PhD Position in Geothermal Energy Research, TU Delft, Netherlands

Central student hub at TU Delft, Netherlands (source: flickr/ Philip Mallis, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 18 Aug 2019

The Technical University of Delft has advertised an open PhD Position in Geothermal Energy Research at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences. Deadline for application is before August 31, 2019.

The Technical University of Delft has advertised an open PhD Position in Geothermal Energy Research at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences.

Level: University Graduate
Working hours: 36-40 hours weekly
Contract: <empty>
Salary: EUR 2,325 – 2,972 monthly (full-time basis)
Deadline: before August 31, 2019

Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology and delta technology. The research covers global social issues and is closely connected to education as well as the work of a wide range of knowledge institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to realise these goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

The Department of Geoscience and Engineering is part of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences and encompasses five sections: Applied Geology, Applied Petrophysics and Geophysics, Geo-Engineering, Resource Engineering, and Petroleum Engineering. Within the Department there is considerable scope and encouragement for interdisciplinary research.

The increasingly intensive use of the Earth subsurface calls for detailed understanding of its geometric and physical properties. The Applied Geology section develops knowledge to quantify subsurface sedimentological and structural heterogeneities and their impact on the mechanic and flow behaviour. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach we combine analysis of outcropping analogs (recent and fossil) with characterization and numerical modelling tools. PhD candidates, post-docs and staff in the Applied Geology section cooperate in a collegial atmosphere in directed towards developing cutting-edge technology for production, storage, and remediation of energy resources. PhD candidates are stimulated to present their research at international conferences, to publish in high-ranked scientific journals, and to form an international professional network. Graduates of the section find employment in industry and in the academic world.

Job description

The objective of this project is to quantify the reservoir properties of Triassic sandstones in Southern Netherlands at depths beyond 1500m in order to assess uncertainty and reduce the risks for future deep geothermal operations. Many Westland geothermal projects at depths between 1500 and 2500m are successful. However, the Triassic reservoirs are geologically much older and therefore have a higher chance of complicating histories. The TRIAS Westland core (NLW-GT-01) analyses show that Triassic sandstone diagenesis is hampering water flow by a reduced permeability in layers at 4200m depth. It shows that to successfully predict heat production there is insufficient knowledge of these sediments, their mineralogy, local structural characteristics, spatial heterogeneity and diagenesis. We propose an innovative integrated sedimentary, structural and diagenetic study to assess, quantify and map their suitability for deep geothermal exploitation in the southern Netherlands. This work should substantiate if and where new deep geothermal projects in the Dutch Roer Valley Graben will be economically feasible.


  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree or the equivalent in geology, or must have submitted his/her master’s thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master’s degree has been awarded.
  • A strong documented background and interest in sedimentology/stratigraphy, and/or with experience from integrated structural/stratigraphic work will be preferred.
  • Candidates who also possess a good understanding of sedimentology/stratigraphy, and/or with experience from integrated structural/stratigraphic work will be preferred.
  • Experience from wellbore core analysis is an advantage.
  • Experience with any of the following is of potential interest to the project: microstructural analysis and various micro-analytical techniques, porosity and permeability analyses, structurally controlled fluid flow and diagenesis, reservoir/aquifer geology.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English.
  • Candidates must be prepared to interact with industry sponsors, although no such previous experience is required.

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The minimum salary mentioned is the salary in your first year. The salary mentioned as the maximum will be your salary in your fourth year.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit TU Delft Graduate School  more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Dr. M.W. Martinius, e-mail: . To apply, please e-mail a letter of motivation, detailed CV, summary of academic record or research experience, abstract of your PhD thesis (1 page), list of any publications, grades list, proof of English language proficiency, and names of three references (in a single pdf file) before August 31 2019 to Prof. Dr. Martinius, .

When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number CITG19.46

Source: TU Delft