PhD Position Long-term Seismic Monitoring of Dutch Geothermal-Well Activities with Surface Seismometers

Given the challenges in geothermal operations and the ambitious expansion plans for geothermal energy in many countries, there is an urgent need for experts with a broad understanding of geothermal systems. How can such systems be operated in the most efficient and safe manner? Within the ITN EASYGO, funded by the European Commission, the IDEA League universities TU Delft (TUD), ETH Zurich (ETH), RWTH Aachen University (RWTH), Politec- nico di Milano (PoliMi) and 10 industry partners are addressing this question from different perspectives, integrating geology, geophysics, geochemistry, advanced modeling and process engineering. In this framework, EASYGO is looking forward to train tomorrow’s leading geothermal energy experts.
EASYGO is seeking 13 highly qualified and enthusiastic individuals holding a relevant Master degree (or equivalent) to conduct state-of-the-art rese- arch within the projects specified below. Please find additional information on EASYGO as well as detailed project descriptions on geothermal-energy and do not hesitate to contact the associated supervisors in case of questions. Successful applicants will conduct their research work at two universities and in close collaboration with industrial partners. They will also benefit from the various training and networking opportunities within the ITN and large-scale infrastructure by the consortium partners across Europe.

In this project, processes associated with the injection and extraction of water in Dutch geothermal reservoirs will be monitored using a long-term network of 3-component short-period seismometers installed at the surface (or ~1 m below the surface) close to the DAPwell and other Dutch geothermal wells. The recordings will hence be so-called passive data. Additional data will be provided by the industry partner EBN. The project is one out of 13 PhD positions offered within the European Union funded project EASYGO ("Efficiancy and Safety in Geothermal Operations"). In this context, we will develop an inversion strategy for the source mechanism associated with detected induced seismic events. We will also use the passive seismic data to investigate the potential of passive seismic sources (ambient noise, regional and teleseismic events) for imaging the subsurface structures with seismic-interferometric techniques.

The Phd project will include a three-month secondment to "Energie Beheer Nederland" (EBN) after the first year, and a nine-month secondment to RWTH Aachen (Dr. Florian Wellmann) after approximately two years. The secondment to EBN will allow the PhD candidate to work with additional data from Dutch geothermal wells. The objective of the secondment to RWTH Aachen is to link the source characteristics of the induced seismic events to production and/or reservoir parameters by means of reservoir modelling.

As a PhD candidate, you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate school. TU Delft's graduate school provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please click here for more information.

If you have (i) an M.Sc. degree in geophysics, physics, mathematics, electrical or mechanical engineering, or geology with a strong quantitative focus, and (ii) proven excellence in physical and mathematical thinking, then you may want to apply for this position. In particular, we are looking for a candidate with the following knowledge and skills:

  • Independent, self-motivated, reliable, and eager to learn.
  • Ability to work in a project team and take leadership and responsibility for different research tasks.
  • An excellent command of English and good academic writing and presentation skills.

If your mother language is not English and you do not hold a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction, you must submit proof of English proficiency from either TOEFL (minimum total score of 100) or IELTS (minimum total score of 7.0). Proof of English language proficiency certificates older than two years are not accepted.

contract: 4 years.

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

During the first three years, the salary will be covered via the Marie Curie Project allowances

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Civil Engineering & Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

The PhD candidate is hosted by the Department of Geoscience & Engineering, which is part of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CEG). The faculty of CEG is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied Earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology and delta technology. The research covers global social issues and is closely connected to education as well as the work of a wide range of knowledge institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to realise these goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice

Within the faculty of CEG, the Department of Geoscience & Engineering conducts research that should contribute to "Responsible use of the Geosphere considering the impact on system Earth and society."

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Kees Weemstra, Assistant Professor, email:


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