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Advertising division: IEK-6 - Nuclear Waste Management and Reactor Safety
Reference number: 2020D-091


The Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Nuclear Waste Management and Reactor Safety (IEK-6) performs cutting-edge research in the fields of nuclear waste management and safety, considering the process of “Energiewende”, the transition of the German energy system. The Nuclear Waste Management section performs fundamental as well as applied research and development for the safe management of nuclear wastes, covering issues from the atomic scale to the macroscopic scale of actual waste forms and waste packages or the engineered barrier system of deep geological repositories for nuclear wastes. In this context, we apply innovative experimental and computational approaches to analyse and interpret complex coupled thermal-hydraulical-mechanical-chemical (THMC) processes relevant to radionuclide release and transport in the near- and far-field of geological repositories for radioactive wastes.

We are offering a

PhD Position - Reactive Transport Phenomena

Your Job:

The in-depth understanding and quantification of changes of transport parameters (e.g. diffusivity) in geological media in response to mineral dissolution or precipitation induced spatio-temporal porosity changes and the associated microstructural evolution is a pre-requisite for a realistic description of complex coupled processes in reactive transport simulations. Within this PhD project you will address some of the remaining challenges in this context by

  • Investigation of geochemical processes (e.g. mineral precipitation or dissolution) in porous media at the pore scale to assess their effects on the macroscopic solute transport properties
  • Development and application of cutting edge experimental approaches, e.g. microfluidics combined with dynamic Raman spectroscopic measurements and dynamic X-ray micro tomography to gain insights into relevant pore scale processes
  • Application of machine learning to establish an automated image processing workflow for data evaluation and creation of input data for numerical reactive transport simulations
  • Collaboration in the development of mechanistic models to describe system evolution and testing against experimental observations, and the development of upscaling methodologies
  • Processing of the data and scientific interpretation of the results
  • Combining cutting-edge experimental approaches and machine learning
  • Independent presentation of the results at scientific conferences and in scientific publications

Your Profile:

  • University degree (master) in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Applied Mathematics or Earth / Environmental Sciences or a related discipline
  • Experience or interest in subsurface solute transport
  • Practical experience with laboratory work and scientific programming languages (such as C, C++, Python or Fortran) are desirable, willingness and ability to learn and develop these skills are essential
  • Knowledge on geochemical thermodynamic modelling is desirable
  • Ability to work in an international multidisciplinary team is essential
  • Excellent English communication and writing skills

Our Offer:

  • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure – ideal conditions for successfully completing a doctoral degree
  • An excellent environment to perform high-quality research at an international level
  • Chance of participating in (international) conferences and project meetings
  • Continuous scientific mentoring by your scientific advisor
  • Opportunities for scientific and personal further training within the framework of the HITEC and JuDocs programmes of Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • Usually a contract for the duration of 3 years
  • Doctoral degree conferred by RWTH Aachen University
  • Pay in line with up to 65% of pay group EG13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund)

Information on employment as a PhD candidate at Forschungszentrum Jülich can be found here

Forschungszentrum Jülich promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.