PhD Opportunity – Geothermal Energy, Great Basin Center for Geothermal, Reno/ Nevada

PhD Opportunity – Geothermal Energy, Great Basin Center for Geothermal, Reno/ Nevada Website screenshot of Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, University of Nevada, Reno
Alexander Richter 16 Dec 2020

The Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy has published a PhD Opportunity in geothermal energy at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Deadline for applications is January 1, 2021.

The Great Basin region of the western USA is a vast geothermal province with over a GigaWatt of installed geothermal power generation capacity at present and the potential for many more GigaWatts. Geoscience challenges associated with realizing this potential include (1) identifying and discovering blind (hidden) geothermal systems and evaluating their resource capacities, and (2) understanding geothermal system dynamics and geometries in the subsurface and how these can be used to improve exploration strategies and sustainable resource management.

Description of opportunity

The Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy (GBCGE) in the Bureau of Mines and Geology at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) invites applications from motivated and enthusiastic individuals for a fully-funded PhD position within our ‘INGENIOUS’ project team. The ‘INGENIOUS’ (INnovative Geothermal Exploration through Novel Investigations Of Undiscovered Systems) project is a multi-year, ambitious research project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office that aims to address key challenges associated with exploration and development of hidden geothermal systems in the Great Basin region. This project will involve close collaboration with >10 external partner organizations including the USGS and state geological surveys, national laboratories, industry, and others.

Major project activities will include:

  1. comprehensive geoscience data synthesis and new data acquisition on a regional and, for select systems, on a local scale;
  2. development of advanced 3D geological, geophysical, and geostatistical models of geothermal prospects;
  3. application of machine learning techniques, advanced geostatistics and value of information (VOI) approaches to develop streamlined, integrated exploration workflows for use at the local and regional-scale;
  4. conceptual model development, resource estimation, and economic-modeling;
  5. test drilling to validate model predictions; and
  6. development of user-friendly software tools for data and workflow dissemination to enable effective adoption by the geothermal community.

Potential focus areas

Depending on the skills and interests of the successful applicant, he/she/they will gain experience in working at the forefront of geothermal research and innovation, with the opportunity to contribute to numerous aspects of INGENIOUS. Potential research themes could include (but are not limited to): (1) developing detailed conceptual models for multiple geothermal systems in the Great Basin to constrain the underpinning controls on resource geometry and capacity in the region; (2) evaluating approaches to develop a suite of resource conceptual model geostatistical realizations in 3D that capture geological and data uncertainty; and/or (3) designing new software/algorithms to efficiently implement and test multiple exploration workflow scenarios that incorporate diverse, complex datasets.

How to apply

For more information visit and

Application deadline: January 1st, 2021, 11:59 pm (in your local timezone).


Please email Bridget Ayling at bayling [at]

The University of Nevada, Reno is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action in recruitment of its students and employees and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, creed, national origin, veteran status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or gender expression.

Source: Announcement via LinkedIn (pdf)