Centre for Scientific Drilling

Scientific Drilling


Many geoscientific questions cannot be answered adequately by conventional surface-based research methods. Often additional information is needed to clarify issues from various fields of basic sciences (such as earthquakes, volcanism, and climate research) and applied sciences (e.g. tunnelling, geothermal energy, subsurface CO2 storage). Scientific Drilling and the innovative use of geophysical methods are offering solutions.

The Scientific Drilling Group is composed of scientists, engineers and technical personnel. Responsibilities include the planning, development and support of scientific drilling projects as well as research and development in the field of geophysical methods for the application below ground.

International projects are supported mainly within the framework of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) as well as national and international projects of different funding agencies.

We offer training opportunities for electronics technicians

Electronics laboratory

The development of high-resolution geophysical exploration systems for underground applications and mobile use in the near earth's surface area opens up many interesting electrotechnical challenges. These include the development, construction and programming of radio-controlled data acquisition systems as well as control systems for seismic pulse and vibration sources. Another demanding task is the planning, installation and commissioning of electrode arrays in boreholes with the corresponding measuring technology. Extensive measurement campaigns are conducted for testing and application in research projects. An electronics engineer and a trainee implement the ideas of several development engineers.

Knowledge transfer

  • Device development: conversion of electronic circuits, design of circuit boards with Eagle, production of circuit boards with a circuit board plotter, selection and ordering of electronic components, assembly and testing of circuit boards, installation of individual components in enclosures, wiring and testing of complete systems.
  • Measurement campaigns: cable assembly, especially for cable-bound seismic measurement systems, preparation of measurement campaigns, maintenance of measurement systems.

The training is complemented by a one-month basic mechanical training course in the central workshop of GFZ Potsdam as well as specialist courses in order to deepen the following topics:

  • Sensors, digital and analog circuitry, amplifier technology
  • microprocessor technology
  • PLC technology (Simatic-S7)
  • pneumatic, electro-pneumatic and hydraulic controls control engineering

Bachelor/Master thesis and internships

As far as the subject areas to be dealt with allow it, we give prospective electrical engineers the opportunity to write their thesis in our department. If possible, we also try to give interns the opportunity to gain experience in electronics and research

Contact person

Kay Krüger kkrueger@gfz-potsdam.de Phone: +49 (0)331 288 1547


Ulrich Harms
Section Head
Dr. Ulrich Harms
Centre for Scientific Drilling
Building A 69, Room 316
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1085


Ines Thoß
Ines Thoß
Centre for Scientific Drilling
Building A 69, Room 314
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1097