Logo "GFZ German research centre for geo sciences"
Logo GFZ PotsdamLogo German Research Centre of Geosiences
The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for geosphere research. As a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres we are part of the largest scientific organization in Germany. With approximately 1,500 employees our key mission is to secure a profound understanding of the systems and processes of solid Earth, to develop strategies and options for action in addressing global change and its impacts on a regional level, to understand natural hazards and to minimize associated risks, to ensure the sustainable provision of energy and raw materials for a high-tech society and to evaluate the influence of human activity on system Earth.
As a partner in Geo.X, the GFZ has access to an excellent network of other geoscience institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. This largest regional concentration of geoscientific competence in Europe offers first-class cooperation and development opportunities.
For Section 2.6 Seismic Hazard and Risk Dynamics (Department “Geophysics”), we are looking for a:

PhD position (f_m_x) on gemechanical-numerical modelling - project SQUARE

Reference Number 7842

In the context of the energy transition and the associated phase-out of coal and nuclear energy, a considerably more intensive use of the underground will be necessary, e.g. for energy storage, usage of deep geothermal systems, or the sequestration of CO2 into the subsurface. Another challenge in the future is the long-term safe storage of high-level nuclear waste into a deep geological repository. These future new and changed utilisation concepts place new demands on the integrity and long-term stability of georeservoirs both directly related to the stress state and its human-induced stress changes.

In this research project, we are offering a PhD position for an ambitious and motivated graduate student to undertake forward geomechanical-numerical modelling of the 3D stress state of the subsurface on reservoir scale. In particular we focus on the quantification and reduction of model uncertainties to provide robust stress state predictions for a sustainable usage of the subsurface. The candidate will be part of the joint project SQUARE funded by the federal ministry of for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer protection (BMUV). The partners of the project are the TU Darmstadt (Prof. Andreas Henk) and the RWTH Aachen (Prof. Florian Wellmann).

Your responsibilities:

  • Application, analysis and further processing of different stress information data sets
  • Application and expansion of our modelling workflow that is based on the commercial software packages Hypermesh (discretization), Abaqus (Finite Element Solver), and Tecplot 360 EX (visualization)
  • Construction and simulation of generic models and a case study using a 3D model of a deep geological repository for high-level nuclear waste from our Swiss partner NAGRA
  • Method development for the extension and improvement of model calibration
  • Publication of research results in international journals and at conferences
  • Collaboration with national and international partners

Your qualifications:

  • Master`s degree (or equivalent) in geophysics, geology, geotechnics or physics
  • Affinity for modelling and use of numerical methods
  • Basic knowledge in statistics, script languages (Python, Matlab) and numerical tools is an advantage, but no requirement
  • Ability to work in a goal-oriented and structured manner
  • Strong teamwork and communication skills for working in an interdisciplinary environment

What we offer:

  • Ambitious and varied tasks in a dynamic and international research environment
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Public service benefits
  • Extensive training opportunities
  • Professional career advice offered by our in-house Career-Centre
  • Flexible working hours and conditions
  • Support with finding a good work-life balance offered by benefit@work
  • Institute day-care centre on site
  • Working at the Albert Einstein science park on the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam
  • Work place within walking distance of Potsdam main train station, or just a short ride on the shuttle bus

Start date: As soon as possible
Fixed-term: 3 years
Salary: The position is classed as salary group 13 according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet West)”. The salary group is determined on the basis of the Collective Wage Agreement and the respective personal qualifications.
Working hours: Part-time 75% (currently 29.25 h/week)
Place of work: Potsdam

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 30th June 2023. Please use our online application form only.

Diversity and equal opportunities are integral components of our human resources policy. The GFZ actively promotes diversity and explicitly welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, regardless of ethnic and social origin, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and identity, religion/belief, age and physical characteristics. Anyone who has been recognized as severely disabled, will be given preferential consideration in the event of equal suitability and qualification in accordance with the provisions of the German Social Code IX. If you have any questions, please contact our representative for the severely disabled at sbv[at]gfz-potsdam.de, who will be happy to assist you in the further application process. In case of further queries regarding gender equality, please do not hesitate to contact our Equal Opportunities Officer at gba[at]gfz-potsdam.de.

Your personal data will be processed for the purpose of conducting the selection procedure on the basis of Art. 6 para. 1 b, Art. 88 GDPR in conjunction with Art. 26 of the Data Protection Act for the State of Brandenburg. After completion of the procedure, application documents will be deleted in compliance with data protection regulations.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact Prof. Dr. Oliver Heidbach via email at heidbach@gfz-potsdam.de. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact our recruiting team at our phone number +49 (0) 331-6264-28787.

back to top of main content