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Postdoctoral position on flow and deformation of soft earth materials, University of Houston

Ferdowsi Research Laboratory, University of Houston
Houston, Texas (US)
55,000 per year + benefits
Closing date
Dec 5, 2021
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The Ferdowsi Research Laboraotry in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Houston (UH) invites applications for a postdoctoral research position. The qualified applicant will have or anticipate a PhD in, physics, earth environmental and planetary science, geophysics, geology, civil and environmental engineering, or a related field (e.g chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, applied mathematics, material science). We currently have two general lines of research that we could propose:

  1. Experimental rheology of granular and soft earth materials, broadly, including synthetic and natural materials (i.e., we can do experiments on natural soil and sediments and on synthetic materials such as quartz beads and glass beads, in different environmental conditions) and including steady-state and transient rheology. The lab is equipped with an advanced rheometer suitable for exploring near-surface stresses to about 300kPa. The lab is also equipped with a convection temperature device (-20˚C to 160˚C).

  2. Computational physics-based studies of earth’s near-surface processes. This research area could include grain-scale, multi-phase flow (particle-fluid interaction, CFD-DEM, LB-DEM), continuum modeling and/or multi-scale (FEM, BEM, coupled FEM-DEM) studies of landslide, earthquake, glaciers sliding, source processes of geological instabilities. This line of activity could also include basic computational studies on the transient rheology of granular materials with implications for improving understanding of earth science phenomena and earth's processes. Our lab is equipped with a computational cluster with 800 CPU cores maintained by the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute (HPE DSI) at UH.

The applicant interested in general area (1) would ideally have some experience in one or more of these topics: rheology of complex fluids, granular mechanics or granular physics (experiment, simulation, theory), rock friction and deformation, or soil and sediment mechanics experiments (experience with either real or virtual/numerical setups). The applicant interested in general area (2) would ideally have some experience in computational-physics based research, programming, and high performance computing.

We are also eager to learn about candidates interests and will be happy to collaborate with selected candidate on a topic he/she/they are excited to explore within the general research areas of the lab. 

The currently-funded position is for 2.5-year, with the possibility of extension beyond that timeframe depending on funding availability and mutual interest. We strongly encourage applications from individuals who identify as members of groups that are underrepresented in science and engineering. Interested candidates should send a CV, list of publications, and the contact information of three referees. The position is available immediately and will remain open until it is filled. While the start date is flexible, the target is as soon as possible. Applications and any questions can be directed to Dr. Ferdowsi at:

More information about the position, including student mentoring opportunities and responsibilities, is available on the lab website:

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