Postdoc position (2 years) on 'The Magnetic Signature of Temperature Anomalies in Faults' (1.0 FTE)

Hours per week: 
36 to 40
Faculty of Geosciences
GEO / Dept AW
Application deadline: 

Job description

The Department of Earth Sciences currently seeks a highly-motivated, high-potential applicant for a Postdoc position to work within the research project 'The magnetic signature of temperature anomalies in faults', that is a work package of the project 'Probing the micromechanics of small magnitude earthquake slip', awarded to Dr. A.R. Niemeijer at the Experimental Rock Deformation Laboratory. The position is part of the DeepNL programme, funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), which consists of eight projects and aims to investigate the physical mechanisms behind human-induced seismicity in the subsurface, e.g. in the gas reservoir in the province of Groningen (The Netherlands).

The current position aims to investigate the presence of temperature anomalies in natural and experimental faults by measuring the magnetic signature of rock samples. We will extend standing theory to constrain the naturally occurring frictional heat during major earthquakes using bulk samples to low magnitude events. Furthermore, we will assess the heat distribution as function of distance to the fault plane on a micrometer scale using Quantum Diamond Magnetometry techniques. Both approaches will be calibrated using laboratory-derived samples and then applied to outcrop samples obtained from faults in Permian sandstone in collaboration with Prof. Holdsworth of Durham University (UK).
The research team members include Project Leader Dr A.R. Niemeijer (P.I. and Co-supervisor), Dr M.J. Dekkers (Main Supervisor), and Dr L.V. de Groot (Co-supervisor) at the Department of Earth Sciences. The research will be performed at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.


The successful candidate should be ambitious and have a PhD degree in Earth Sciences, Physics or Material Science. A background in either fault and fluid mechanics or fundamental rock magnetism and an interest in experimental deformation would be an advantage. A broad interest in Geosciences, and the willingness and capacity to interact in a multidisciplinary team, are essential. The candidate should be fluent in spoken and written English, since the host group is highly international in composition.


This is a position of 1.0 FTE for the duration of two years. The minimum gross salary is €3,217 and the maximum gross salary is €3,746 (scale 10.3-10.7 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities) per month, at a full-time employment.

Besides that, you will receive a holiday allowance of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 %. Utrecht University also has an appealing package of terms of employment, including the choice for a good balance between work and private (a good arrangement for leave, among other things), possibilities for development and an excellent pension scheme. More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

About the organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.

The Department of Earth Sciences conducts teaching and research across the full range of the solid Earth and environmental Earth sciences, with activities in almost all areas of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, biogeology and hydrogeology. The department hosts a highly international tenured staff of over 45 scientists and more than 110 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. Our research programme spans four intertwined themes: Climate & Life, Earth interior, Earth materials, and Environmental Earth Sciences. We house or have access to a wide variety of world-class laboratories.

Additional information

Informal enquiries may be sent to Dr. Mark Dekkers (, Dr. Lennart de Groot ( or Dr. André Niemeijer (


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below. Also include the names of two possible referees in your application.

Evaluations and interviews are planned in June and July.

The intended starting date is September 1st, 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The application deadline is 15 June 2021.