-art approaches in experiments, microstructural analysis, and modelling. High-temperature deformation experiments will be conducted in a new creep rig equipped with an acoustic-emission sensor, and in-situ within the scanning electron microscope. The experimental work will be in collaboration with project partners Dr. Lars Hansen (University of Minnesota) and Dr. Philip Benson (University of Portsmouth). Microstructural analysis, primarily by high-angular resolution electron backscatter diffraction, in combination with the mechanical data from experiments, will constrain the key microphysical processes that control viscosity evolution. These constraints will inform new models of transient creep, including full-field elasto-visco-plastic modelling in collaboration with project partner Ricardo Lebensohn (Los Alamos National Laboratory). Microstructural analyses of natural rocks will test the relevance of the laboratory-derived models to a variety of geodynamic contexts.

The PDRA will be a member of the Microgeodynamics Group, led by Dr. David Wallis. The project will benefit from new facilities being established in the High Temperature Laboratory and SEM Laboratory in the Department of Earth Sciences, along with world-class electron-microscopy facilities in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy. The Department of Earth Sciences also hosts leading groups in tectonics, mineralogy, and petrology.

The PDRA should have a strong background in experimental rock deformation and/or microstructural analysis, with good quantitative skills. Experience with electron backscatter diffraction will be highly beneficial. Applicants should have, or be in the final stages of completing, a Ph.D. in a related subject, have good communication skills and be able to demonstrate scientific independence and initiative. The project will involve numerous opportunities to travel for collaborations, conferences, and fieldwork.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 4 years from October 2021.

The University and the Department are committed to equality and diversity and inclusion. The University holds an institutional Athena-SWAN sliver award and the Department is a bronze award holder. Details of some of the gamily-friendly policies operated by the University are at: http://www.hr.admin.cam.ac.uk/pay-benefits/cambens-employee-benefits/family-friendly.

Interested candidates should contact Dr. David Wallis (dw584@cam.ac.uk) for more information about the position. Should you have any questions about the application process, please contact Jane@esc.cam.ac.uk.

Please quote reference LB27281 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy. For full details and to apply go to https://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/30455/

The University holds an institutional
Athena-SWAN silver award and the
department is a bronze award holder.

published: 08 July 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.