Postdoc in Studies of Polymers for Sealing of Porous Rocks

Thursday 23 Jun 22

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The Postdoc position is offered in the section Neutrons and X-rays for Materials Physics (NEXMAP) at DTU Physics, which focuses on gaining knowledge on fundamental properties of materials through experiments conducted at neutron and X-ray facilities around the world. Development of instruments, software for virtual experiments, and novel data analysis methods play a key role in this effort.

In the Danish North Sea the oil fields are aging and many will have to be abandoned in the next few years. We need to find solutions to ensure that the wells can be closed in a safe and cost-effective manner to protect the marine environment and ensure well integrity. We have proposed to seal the reservoir before the borehole is cemented to both increase the safety while working but primarily to make sure that the quality of the cement plug is not degraded and potentially could leak fluids from the abandoned reservoir in the environment. Therefore, we will investigate the potential of using polymers for sealing the reservoir. Hence, the work will include finding and testing the properties of polymer candidates and characterise their ability to enter the pores of the porous rock. The latter will be performed using in and ex situ X-ray microtomography, which allows us to in 3D characterise the interior of the rock and how it changes over time.

The project is a collaboration between Department of Physics and the Danish Offshore Technology Centre at DTU.

Responsibilities and qualifications
We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with an interest to conduct an experimental interdisciplinary project, e.g. within the interface of polymer chemistry, geology and physics.

The Postdoc will study how fluid polymers can be used to fill and solidify inside the pores of porous rocks and by characterisation using X-ray imaging techniques to determine the physicochemical properties of polymers in natural porous media.

The candidate will:

  • Synthesize, test and optimisation of polymer properties in sea water conditions
  • Plan and conduct X-ray microtomography experiments at laboratory instruments for investigation of injection properties in chalk.
  • Analyse the 3D images obtained by X-ray tomography
  • Write reports and scientific papers.

The candidate should

  • have a PhD degree or equivalent in chemistry, physics, geology or a related field
  • be able to independently perform experiments
  • have demonstrated expertise in experimental polymer science
  • be comfortable to work in a laboratory setting
  • have experience in conducting X-ray tomography experiments (also in situ measurements) will be a clear advantage
  • have enthusiasm for working with industry related problems
  • be well established skills to work in a team
  • have good time management skills to work in different projects in parallel.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 1.5 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Henning Friis Poulsen ( or Nicolas Bovet (

You can read more about DTU Physics at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 22 July 2022 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD – in English)
  • List of publications

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

At DTU Physics, we carry out cutting-edge research in modern physics, with particular focus on four main areas: quantum technology, sustainable energy, materials, and biophysics. Our focus is both to acquire greater knowledge about basic scientific problems and to conduct research oriented towards use in societies and companies.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.