PhD position Upscaling sediment-petrographic properties of a clastic reservoir


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

The University of Groningen has an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, we are truly an international place of knowledge.

The Faculty of Science and Engineering harbours a kaleidoscope of disciplines and research strengths. Our programmes in research and education range from nanomaterials and biomachinery to astronomy, from mathematics to pharmacy, from neurosciences to computer science, and from molecular and evolutionary biology to marine biology.

The Energy and Sustainability Research Institute (ESRIG) is a highly multidisciplinary institute performing research on energy and sustainability. Activities include experimental and model studies as well as studies into the societal interaction with scientific knowledge. The research of the small Geo-Energy group within the ESRIG is focusing on the safe, sustainable utilization of the subsurface for energy production and storage as well as carbon utilization and storage.

Job description

The ongoing gas depletion from the Groningen gas field led to pressure loss within the sandstones, which resulted in reservoir compaction and associated surface subsidence and increasing seismicity. However, the model of rock properties in the Groningen gas field, where production-induced compaction is an issue of major socio-economic impact, can be improved.

We are looking for a PhD student who will investigate the upscaling of petrographic heterogeneity of the Rotliegend sandstone reservoir of the Groningen gas field within a wider project entitled “The role of heterogeneity in controlling the geomechanical behavior of sandstone reservoirs”. The petrographic composition (detrital and authigenic mineralogy, sedimentary facies, grain shape and size, ...) of the reservoir is thought to be one of the factors controlling its geomechanical behavior.

The PhD student will use existing 3D geological data, high resolution core images, and a petrographic dataset currently being created in Groningen to develop an upscaling model of the petrographic parameters. This model will then be used to create a predictive model of spatial distribution of sandstone petrography within the gas fields and the surrounding aquifers.

Responsibilities and tasks:

- Identifying sedimentological trends within the Rotliegend of the Groningen gas reservoir based on existing data
- Linking petrographic parameters to reservoir geology
- Create a predictive petrographic model for the reservoir area
- Preparation of scientific articles and conference contributions
- Contributing and participating in scientific conferences
- Teaching activities (15 % of total workload) include mostly supervision of bachelor and master students.


The candidate should hold a MSc degree in geology, geosciences, or related disciplines. A background in reservoir modelling (i.e. Petrel) is required, knowledge of a programming language (phython, R) is beneficial. For the motivated and skilled student excellent verbal and written communication skills in English are mandatory.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

The successful candidate will be offered, following the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- a full-time (1.0 FTE) position for four years
- a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,247 gross per month in the fourth and final year for a full-time working week
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
- an 8.3% year-end bonus
- a position for four years; first, you will get a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years; extension of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year so that successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected.

A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Candidates are expected to start preferable before 1 November 2022.

Job Application

To be successful the application has to include:

- cover letter
- curriculum vitae
- transcripts from you bachelor’s and master’s degree
- contact details of three potential referees
- any other relevant documents (e.g., short research statement, awards, publications, language certifications).

You can submit your application until 15 September 2022 11:59pm / before 16 September 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:[…]/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

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Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Johannes Miocic, Assistant Professor

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 222541

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