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Research Associate in Digital Shale Rock Model Construction and Shale Gas Flow Property Upscaling

Heriot-Watt University - School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

Location: Edinburgh
Salary: £36,261 to £39,609
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 18th December 2018
Closes: 31st January 2019
Job Ref: IRC20474

Applications are invited for a Research Associate to work with Dr Jingsheng Ma, Associate Professor, for a period up to 6 months, from 1st April, 2019. The position will be based in the Institute of Petroleum Engineering, which is part of the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK. The successful appointee will be involved in 1) constructing digital shale rock models; and 2) modelling shale gas flow and transport on those shale rock models to determine effective properties. This position will be funded under UK EPSRC grant (EP/M02203X/1,

One objective of this project is to gain a better understanding of collective contributions of different flow and transport mechanisms, taking place in ultra-tight shale pore space, on effective properties. To this end, digital shale models will be generated at selected pore scales to honour shale characteristics, which are captured from 2/3D images acquired on shale samples by means of SEM, FIB-SEM, X-ray CT and/or optical microscopy imaging. Effective properties will be determined by numerical simulations while their behaviours will be analysed. The successful appointee will have an opportunity to interact with researchers of the project partner at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, UK. 

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Apply existing and develop new methods and/or techniques, as well as implement them, to generate synthetic numerical shale rock models based on characteristic rock images and theoretical considerations at selected scales;
  • Perform numerical flow simulations on shale models, and analyse the simulation results to develop empirical relationships for effective flow property upscaling and prediction;  
  • Produce research reports and journal publications, and disseminate results of research through suitable channels as appropriate;
  • Present results of research to technical workshops and conferences as appropriate;
  • Play a role in the development of research proposals;
  • Contribute to the supervision of MSc student individual projects and support to PhD students and researchers within the research team;
  • Manage own research and administrative activities, with guidance if required;
  • Develop appropriate networks within and outside the institution;
  • Develop research objectives with the assistance of the line manager and mentor.

The successful candidate will have a first degree in geosciences, engineering or computer sciences and Postdoc experience or a PhD degree, on image characterisation for granular materials and model reconstruction, as a key element in the previous work.

For application details and further information please go to:

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