Research Associate

University of Cambridge - Department of Earth Sciences, BPI Institute

Laboratory modelling of CO2 trapping processes in unconventional reservoirs.

The geological storage of CO2 is a technological means of removing anthropogenic emissions from the atmosphere which relies on stable long-term storage, and sufficient subsurface pore space.  Current geological storage scenarios envision primary trapping in a confined aquifer, where trapping is primarily accomplished by a competent top seal.  However, trapping processes, such as surface tension acting at the pore scale and the dissolution of CO2 into ambient pore waters, may act sufficiently rapidly that more unconventional storage reservoirs are possible.

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to work between the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and the Department of Earth Sciences to test the trapping of CO2 in heterogeneous, unconfined reservoirs.  The postdoctoral researcher will focus primarily on laboratory experiments characterising the flow, mixing, capillary trapping and dissolution of CO2 in a range of heterogeneous porous media using analogue fluids and porous materials.  These experiments will be used to benchmark high-resolution numerical simulations, and will form the basis of upscaled, reduced physics models of mixing and trapping in heterogeneous media.

Applicants should be trained in experimental fluid dynamics and have demonstrated the capacity to perform independent research. Previous experience in the mathematical modelling of flows in porous media, mixing and dispersion, along with the use of experimental techniques such as dye-attenuation or similar would be advantageous. The successful candidate must have PhD in a relevant field (e.g. physical sciences, engineering, mathematics or similar), a track record of publication in peer-reviewed international journals and will have good communication skills in order to present results at international meetings.

Cambridge hosts an active and multidisciplinary group focused on carbon storage with geochemical and multiphase flow work being carried out jointly between the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, the BP Institute and the Department of Earth Sciences.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit:

http://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/14607. This will take you to the role on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. There you will need to click on the 'Apply online' button and register an account with the University's Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Contact Jerome Neufeld, BP Institute, Bullard Laboratories, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0EZ, (j.neufeld@bpi.cam.ac.uk) or Mike Bickle, Dept. Earth Sciences, Downing St. Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK, (mb72@esc.cam.ac.uk) for further information.

Please quote reference LB12974 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University and the Department are committed to equality and diversity, the University holds an institutional Athena-SWAN silver award and the Department is a bronze award holder. Details of some of the family-friendly policies operated by the University are at: http://www.hr.admin.cam.ac.uk/pay-benefits/cambens-employee-benefits/family-friendly.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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South East England