Postdoc in Modeling of Behavior of Oil Droplets in The Ocean Depending on the Oil Chemistry - DTU Offshore

Updated: 4 months ago

A 16 months postdoctoral position in advanced modeling of the behavior of oil droplets in the ocean: their spreading, splitting, deepening, coagulation, and other phenomena depending on the oil chemistry is available at DOTC – DTU Offshore. 

You will be involved in solving an important practical and ecological problem: The impact of spreading of small amounts of oil droplets contained in the water produced from offshore petroleum reservoirs and discharged into the sea, as well as oily contaminations from other sources related to green energy transition. Although huge amounts of the produced water are thoroughly cleaned, they may still contain residual oil droplets. The behavior of these droplets strongly depends on their chemical composition, in particular, on the presence of so-called production chemicals. These chemicals may affect the behavior of the droplets, which, in turn, serve as carriers of the chemicals over large distances. Modeling of the whole process of spreading the oil droplets is the goal of the present project. It is important to know how far and deep the droplets will travel, as well as, how they will release the chemicals into the ocean water. 

The task of modeling this process is challenging, and you will have to apply advanced skills in mathematics, programming, as well as chemistry, to succeed. Your achievements in the project will be of high industrial and academic interest and will certainly attract the attention of the industrial research community, which is important for your future career building.

The project will be carried out at the DOTC – DTU Offshore Technology Center, in collaboration with CERE – Center of Energy resources Engineering. The principal supervisor will be Professor Simon Andersen, DOTC, in collaboration with Associate Professor Alexander Shapiro (CERE). The project is part of the large research program at DTU Offshore called Produced water management.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The project will focus on building a model and a software on hydrodynamic and chemical behavior of the droplet populations in seawater. The microscale single-droplet model will evaluate the travel of a single droplet and evolution of the interfacial tension accounting for the component mass exchange between the droplet and the seawater. Then this single-droplet model will be plugged in the population-balance model for the population of such droplets, interacting with each other (agglomerating or splitting). Correspondingly, the project will contain the disciplines of colloid and surface chemistry, as well as stochastic and numerical modelling which is highly desirable in many other industries.

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent). Your background education should include colloid and surface chemistry, as well as advanced applied mathematics, including stochastic processes, programming and numerical modelling. 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 1 year and 4 months starting from August 1, 2023 (or according to mutual agreement). 

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

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information 
Further information may be obtained from Simon Ivar Andersen ( ) and Alexander Shapiro (

You can read more about the DOTC at DTU Offshore , Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at DTU Chemical Engineering , and about the involved Center for Energy Resources Engineering (

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 26 May 2023 (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´s vision
DTU Offshore – Danish Offshore Technology Centre – is Denmark’s national R&D centre for offshore technologies and holds a central position in the energy transition. We develop research-based technology solutions for the offshore industry in the North Sea. Our research encompasses carbon storage, digital solutions for the offshore sector, produced water management, well and platform maintenance, recovery of remaining oil and gas resources, and efficient and responsible abandonment of depleted oil and gas fields. By managing  a portfolio of research projects , we can ensure that our solutions make a difference to industry. DTU Offshore is a partnership between five of Denmark's leading research institutions: Aalborg University, Aarhus University, University of Copenhagen, National Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and the Technical University of Denmark. We gather teams across the network and utilize the cutting-edge expertise of each partner institution. In addition, we are in constant dialogue with industry partners and researchers outside DTU Offshore. We see this network approach as the most optimal approach to pioneering research that makes a difference in the field.

CERE is an interdisciplinary center at the DTU, comprising the researchers from Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Environmental Engineering, and Applied Mathematics departments. It is one of the European leaders in applied and computational thermodynamics and transport properties, with their applications in chemical, biochemical, and petroleum engineering.

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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