Post-doc in multi-physics modeling of geothermal fields

University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Geoscience
Madison, Wisconsin
Closing date
Dec 18, 2022
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A research position in multi-physics modeling of geothermal fields is available in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a preferred start date of January 1, 2023.  The position is a full-time appointment as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate lasting 22 months. The successful applicant will contribute to the WHOLESCALE project described below.

The expected starting annual salary is in the range of $55,000 to $58,000, depending on qualifications and experience.  Completion of all Ph.D. requirements is necessary at the time of appointment.  Applicants should submit a resume, statement of research interests, and experience in relation to the WHOLESCALE project, a possible start date, and names and email addresses of three references via email to, including "WHOLESCALE post-doc" in the subject line.

The WHOLESCALE acronym stands for Water & Hole Observations Leverage Effective Stress Calculations and Lessen Expenses.  The goal of the WHOLESCALE project is to simulate the spatial distribution and temporal evolution of stress in the geothermal system at San Emidio in Nevada, United States. To reach this goal, the WHOLESCALE team is developing a methodology that will incorporate and interpret data from four methods of measurement into a multi-physics model that couples thermal, hydrological, and mechanical (T-H-M) processes over spatial scales ranging from the diameter of a borehole (~0.1 m) to the extent of the entire field (~10 km) and temporal scales ranging from the duration of a microseismic event (~1 second) to the typical lifetime of a producing field (3 decades). The data sets include observations from geology, seismology, drilling, geodesy, and hydrology. More details are available:

The successful candidate will:

  • Enable carbon-neutral energy by conducting original and independent research on geomechanics, fluid/heat flow in porous and fractured media, induced seismicity, and geophysics using high-performance computing codes.
  • Analyze and interpret data from geophysical monitoring, laboratory testing, field experiments, physics-based simulations, and geodetic data.
  • Develop and/or apply state-of-the-art reservoir simulations.
  • Have access to computational resources at the UW Center for High-Throughput Computing (CHTC).
  • Publish technical reports and peer-reviewed publications summarizing research findings.
  • Present results at review meetings and scientific conferences.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

This position requires a background in geophysics and/or hydrology, a working knowledge of computer programming, and experience in geomechanics or reservoir engineering. Additional required qualifications include:

  • PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Energy Systems Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, Geophysics, Earth Sciences, or associated engineering/science field.
  • Interdisciplinary experience in one or more of the following areas: geomechanics, geothermal energy, reservoir engineering, induced seismicity, and/or microseismic analysis
  • Experience developing software with Python, C/C++, R, Matlab, or similar language.
  • Experience with data analysis, numerical modeling, and uncertainty quantification.
  • Research creativity, exceptional ability, and expert knowledge in the applicant’s area of specialization.
  • Experience producing reports and peer-reviewed publications.
  • Proficient written and verbal communication skills necessary to collaborate effectively in a multidisciplinary team environment.
  • Demonstrated record of first-authored, peer-reviewed publications and/or funded proposals.

The following qualifications are desirable:     

  • Experience with Linux / Unix software environments, such as bash.
  • Experience with history matching, optimization, and/or machine learning analysis.
  • Experience working with large datasets, 3D tomography/inversion, continuous GPS, satellite interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR)
  • Understanding of induced seismicity, rate- and state-dependent friction, and/or earthquake nucleation and/or source physics.

Screening of applications will begin as they are received; the position will remain open until filled.

NOTE:  Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, information regarding the names of applicants must be released upon request. Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality.

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