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.
For section 4.5 "Basin Modelling" (department “Geosystems”), we are looking for a:

Post-Doc (f_m_x) "Building a digital workbench for geoscientific subsurface applications"

Reference Number 8834

We are seeking a postdoctoral research scientist to work in the frame of the project “WBGEO: Workbench für Digitale Geosysteme ” funded within the framework of the project Geosciences for Sustainability (GEO:N) by the Federal Ministry of Science and Education (BMBF). 

The main objective of the WBGEO project is to develop a digital workbench to increase the flexibility, transparency, long-term reproducibility and forecast capability of workflows as used for simulations of geotechnical subsurface operations. Such a concept will be developed together with the project partners RWTH University Aachen and the Fraunhofer Research Institute for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Energy (IEG) based on an extensive digitalisation and automation of the typical work steps used to forecast underground utilisation concepts, from geological modelling and numerical simulation to analysis and visualisation of the final results.

Your responsibilities:

  • Developing interfaces to seamless and automatic integration of the different work steps of the simulation chain: from 3D geological model, via their numerical discretization (meshing) to their dynamic numerical simulation and 4D visualization.    
  • Abstraction of the developed wrappers to guarantee high level flexibility and ease of integration of different geological/simulation packages 
  • Development of a concept for hierarchical modelling to enable the integration of the relevant, though diverse spatial and temporal scales and their across-scale extrapolation as relevant to subsurface operation (from basin scale application down to the scale of a single reservoir)
  • Application of the hierarchical modelling concept and the interface to real case studies
  • Cooperation with the project partners in establishing the digital workbench
  • Presentation of the results at internal project meetings, as well as at national and international meetings
  • Publication of the results in peer-reviewed journals
  • Compiling project reports and deliverables

Your qualifications:

  • Master's degree and PhD in Earth, Environmental or Physical Sciences, or in a related field
  • Advanced expertise in numerical modelling (especially relevant for thermal hydraulic and mechanical reservoir analysis) and complex simulation environments (familiarity with HPC concepts is an asset) 
  • Familiarity with basic coding concepts (e.g. basic control and data structures, object-oriented programming, troubleshooting and debugging) specifically for C++ and Python (Julia) programming languages
  • Demonstrated capacity for international teamwork and excellent communication skills
  • Creative and critical thinking and the ability to publish, demonstrated by a record of original and innovative publications
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English

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: 36 months
Salary: The position is classed as salary group 13 according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)”. The salary group is determined on the basis of the Collective Wage Agreement and the respective personal qualifications.
Working hours: Full-time (currently 39 h/week); The position is generally suitable for part-time work.
Place of work: Potsdam

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 8th January 2024. 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], 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]

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.

If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact our recruiting team at our phone number +49 (0) 331-6264-28787.

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