Postdoc in Geophysics and geomechanics - DTU Offshore

Updated: 3 months ago

DTU Offshore (DOTC) at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) invites applications for a 2-year postdoctoral position in borehole geophysics and geomechanics starting 1 March 2024.

CCS plays an important part in the ongoing energy transition. When storing CO2 in the subsurface it is key to prevent leakage and ensure containment while having reliable monitoring methods in place. This project will develop a methodology for downhole detection of a developing CO2 leak path using borehole instrumentation. This is done by understanding the formation strain changes caused by the leaking CO2 including the fracturing, and investigation of ability to detect these changes via various wellbore sensor techniques, for example fibreoptic cables. 

You will collaborate with senior researchers at DTU Offshore but also with industry actors within the CO2 storage field. The position is part of a project funded by the InnoCCUS and there will therefore be collaborations between projects within the CCS scope.

The movement of CO2 through rock pore networks will generate small but distinctive increments of strain in the rocks. We plan to use these strain increments as a means of detecting CO2 leak paths near wellbores, using instrumentation within the wellbores, for example fibreoptic cables. The aim is to create a reliable and cost-effective method for detecting CO2 leaks near the wellbore, that can be used by CCS operators. This project will therefore involve close collaboration, both with CCS operators such as Gas Storage Denmark, and with experts in wellbore technology such as WellTec.

Project description
In order to detect CO2 leak paths from strain, it is necessary to know 1) the impact of CO2 as a saturating fluid on local strain, and 2) the ability of the sensors employed to detect that strain. These problems will be addressed by a combination of modelling and lab work.

Detailed geomechanical modelling will be carried out to assess the impact of CO2 on elastic strain in the rockmass, and around nearby wellbores. This work will also look at the potential impact of this strain on geophysical and petrophysical properties that can be detected by different types of sensors.

The experimental work will be carried out using rock samples. Implementation and testing of the method developed will be carried out in collaboration with WellTec, who will deploy the experimental sensors in wells belonging to Gas Storage Denmark. 

The announced postdoc position therefore offers an opportunity for involvement in a project of direct relevance to the development of onshore CCS in Denmark, developing a new technology that will be hopefully rolled out across the industry. It offers the chance to join a team, including experts from WellTec and Gas Storage Denmark, to implement the new technology in commercial CCS sites. This project also has important applications to well abandonment, well integrity, and pollution monitoring.

The position offers the opportunity to work very closely with industry to test and apply new models. This position would therefore suit someone looking for a career in applied research.

The project will be carried out at DTU Offshore (DOTC) the principal supervisor`s will be Professor Simon Ivar Andersen & Senior Researcher Michael Welch, with co-supervision of Professor Ida Lykke Fabricius. There will be a close collaboration with industry experts from Gas Storage Denmark and WellTec.

Responsibilities and qualifications
You will be working on geomechanical and geophysical modelling, as well as interpretation of the results of laboratory tests. A strong mathematical and numerical modelling background is therefore required, as is a knowledge of petrophysical and geophysical data analysis. You should also be good at working in a team with outside partners.

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent). Your background education should include geoscience and physics. You should be highly motivated, able to work independently, and should be confident in written and spoken English. 

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation, and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility. 

Salary and terms of employment 
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 2 years, starting from March 1, 2024. 

The assessment of the applicants will be made by the supervisors of the project, based on special examinations, including tests and interviews. Applications will be evaluated on a continuous basis.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information 
Further information may be obtained from Ida Lykke Fabricius [email protected]  

You can read more about DTU Offshore at DTU Offshore

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark .

Application procedure 
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 1 January 2024 (23:59 Danish time)

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply now", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD – in English)
  • List of publications 
  • A short (no more than 2 pages) description of, how you would address the proposed project.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion, or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Offshore is a Key Player in Energy Transition and a national research center with a central position in the energy transition. DTU Offshore is a partnership of five universities and research institutions: DTU, Aalborg University, Aarhus University, Copenhagen University and the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland and with a strong collaboration towards the industry. Our vision is based on new, innovative collaboration between industry and universities in order to solve significant, cross-disciplinary technical challenges. 

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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