Research Assistant in Geosolutions: Geothermal Energy

Are you an ambitious researcher with a broad background in geology, engineering geology or geophysics? Do you want to be part of a cutting-edge geoscience research programme? Do you want to make a difference by delivering research to underpin robust, sustainable and just climate and energy solutions? Do you want to develop your skills in transdisciplinary research, and equip yourself with the expertise needed to link geoscience knowledge for a sustainable energy transition?

The University of Leeds has world-leading expertise in subsurface characterisation, resource exploration and geoengineering through its long-established oil and gas, fundamental tectonic, and geophysical and geological research and teaching programmes. In addition, the Faculties of both Engineering and Physical Science, and Environment, have an outstanding track record in shallow geothermal energy deployment via heat pumps and district heating networks, from a technical, social and policy perspective.

In response to the University’s bold climate crisis policy announcement, we aim to harness this expertise to focus on the challenges relating directly to decarbonising the energy supply. This post is focussed on assessment and implementation of geothermal energy related solutions for the University of Leeds and the wider Leeds City area. We have a wealth of knowledge, expertise and skills to be applied to these areas as we work together with our Sustainability Research Institute and the Priestley International Centre for Climate, towards a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions future for our campus and for Leeds City.

The School of Earth and Environment and the School of Civil Engineering has secured University funding to run an integrated series of 3 projects on ‘Geosolutions' linking Geoscience, Social Science, Sustainability and data analytics expertise with paired Grade 6 and Grade 7 research support. These projects will sit firmly within the newly established University’s Geosolutions Centre, and will form part of a larger enterprise that brings together world-leading expertise from across the university to re-orient research towards innovative and sustainable Geosolutions.

These innovative transdisciplinary projects are aimed to address a significant gap in understanding of potential geoenergy opportunities, social acceptance, barriers and technologies for a just energy transition in line with Net Zero Carbon ambitions. These projects will set a novel standard of how to approach sustainable geosolutions, including through delivery of a University of Leeds based “Living Lab” as a proof-of-concept that the subsurface can be used efficiently for thermal storage and extraction. Our approach will evaluate and overcome the technical challenges and opportunities of geothermal energy and experiences, feeding directly into the partner project on the social/governance/business challenges associated with such solutions. Projects will be co-supervised by an academic lead from the geosciences, engineering and environmental social sciences.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Dr Emma Bramham, Lecturer in Applied Geophysics and Structural Geology
Tel: +44(0)113 343 5595

Dr Fleur Loveridge, Associate Professor of Geostructures
Tel: +44(0)113 343 2248

Dr Chrysothemis Paraskevopoulou, Lecturer in Tunnelling and Rock Engineering
Tel: +44(0)113 343 1449

Professor Sandra Piazolo, Professor in Structural Geology and Tectonics; Academic Lead Geosolutions@Leeds
Tel: +44 (0)113 343 0010

posted: 28 September 2022     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.