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PhD Position IDEA League - Geophysical Monitoring of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS)

100%, Zurich, temporary

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), Politecnico 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 research within the projects specified below. Please find additional information on EASYGO as well as detailed project descriptions on 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.

Job description

This describes one out of the 13 EASYGO PhD projects. For a complete list of all projects please check

The project is concerned with geophysical monitoring of various processes related to Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). A primary target includes plumes that arise from injecting CO2 for stimulating EGS reservoirs, but the technologies to be developed should be sufficiently general, such that they can be applied to other monitoring targets related to geothermal reservoirs. In a first part of the project, optimized experimental design techniques will be developed for establishing suitable monitoring strategies. Primary objectives of this part include (i) identifying combinations of geophysical techniques (e.g., ground-penetrating-radar, seismics, diffusive electromagnetic methods) that optimally complement each other, (ii) determining optimized experimental layouts and (iii) establishing appropriate repetition rates of the measurements. Once an optimized monitoring approach has been set up, it will be tested extensively with synthetic data sets representing realistic scenarios. Finally, the methodology will be tested with field experiments in our new underground laboratory (, which offers unique and exciting opportunities for conducting geothermal research. The project and the associated doctoral degree are expected to be completed within 3 years.

Your profile

The successful candidates should hold a Master’s degree in geophysics, physics, mathematics, geology or civil engineering, and should have a keen interest and preferably some experience in field work and numerical modeling. We explicitly encourage female candidates to apply.

Please also note that the European ITN mobility rule applies, which, for this position in Switzerland, means that you cannot have lived in Switzerland for a total of 24 months or more during the past 3 years before the position starts. The position start is anticipated during January-March, 2021.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
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We look forward to receiving your online application until October 31, 2020 with the following documents:

A CV, a motivation letter, transcripts from your bachelor and master studies with grades including range (highlighting the most important courses for the position), and names of referees. An English language certificate and certificates of practical experience are desirable.

In your motivation letter, please provide a ranked list of all your other (if any) EASYGO PhD/doctoral studies applications. Please note that this file will be shared with members of the EASYGO recruitment committee at all four participating IDEA League universities and one industry representative. Please no more than three (ranked) applications to the EASYGO program. By applying here, you consent to your application being forwarded to the EASYGO recruitment committee for evaluation.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the EASYGO ITN as well as detailed project descriptions can be found at: Information regarding the main host professorship, the Exploration and Environnmental Geophysics Group, can be found at:  For further information, please contact Prof. Hansruedi Maurer via E-mail:  and include on the Email subject line the following exact letters, shown in-between the quotation marks: “Questions regarding the EASYGO Doctoral Application” (no application documents).

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