Rock Properties Specialist

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The Opportunity

  • Do you have experience working in laboratories using a wide spectrum of equipment and handling multiple physical properties
  • Join the rock properties team and integrate the petrophysics laboratories and the Geomechanics & Geophysics laboratory to be part of a multi-disciplinary environment to tackle National and international scientific challenges in Geoscience.
  • Collaborative, flexible, innovative workplace that values you and your career development

CSIRO’s Energy Business Unit partners with local and global companies to deliver energy solutions for a sustainable future. We also work with state and federal governments, universities, research agencies and industry groups. These partnerships range from the provision of testing services and short-term contracts, to in-business scientists for SMEs, or longer-term research and strategic alliances.

We are seeking a Rock Properties Specialist to join the Rock Properties team. You will contribute to the petrophysics and geomechanics laboratories at the forefront of research into CCS, hydrogen storage and natural hydrogen, with numerous opportunities coming in that require the rock characterisation these labs are renowned for. Your role will mostly focus on delivering and interpreting state-of-the-art experimental data, developing/testing new experimental approaches, maintenance of the equipment and developing new capabilities.

You will work in a multi-disciplinary environment with teams of scientists, engineers, technicians, and administrative support to tackle national and international scientific challenges, problem solving with partners and industries as well as delivering commercial research projects around decarbonation, the energy transition and critical minerals research focus.

Your duties will include:

  • Determining the standard petrophysical properties such as porosity, permeability, water content and saturation for application to research projects on subsurface hydrogen, carbon geo-sequestration and subsurface waste disposal.
  • Interpretation of petrophysical wireline log data and upscaling from lab-determined properties to the field for integration into larger geological, reservoir/sealing quality assessment and petrophysical models, including the use of AI/ML, where relevant.
  • Assisting with, and learning the principles of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) testing to understand fluid flow and retardation in reservoir and seal rocks for hydrogen and CCS applications.
  • Acquiring and processing X-ray CT images on geo-materials as required by multiple research projects in petrophysics and geomechanics.
  • Supervision of MSc and PhD students on petrophysical related research. Provide support to visiting scientists from National/International institutions to develop research collaborations.
  • Other duties as directed.

Location: Kensington, WA
Salary: AU$105k to AU$114kpa + up to 15.4% super
Tenure:3 Year Specified term

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as structural geology applied to sedimentary basins and/or orogenic belts. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Experience in building deposit to regional-scale 3D structural models of sedimentary basins or orogenic belts using multi-disciplinary datasets.
  • Experience in drill core and field work mapping of structures and sedimentary rocks.
  • Experience in 3D-4D structural reconstructions with one or more of the following software, including KronosFlow, Moove or equivalents.
  • Additional experience in either sedimentology, diagenesis, petrophysics, or mineralogy.
  • Knowledge of one or more of the following software packages, including GoCAD, Leapfrog, ArcGIS, Geosoft, or equivalents.

To be considered you will need:

  • A PhD with up to 5 years post-PhD experience (early career scientist) in petrophysics or geology.
  • Demonstrated ability to undertake original, creative and innovative research by generating and pursuing novel ideas and solutions to scientific research problems.
  • A demonstrated publication history of authorship on scientific papers in peer reviewed journals and/or reports, grant applications or inventorship on patent applications.
  • Research experience:
    • Operate petrophysical equipment in a scientific laboratory
    • Handle laboratory pressure vessels
    • Familiarity with health and safety procedures in laboratory operations
    • Geoscientific interpretations of petrophysical data
    • Data integration of a broad range of physical properties, across multiple disciplines
    • Participate in multi-disciplinary team(s) project(s)
  • Scientific/engineering technical skills required:
    • Maintenance/repair of laboratory equipment
    • Handling large and diverse datasets


  • Experimental laboratory skills in:
    • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (low and/or high frequency)
    • Porosity and permeability measurements (gas/liquid methods in conventional and tight rock formations)
    • Acquisition and processing of electrical resistivity data under ambient and reservoir pressure/temperature conditions (including integration/calibration with well log data)

For full details about this role please review the Position Description


Applications to this position are open to Australian Citizens and international candidates. Visa sponsorship may be provided to eligible candidates. The successful applicant will be required to obtain a National Police check or equivalent.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work.

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish.


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Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

31 January 2024, 11:00 pm AEDT

posted: 28 November 2023     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.