PhD position on non-destructive 3D characterization and 4D monitoring of microbial-induced pore-scale processes inside stone (4 yrs) (1.0 FTE)
The Dutch Research Council VICI project, led by Prof. Veerle Cnudde, 'Towards protecting and improving building stones through microbial manipulation of pore structure' (short: BugControl), will focus on the understanding of bio-manipulated pore-scale processes inside rocks. The 4-year PhD project aims at understanding fluid-rock interaction in the presence of microbial organisms using advanced 4D imaging techniques. The outcomes of this PhD project will be incorporated into a team-effort to predict the impact of microbial organisms on rock properties and develop smart bio-conservation strategies. The PhD project will develop a protocol for biofilm visualization inside rock by applying X-ray tomography. Via advanced imaging techniques, correlative microscopy strategies with next-generation automated electron microscopy and 4D micro-CT a better understanding into the bacteria-induced pore scale processes will be obtained. Therefore, pathfinder materials will be fully characterized using advanced imaging techniques and lab measurements. After application of specific bacteria on these pathfinder stones in the lab, the induced bio-activity will be characterized.
The PhD candidate will engage in a trans-disciplinary research environment by closely collaborating with two postdoctoral fellows and one other PhD student, who are all part of the BugControl project and numerous PhD students and Postdoctoral fellows working in the field of advanced imaging techniques and pore scale processes. Fieldwork campaigns are planned to take place in The Netherlands and Belgium. Advanced imaging is planned in Belgium and at the synchrotron facilities in Switzerland (SLS-PSI) and France (ESRF). As such, the PhD candidate will be co-supervised by a professor from the Centre for X-ray imaging (UGCT), Belgium, and a minimum research visit of a total of 6 months at Ghent University is anticipated. A personalised training programme will be set up, which will reflect the candidate's training needs and career objectives. As part of this training, up to 10% of the candidate's time will be dedicated to assisting in Bachelor's and Master's teaching programmes.
About the organization
Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.
The Department of Earth Sciences conducts teaching and research across the full range of the solid Earth and environmental Earth sciences, with activities in almost all areas of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, biogeology and hydrogeology. The department hosts a highly international tenured staff of over 45 scientists and more than 110 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. Our research programme spans four intertwined themes: Climate & Life, Earth interior, Earth materials, and Environmental Earth Sciences. We house or have access to a wide variety of world-class laboratories.
The PhD project is based within the Environmental Hydrogeology Group. The Environmental Hydrogeology Group performs fundamental and applied research on the transport of fluids, colloids, and reactive chemical components in the shallow and deep subsurface. We apply a combination of theoretical, statistical, computational, and experimental methods to upscale processes from micro (pore) scale to column, and up to the field scale. Our work is related to environment and subsurface remediation, geo‑resources, and CO2 storage. The generated knowledge on upscaling in porous materials is highly cross disciplinary fostering collaborations with many scientific groups from (Earth) Science, applied research, as well as industrial partners.
Evaluations and interviews are planned soon after the application deadline of November 15 2021. The preferred starting date is January 1, 2022 or a.s.a.p. thereafter.
Online screening may be part of the selection. Commercial response to this ad is not
The application deadline is
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