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PhD Student

University of Kassel, Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of Kassel (Germany)
Closing date
May 28, 2022

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Biogeosciences, Geochemistry, Hydrology, Near Surface Geophysics, Solid Earth Geophysics
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type
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The surface area, surface charge and the redox-active properties of iron oxides and iron oxide coatings (e.g., ferrihydrite and magnetite) make them excellent reactive materials for use in filtration barriers during heavy metal contaminant remediation from groundwater. Iron minerals are particularly effective at removing chromium (Cr) from water, a highly mobile and highly toxic metal. The deployment of filtration cells or reactive barriers for Cr-remediation, however, is limited by the capacity of reactive materials to bind it. Ensuring safe and effective remediation schemes requires that the removal capacity be closely monitored. Non-invasive geophysical methods provide a powerful monitoring alternative to capture changes in mineral electrical properties in response to contaminant sorption, thereby providing a potentially game changing approach with which to monitor the longevity of reactive materials.

We invite applications for a PhD position (wissenschaftliche:r Mitarbeiter:in; 66%, EG 13 TV-H) at the University of Kassel to participate in a research project which aims to apply the geophysical method spectral induced polarization (SIP) to monitor Cr retention onto iron-derived reactive materials. The project will involve close collaboration with Dr. James Byrne at the University of Bristol (UK). This is a part-time position with 66% of the working hours of a full-time employee. This is a fixed term-position of three years (position for academic qualification corresponding to § 65 HHG i. V. m. § 2 Abs. 1 Satz 1 WissZeitVG; opportunity for PhD project).


  • The main tasks of the PhD student will be to:
  • Conduct flow-through experiments using various reactive barrier materials and monitor the geophysical signal changes brought on by Cr-removal
  • The student will be involved in the development of a reactive-transport model to facilitate the joint interpretation of geochemical and geophysical datasets


  • Applicants must hold an M.Sc. degree in a discipline of quantitative environmental science or engineering (the degree required for this position must have been obtained by the starting date at the latest).
  • Very good knowledge of the English language is required, written and comprehension.
  • Applicants must submit a single PDF file containing: your motivation for applying to the position and your research interests (1 page, written in English), curriculum vitae (English or German) and contact information of 3 references

Beneficial additional qualifications:

  • The ideal candidate should have a good understanding of geochemistry and environmental physics
  • Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated skills and practical experience in experimental work and numerical modeling of subsurface processes
  • Prior experience in environmental geophysics
  • Proficiency in Matlab, R or Python.
  • German language proficiency

For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Adrian Mellage, E-Mail:, Tel.: +49 561 804-1885.

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