Research Fellow - Geophysics - Seismic History Matching

Salary: Grade 8 (£43,414 - £51,805)
Contract: Full-time (35 hours per week), 36 months.

Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and leading-edge, relevant research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for innovation, business and industry.

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages. Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society is one of the UK's leading institutions for multidisciplinary research and teaching in areas critical to economic development and societal equity. We aim to attain excellence in the teaching of the core disciplines that contribute to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society and are committed to undertaking high value, high impact research and knowledge transfer in topics of relevance to global challenges.

The School enjoys facilities consistent with its location in modern, purpose-built accommodation on the Edinburgh campus. The School is well equipped in respect of laboratories for materials, structures, engineering, building services and hydraulics research and teaching. Our research and teaching facilities in Dubai and Malaysia are contained within purpose-built campuses in Dubai Academic City and Putrajaya, respectively.

Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering

The Institute of Geoenergy Engineering (IGE) was founded in 1975 and is widely recognised as one of the internationally leading centres of excellence for learning, teaching, and research in petroleum engineering and petroleum geoscience.

IGE provides specialist training through its MSc programmes in Petroleum Engineering, Reservoir Evaluation and Management, Petroleum Geoscience, and Integrated Mature Field Management, which are offered on Heriot-Watt University's campuses in Edinburgh, Dubai, and Malaysia, through Approved Learning Partnerships in Russia, Portugal, and Australia, or through distributed learning. IGE also partners with Schlumberger to deliver an MSc in the Management of the Oil & Gas Industry and with SOCAR to establish the Baku Higher Oil School, or with the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre. To-date, over 4000 students have graduated from IGE, many of them now holding leading positions in the energy industry or academia.

IGE's industrially focused research involves over 60 academics and 100 PhD students and covers the full range of activities related to the upstream oil and gas industry, from exploring hydrocarbon provinces to characterising the reservoirs and providing robust uncertainty envelopes for future hydrocarbon production to developing new chemical and engineering solutions that ensure that production wells operate efficiently. More recently, IGE has extended its capabilities to develop and manage other subsurface forms of energy such as geothermal energy and CCUS through new collaborations with the Lyell Centre for Earth and Marine Science and Technology to support the transition to a low-carbon energy future. IGE leads several major UK-wide and interdisciplinary research centres, such as the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Gas, the International Centre for Carbonate Reservoirs, or the Centre for Energy Economics Research and Policy.

In 2015, IGE received the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize, recognising its sustained pioneering work in innovation and research excellence. The prize recognised how the IGE's research and innovation activity spans hydrocarbon exploration to production technology, and also harnesses its findings to enhance interdisciplinary work, with some of its inventions now used in medical and biological research. It was the second time that IGE was awarded with the Queen's Anniversary Prize, which is the highest award in U.K. higher education.

During REF2014, IGE has provided four highly ranked impact case studies and was a central component of the Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering (ERPE), which was the largest submission in the UK to the General Engineering assessment panel. 94% of ERPE's overall research activity was classified as world-leading or internationally excellent, and ERPE had the highest research power rating of all general engineering submissions in the UK. Previous REF and RAE exercises have awarded IGE's research the highest possible ratings as well.

For further information visit

Key Duties and Responsibilities

We seek a candidate for a Grade 8 position in Reservoir Geophysics within the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering, School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society. The individual is to provide research capability and support to the Geophysical Monitoring Group, and specifically to the history matching module of the Edinburgh Time-Lapse project. You will further ETLP's research into the practical application of time-lapse seismic modelling, inversion and data analysis principles to seismic history matching. Therefore, we are interested in energetic researchers with a growing reputation in a specialism within the areas of 4D seismic and dynamic model update. Suitable applicants should have an industry-based mindset, and a primary focus on subjects linked to 4D seismic quantitative interpretation, seismic history matching, and fluid-flow simulation. You should have a proven ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment, and ideally (but not essentially) a track record of research activity across both the O&G and the renewables sectors. Knowledge and understanding of current technical trends such as data science is also desirable. You should have a demonstrated ability to communicate your findings at international conferences, via publications and presentations, and the ability to engage with industry.

The successful appointee will be expected to undertake the following:

  • Conduct and lead extensive research in seismic history matching and 4D QI
  • Help to support and promote the activities of the ETLP team at Heriot-Watt
  • Supervise existing PhD students
  • Support ETLP in their meetings and interactions with sponsors

Please note that this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post. Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve. A flexible working schedule may be required to meet all key duties and responsibilities.

We will measure applicants based on the essential criteria, not by the key duties.

Education, Qualifications and Experience (i.e. Person Specification)


  • Possess in-depth knowledge of specialist topics in 4D QI
  • Knowledge of both seismic and reservoir engineering domains
  • Be a respected authority in your subject
  • Several years industry experience
  • Have excellent coding ability and knowledge of commercial software
  • Possess a good track records of publications
  • Have a demonstrable ability of giving talks at international conferences on your subject of expertise


  • Proven ability of research growth
  • Ability to work and contribute to a multi-disciplinary research team
  • Demonstrate an understanding of organisational management systems and including equal opportunities issues.

Qualifications and experience

  • PhD in Geophysics or Reservoir Engineering from an acknowledged university of excellence
  • At least 3 years of in-depth knowledge of indicated specialism
  • Experience of working in the broad discipline of 4D QI with application to industry data
  • A solid track record of publications

Competencies, Skills and Knowledge

  • Ability to communicate thoughts and ideas widely
  • Proven ability of contributing to a research team

How to Apply

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 27th of September 2022.

Please submit via the Heriot-Watt on-line recruitment system (1) Cover letter describing their interest and suitability for the post; (2) Full CV that includes the list of publications.

For informal discussions about the position or the department of EGIS, please contact Prof Colin MacBeth.

Heriot-Watt University is committed to securing equality of opportunity in employment and to the creation of an environment in which individuals are selected, trained, promoted, appraised and otherwise treated on the sole basis of their relevant merits and abilities. Equality and diversity are all about maximising potential and creating a culture of inclusion for all.

Heriot-Watt University values diversity across our University community and welcomes applications from all sectors of society, particularly from underrepresented groups. For more information, please see our website and also our award-winning work in Disability Inclusive Science Careers .

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Use our total rewards calculator: to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

posted: 24 August 2022     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.