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GBP31076 –GBP38183 (Grade 7)
School of Engineering, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society
Full Time
35 months fixed-term


About our team

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society is one of the UK?s leading institutions for multidisciplinary research and teaching in areas critical to economic development and societal equity.  We aim to attain excellence in the teaching of the core disciplines that contribute to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society and are committed to undertaking high value, high impact research and knowledge transfer in topics of relevance to global challenges.

The School enjoys facilities consistent with its location in modern, purpose-built accommodation on the Edinburgh campus. The School is well equipped in respect of laboratories for materials, structures, engineering, building services and hydraulics research and teaching.  Our research and teaching facilities in Dubai and Malaysia are contained within purpose-built campuses in Dubai Academic City and Putrajaya, respectively.

The School?s undergraduate teaching on our Edinburgh campus covers civil and structural engineering, architectural engineering, construction project management, quantity surveying, geography, urban studies, interior design and the biology suite.  On our Dubai campus we teach civil & structural engineering, architectural engineering, architecture, construction management, quantity surveying and interior design.  On our Malaysia campus we teach civil engineering, construction project management, quantity surveying and petroleum engineering.  We offer a high quality educational experience underpinned by practical and laboratory teaching, and informed by contact with professional practice.  Most of our degree programmes hold the appropriate accreditation from the relevant professional body.  This educational philosophy ensures excellent employment prospects for all of our graduates.

Programmes of postgraduate study are aligned to the expertise contained in each of our research institutes. Our postgraduate students therefore benefit from state-of-the-art knowledge in their chosen study area.  You can find further information about the School?s postgraduate programmes at


The School is one of the leading research centres in the UK. It has sustained a high reputation for the international standing of its research over two decades.
Research within the School is organised into six Institutes:  

Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (ILES)
The Urban Institute (TUI)
Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE)
Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE)
Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design (CESBD)
Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research (I-SPHERE)

All academic staff based on the Edinburgh and Dubai campuses contribute to the research activities of one of our Institutes.

These Institutes support a wide range of research activities of relevance to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society. Institute staff undertake research funded by research councils, charitable foundations, local and national government. Research outcomes are published in leading international and national journals and key findings are widely disseminated through other media and forms of output.

DETECT is an integrated project, involving the Lyell Centre and the Institute of Petroleum Engineering at Heriot Watt University, RWTH Aachen University, Germany; Risktec, the Netherlands and Shell Global Solutions, the Netherlands. Shell is coordinating this project.

Further details

Project Title: ?Modelling the flow and geomechanical and geochemical coupling in fracture and matrix at fracture and fracture network scale?

Fixed term 33-36 months

Institute of Petroleum Engineering

The Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE) at Heriot-Watt University (HWU) is a postgraduate institute within The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS). IPE was founded in 1975 and is widely recognised as one of the internationally leading centres? of excellence in petroleum engineering and petroleum geoscience. Its research activities range from fundamental science to industrial applications, covering the full range of activities related to the upstream oil and gas industry, from exploring hydrocarbon provinces to characterising the reservoirs and providing robust uncertainty envelopes for future hydrocarbon production to developing new chemical and engineering solutions that ensure that production wells operate efficiently. IPE leads several major interdisciplinary and collaborative research centres, such as the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Gas (, the International Centre for Carbonate Reservoirs (, the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre ( or the Centre for Energy Economics Research and Policy ( and is a key stakeholder in the Lyell Centre for Earth and Marine Science and Technology, a #20 Million collaborative venture with the National Environmental Research Centre which has seen the British Geological Survey (BGS Scotland) relocate to our Edinburgh campus.

The position will be based at IPE?s Carbonate Reservoir Group (, which is world-renowned for its applied and fundamental research on improving the predictability of hydrocarbon recovery from (fractured) carbonate formations and applying the techniques to similar problems such as geological carbon storage. The Carbonate Reservoir Group currently comprises approximately 20 PhD students and postdocs with backgrounds in reservoir engineering, geoscience, physics, and mathematics who work on the characterisation, modelling, and simulation of carbonate reservoirs and collaborate closely with several leading international universities and many oil and gas companies around the world.

Detailed Description 

The project is funded for 36 months by the ACT (Accelerating CCS Technology) program and will perform a risk-based approach to evaluate leakage from deep CO2 storage sites. The aim of this project is to generate guidelines for determining the risk of CO2 leakage along fractures across the primary caprock using an integrated monitoring and hydro-mechanical-chemical modelling approach. For this purpose, we will perform laboratory studies to provide relevant parameters for CO2 leakage modelling at small, meso, and large scales for several case studies, incorporating analogue data where possible. The intention is to improve our understanding of realistic leakage geometries and rates for several representative scenarios and to identify containment monitoring technologies that are capable of detecting such caprock integrity issues. We will build on experience gained from the risk-based Measurement, Monitoring and Verification (MMV) programme for the current Quest and the former Peterhead CCS projects. This, together with the insights gained from DETECT, will be integrated within a risk assessment framework using the bowtie method which will allow both a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the risk of CO2 leakage along fractures in the caprock. The resulting bowties will serve CO2 storage operators as guidelines for site-specific risk assessments. Further, the integrated results of this work can be used for communication regarding leakage from CO2 storage in a clear, logical, and substantiated manner. 

Key duties and responsibilities

Key duties and responsibilities of the role holder include, but are not limited to

Modelling the flow in fracture and matrix as well as its geomechanical and geochemical coupling on the fracture and fracture network scale
Use and implementing advanced modeling concepts in the Matlab Reservoir Simulation Toolbox (MRST)
Present research results at conferences and internal project meetings
Publish peer-reviewed and conference papers

Education, Qualifications and Experience
  • Minimum qualification: Doctorate

Education, qualifications and experience  


A PhD degree in computational geoscience, mathematics, physics, hydrogeology, civil engineering, reservoir engineering or similar. And a 2.1 or higher in an undergraduate degree in geoscience, petroleum engineering, civil engineering, mathematics, or physics.
Expert knowledge in multi-phase flow in porous media and/or geomechanics and/or reactive flow
Expert knowledge in solution techniques for non-linear partial differential equations
Expert knowledge in geoscience
Strong programming skills
Strong publication track record
Team spirit and experience in collaborating within interdisciplinary and multi-national teams
Excellent communication and presentation skills
Experience in working towards tight deadlines
Experience in conducting independent research


Knowledge in reactive flow
Knowledge in CO2 Storage Modelling
Knowledge in Reduced Complexity Modelling
Experience in Finite Volume Methods
Programming skills in MATLAB/Matlab Reservoir Simulation Toolbox
Experience in petroleum and/or reservoir engineering
Willingness to travel to project meetings in Europe

Amount of travel
  • Travel involved: Moderate Travel
How to apply

Applications for this vacancy should be made online through the Heriot-Watt University iRecruit system.

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on Wednesday 20th September 2017.

Interviews will be held in the week commencing 2nd October 2017 (possibly through Skype).

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr. Florian Doster ( for PDRA 2.

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