PhD student in Hydrology, subsurface PFAS fate and transport modelling

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 25 Mar 2024

Published: 2024-02-23

PhD student in Hydrology, subsurface PFAS fate and transport modelling

Fluorinated contaminants (PFAS) constitute a challenging threat to water resources both in Sweden and worldwide. Are you interested in working on the development of practical modelling tools to predict and better understand the transport of PFAS in the soil-groundwater system, with the support of competent and friendly colleagues in an international environment? Are you looking for an employer that invests in sustainable employeeship and offers safe, favourable working conditions? We welcome you to apply for a xx position at Uppsala University.

The Department of Earth Sciences at UU is Sweden´s largest and most versatile department of its kind with approximately. The research program for Air, Water and Landscape Science (LUVAL), has a long tradition of research on subsurface flow and contaminant transport, numerical modelling and model development as well as remediation studies related to contaminated soil, groundwater and sediments, including close collaboration with partners in industry and society. Our activities are interdisciplinary and combine natural science and technology with social science. For more information:  The Department of Earth Sciences

Project description

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are extremely persistent, harmful chemicals that have complex transport behaviors in the environment. To assess the risks and long-term environmental impacts of PFAS from contaminated hotspots, there is a great need for improved process understanding as well as modelling tools for PFAS fate and transport from source zones of contamination further into the environment and into recipients and drinking water resources.

The overall aim of this project is to develop practically useful models for improved understanding and predictions of PFAS transport originating from contaminated hotspots. We will test existing models and further develop them to better account for transport processes and phenomena which are specifically important for PFAS, including retention processes at air-water interfaces, interaction/competition between chemical species and PFAS-specific sorption phenomena. Models for unsaturated and saturated zones will be tested and developed and will finally be integrated to create practical modelling tools to predict the transport from sources of PFAS contamination all the way to recipients.

The project is a close collaboration between researchers at Uppsala University, the Swedish Geotechnical Institute (SGI) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. As a PhD-student you will be part of a dedicated research group working on PFAS. Data from contaminated sites connected to SGI’s governmental assignment on PFAS will be used. The project is financed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency as part of a call on non-toxic life cycles which includes 6 projects in total.

Work on all parts of the research project, publish the results in scientific journals (these papers will be part of the PhD thesis), present results at national and international conferences as well as project meetings, contribute to the final technical project report and the dissemination of results. In the PhD studies also courses are included which are selected based on the needs of the student and the research project.

To meet the entry requirements for doctoral studies, you must

  • hold a Master’s (second-cycle) degree in hydrology, hydrogeology, environmental- and/or water engineering, geotechnical engineering or similar/equivalent, or
  • have completed at least 240 credits in higher education, with at least 60 credits at Master’s level including an independent project worth at least 15 credits, or
  • have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way.

Excellent ability to communicate in English both in writing and orally is required. You need to be able to work efficiently both individually and in a group as well as to plan and deliver work within scientific projects in collaboration with other researchers.

Additional qualifications
Knowledge of transport processes in the soil-groundwater system and experience in flow and/or transport modelling is particularly meritorious for the position. Experience with modelling tools such as MODFLOW or FEFLOW-based transport models, Hydrus, COMSOL, TOUGH or similar software is an advantage. Experience or knowledge of remediation techniques for soil and groundwater contamination is also an advantage. Furthermore, we attach great importance to personal qualities such as determination, analytical ability, co-operation skills, ability to work in a structured way and to plan projects.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines .

Your application should include the following:

  • A brief personal letter where you describe yourself, why you would like to have this postdoctoral position and why you are suitable for it.
  • A CV/résume (max 2 pages)
  • A certified copy or transcript of your Master’s degree and course grades.
  • A copy (or draft) of your MSc thesis and any other work, such as publications that you would like to include in your application
  • Name and contact information to two persons who have agreed to act as references for you, alternatively, letter(s) of recommendation. Your relationship to each of the references should be stated.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %.Starting date 2024-05-01 oras agreed. Placement: Uppsala

For further information about the position, please contact: Fritjof Fagerlund e-mail: [email protected]

Please submit your application by 25 March 2024, UFV-PA 2024/648.

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Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Earth Sciences

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100%

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO [email protected]
Seko Universitetsklubben [email protected]
Saco-rådet [email protected]

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2024/648

Last application date: 2024-03-25

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