Research Assistant/Associate (w/m/d)

PhD position in heterogeneities in hydraulic-mechanical coupled reservoir properties



Florian Amann


+49 241 80-95740



Chair of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology

Our Profile

Given the challenges in geothermal operations and the ambitious expansion plans for geothermal energy in many countries, there is an urgent need for experts with a broad understanding of geothermal systems. How can such systems be operated in the most efficient and safe manner? Within the Marie Curie Innovative Training Network EASYGO - Efficiency and Safety in Geothermal Operations, funded by the European Commission, the IDEA League universities TU Delft (TUD), ETH Zurich (ETH), RWTH Aachen University (RWTH), Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi) and 10 industry partners are addressing this question from different perspectives, integrating geology, geophysics, geochemistry, advanced modeling, and process engineering. In this framework, EASYGO is looking forward to train tomorrow’s leading geothermal energy experts. Please find additional information on EASYGO as well as detailed project descriptions of all 13 PhD positions on In case you want to apply for multiple EASYGO positions, limit the number of applications to 3, and indicate other positions you have applied for together with a clear order of preference in your motivation letter.

In this project, the successful applicant will conduct state of the art research on systematic relations between the structural inventory in a geothermal reservoir and heterogeneities of hydro-mechanical (HM) properties seen in new and existing datasets acquired during in-situ experiments. Previous experience with intermediate scale experiments has demonstrated that heterogeneities in HM-coupled reservoir properties substantially affect the efficiency of stimulation and exploitation of reservoirs. It is essential to predict and quantify such heterogeneities prior to the design and execution of hydraulic treatments from borehole logging and borehole testing. The successful applicant will work with highly interdisciplinary data from structural, hydraulic and geophysical analyses which ideally will be integrated into a 3D geological model to successfully investigate the relations between structural inventory and heterogeneities of HM reservoir properties.

This project is mainly conducted at the department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology (LIH), RWTH Aachen University (with research visits at ETH Zurich and industry partners). The team at LIH consists of about 15 people with multiple scientific backgrounds in earth sciences, engineering and technical sciences (Postdoctoral researchers, PhD students), and administrative and technical staff. You can expect a very diverse and challenging job in an international and multidisciplinary working environment. RWTH Aachen University is part of the ABC/J Geoverbund, and therefore well connected with Cologne and Bonn Universities and the Forschungszentrum Jülich. RWTH is an equal opportunity employer. Thus, we specifically encourage applications of qualified women and minorities.

How to apply

Please submit your application no later than October 31 as a single PDF file named EASYGO_08_YourLastname_YourFirstname.pdf containing a motivation letter, CV, M.Sc. certificate and grades for the individual courses (highlighting courses relevant for this position) to Language certificates and documents showing practical experience in the field are desirable. Please note that this file will be shared with members of the EASYGO recruitment committee at all four participating IDEA League universities and one industry representative.
Please note that EU ITN mobility rule applies (see guide for applicants here:, meaning that applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date.

Your Profile

- University degree (Master or equivalent) in geosciences
- Experience in geological data analysis and ideally geological modeling
- Good English knowledge (written & spoken)
- High degree of initiative, discipline and team spirit
- Ability to work scientifically and independently

Your Duties and Responsibilities

- Data analysis and filtering of interdisciplinary large datasets, including structural, hydrogeological and geophysical data
- Establish relations between geological structures in geothermal reservoirs and HM-heterogeneities
- Implement the estimated HM properties in a 3D geological model as an input for the 3D HM numerical simulator
- Active participation in the various training and networking opportunities provided by EASYGO and the IDEA League doctoral school
- Presentation of own research at selected scientific conferences and publication in peer-reviewed journals

What We Offer

The successful candidate will be employed under a regular employment contract.
The position is to be filled 01.01.2021 until limited to 3 years.
This is a full-time position with the possibility of a part-time contract upon request.
The successful candidate has the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree in this position.
The salary corresponds to pay grade EG 13 TV-L of the German public service salary scale (TV-L).
RWTH is a certified family-friendly University. We support our employees in maintaining a good work-life balance with a wide range of health, advising, and prevention services, for example university sports. We also offer a comprehensive continuing education scheme and a public transportation ticket available at a significantly reduced price.
RWTH is an equal opportunities employer. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from all suitably qualified candidates, particularly from groups that are underrepresented at the University. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability or age. RWTH is strongly committed to encouraging women in their careers. Female applicants are given preference if they are equally suitable, competent, and professionally qualified, unless a fellow candidate is favored for a specific reason.
As RWTH is committed to equality of opportunity, we ask you not to include a photo in your application.
You can find information on the personal data we collect from applicants in accordance with Articles 13 and 14 of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at

Application deadline:31.10.2020
Mailing Address:Florian Amann
Chair of Engineering Geology
Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology (LIH)
RWTH Aachen University, Lochnerstraße 4-20
52056 Aachen, Germany
Applicants are invited to submit their applications via email. For data protection reasons, however, we recommend sending applications via mail.