PhD Student in Ore Geology

Updated: 6 months ago
Deadline: 15 Apr 2023

Luleå University of Technology experiences rapid growth with world-leading expertise within several research domains. We shape the future through innovative education and groundbreaking research results and drawing on our location in the Arctic region, we create global societal benefit. Our scientific and artistic research and education are carried out in close collaboration with international, national and regional companies, public actors and leading universities. Luleå University of Technology has an annual turnover of SEK 1.9 billion. Today, we have 1,815 staff and 19,155 students.

In the coming years, multi-billion investments will be made in large projects in Northern Sweden to create a fossil-free society both nationally and globally. Luleå University of Technology is involved in several of these cutting-edge research projects and in the societal transformation that they entail. We offer a broad range of courses and study programmes to match the skills in demand. We hope that you will help us to build the sustainable companies and societies of the future.

We are now recruiting a PhD student for a research project on geological storage of carbon dioxide in waste materials from the Swedish mining industry. This interdisciplinary project is conducted by the research groups Ore Geology and Biochemical Process Engineering at Luleå University of Technology, in collaboration with the companies Boliden Mineral, LKAB, and Copperstone Resources.

Take the chance to do a PhD in a dynamic, international research environment in close cooperation with the industry and leading universities worldwide!

Subject description
Ore Geology includes the use, setting and mode of formation of naturally occurring economic concentrations of metallic raw materials. The research aims at describing the geological conditions that lead to economic concentrations of minerals, as well as how these minerals can be used for a sustainable societal development.

Project description
In the project TAILOR-MADE (Use of mine tailings to carbonate minerals by a symbiotic CC and DAC bio-strategy) that is funded by Industriklivet through the Swedish Energy Agency 2023-2028, we intend to use the industry’s own waste streams to capture carbon dioxide from the off-gases from the process industry and then convert it to bicarbonate/carbonate minerals for later geological storage. The core of the project is the technical development of carbon dioxide conversion into carbonate minerals and to investigate the potential for geological storage of carbon dioxide in waste materials from the Swedish mining industry.

As a PhD student you will work in Ore Geology project and will focus on the geological characterization of a variety of waste rock/tailings and related bedrock from the Swedish mining industry to determine their reactivity with carbon dioxide. The main field areas for sampling of mine waste will be selected mine sites at Boliden Mineral, LKAB and Copperstone Resources. Characterization will be done prior to, during, and post prolonged carbon dioxide reaction experiments utilizing a suit of (micro-)analytical techniques. For the experiments, a symbiotic carbon capture (CC) and direct air capture (DAC) bio-strategy will be developed within the PhD project in Biochemical Process Engineering. This strategy will be compared against experiments mimicking natural atmospheric ex-situ weathering of mine waste developed within the PhD project in Ore Geology. Further, the reaction products (bicarbonate solution/carbonate minerals) of the CC and DAC experiments will be chemically and mineralogically characterised and different geological permanent storage alternatives evaluated. Analytical methods used in the project are for instance scanning electron microscopy, Laser Ablation ICP MS, micro-XRF, and x-ray computed microtomography.

Apart from you, the TAILOR-MADE project will, include a PhD student and a postdoc researcher in Biochemical Process Engineering. In addition, six senior researchers who all contribute with expertise within carbonation of carbon dioxide, geological storage of carbon dioxide and analytical characterization are included in the project. The TAILOR-MADE project will closely collaborate with the ongoing INSURANCE project . Also, we expect a close collaboration between the two research groups and the mining companies Boliden Mineral, LKAB, and Copperstone Resources.

As a PhD student you are expected to perform both field work and theoretical work within your research studies as well as communicate your results at national and international conferences and in scientific journals. A PhD student will take mandatory and voluntary courses related to their work. In addition, you may have the opportunity to try the teacher role as part of your department duties. Most of your working time will be devoted to your own research studies. Your work will mainly include geological field work and microanalytical characterization of geological samples with respect to storage of carbon dioxide in mining waste materials, as well as the bedrock connection to the INSURANCE project.

You must have excellent academic credentials and completed your MSc or equivalent degree in geosciences with specializations in geology, geochemistry or other relevant program. As a doctoral student you will be admitted for post graduate studies at Luleå University of Technology.

Geological fieldwork and analytical characterization of geological samples will be important parts of the project and therefore is experience in mineralogy, sampling, geochemistry and analytical techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, Laser Ablation ICP MS, XRF, and x-ray computed microtomography and interpretation of data from these techniques meriting.

Good knowledge in bedrock geology, mining waste materials, and analysis of geological samples is required, together with a valid driver license. You will work in a team and are expected to be able to collaborate with colleagues and external partners. Fluent proficiency in spoken and written English is required.

For further information about a specific research subject see; General curricula for the Board of the faculty of science and technology

The research subject Ore Geology is formed by a diverse group of people regarding gender, age, religion, and cultural and social backgrounds. Currently, about 65% of the group are men. We encourage all eligible persons to apply and especially female applicants.

Further information
Employment as a PhD student is limited to 4 years, teaching and other department duties may be added with max 20%.

For further information about the position, please contact: Senior lecturer Glenn Bark, +46 (0) 920-49 1039,

Union representatives: SACO-S Kjell Johansson, 0920-49 1529 and OFR-S Lars Frisk, 0920-49 1792

In case of different interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

We prefer that you apply for this position by clicking on the apply button below
. The application should include a CV, personal letter and copies of verified diplomas from high school and universities (including detailed transcripts showing course grades from the courses in your degree). Mark your application with the reference number below. Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English.

Reference number: 1138-2023
Last day of application
: April 15, 2023

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