We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate for the project 'Experimental constraints on nanoscale fluid flow in natural systems'.
Fluid-driven mineral reactions chemically modify enormous portions of the Earth’s crystalline lithosphere affecting the stability of mountain belts, forming hydrothermal mineral deposits, sequestering anthropogenic CO2 as well as controlling many other processes. For these reactions to propagate through rocks, fluid transport networks are critical. The European Research Council (ERC) starting grant led by Dr Oliver Plümper, ‘The nanoscale control of reactive fluids on geological processes within the solid Earth’ (short: nanoEARTH), will focus on the role that these transport networks play in self-promoting fluid-mediated mineral reactions. In particular, Dr Plümper’s group has demonstrated that nanoscale transport processes play a critical role in the effectiveness of the fluid-transport system. Therefore, the aim of this 4-year nanoEARTH PhD project is to experimentally and numerically determine fluid flow mechanisms through natural and synthetic nanoporous mineral systems.
ERC promotes the highest quality research in Europe and helps to bring about new and unpredictable scientific and technological discoveries. As such, the student will have direct access to the world-class experimental and analytical facilities at Utrecht University, including brand-new electron microscopes. The PhD candidate will engage in a trans-disciplinary research environment including closely collaborating with a second PhD candidate as well as Postdoctoral Researcher who are also part of the nanoEARTH project.
As part of the personal PhD training programme, the candidate is expected to assist in the teaching programmes of the Department of Earth Sciences for a limited amount of time (~10%).