Postdoctoral Research Associate in CO2 Storage Modelling Heriot-Watt University, School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society United Kingdom

Postdoctoral Research Associate - CO2 Storage Modelling


Job Ref



Closing date

27 Oct 2017 23:00 (UK time)



£31,604–£35,550 (Grade 7)






School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society






Full Time



12 months fixed-term


About our team

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages. 

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs ? so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates. 

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort. 
We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society is one of the UK?s leading institutions for multidisciplinary research and teaching in areas critical to economic development and societal equity.  We aim to attain excellence in the teaching of the core disciplines that contribute to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society and are committed to undertaking high value, high impact research and knowledge transfer in topics of relevance to global challenges.

The School enjoys facilities consistent with its location in modern, purpose-built accommodation on the Edinburgh campus. The School is well equipped in respect of laboratories for materials, structures, engineering, building services and hydraulics research and teaching.  Our research and teaching facilities in Dubai and Malaysia are contained within purpose-built campuses in Dubai Academic City and Putrajaya, respectively. 


 Research within the School is organised into six Institutes:   

- Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (ILES)
- The Urban Institute (TUI)
- Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE)
- Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE)
- Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design (CESBD)
- Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research (I-SPHERE)


All academic staff based on the Edinburgh and Dubai campuses contribute to the research activities of one of our Institutes.

These Institutes support a wide range of research activities of relevance to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society. Institute staff undertake research funded by industry, research councils, charitable foundations, local and national governments. Research outcomes are published in leading international and national journals and key findings are widely disseminated through other media.

The Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE) was established in 1975 to satisfy the oil industry?s growing requirement for professional petroleum engineers. Over 40 years later, it is now recognised internationally as a leading centre of excellence in petroleum engineering and petroleum geoscience teaching, training and research with strong links to industry world-wide. IPE has strong and vibrant community of over 100 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers and undertakes wide-ranging and integrated research into oil and gas exploration, development and production, as well as into wider energy issues. Current key research themes include Flow Assurance, Enhanced Oil Recovery, carbonate reservoirs, applied geoscience, reservoir geophysics, intelligent wells and uncertainty quantification. In addition, the Institute has developed a successful programme of continuing professional development courses through which quality training is delivered to professionals who wish to broaden their skills or deepen their subject knowledge. Further information can be obtained at


Further details

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work in the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) team for a period of 12 months. The position will be based in the Institute of Petroleum Engineering, in the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society at Heriot-Watt University.


The successful appointee will be involved in the development of compositional reservoir simulation models and performing sensitivity analysis calculations to predict the CO2 storage capacity and security for a North Sea CO2 storage project, Acorn. The Acorn CCS project is a minimum viable full chain industrial CCS project using existing CO2 sources and pipeline infrastructure close to a well-characterised geological province. It will mobilise CCS in the UK at minimal capital cost and initiate a build out programme from which to decarbonise a region and transfer learnings widely.


The primary focus of the appointee will be to assist with the building and to perform reservoir engineering calculations to provide input for Storage Development Plan and Budget for two storage sites. The reservoir simulation model to be used is ECLIPSE. The postdoctoral appointee will also be expected to contribute to the wider CCS activity, publish papers and attend technical workshops and conferences as appropriate. The appointee may be involved in providing support to PhD and MSc students within the group.


Key duties and responsibilities

The key duties and responsibilities attached to this role include the following:

  • Develop research objectives within the scope of the project with the assistance of the line manager and mentor.
  • Disseminate results of research through appropriate channels.
  • Produce research reports and publications and play a role in the development of research proposals.
  • Contribute to technical workshops and conferences, as appropriate.
  • Manage own research and administrative activities, with guidance if required.
  • Build appropriate networks within and outside the institution.
  • The successful candidate will be expected to present the results of their research projects both at conferences and verbally and in the form of written reports to the rest of the Acorn team.
Education, Qualifications and Experience
  • Minimum qualification: Doctorate



  • A PhD in Petroleum Engineering
  • Experience in compositional reservoir simulation for CCS and EOR processes.
  • Expertise in modelling CO2 phase behaviour, transport and retention in porous media.
  • A first degree in petroleum or chemical engineering, mathematics or physics.
  • Experience of working in the petroleum industry.
  • Self-motivated with strong research abilities.
  • Demonstrably excellent communication skills, with evidence of presenting research findings.
  • Ability to identify, analyse and solve difficult problems.
  • Copes successfully with conflicting demands and pressures.



  • Evidence of ability to prepare peer reviewed and conference publications.
  • MSc in Petroleum Engineering.
  • Expertise in using the ECLIPSE 300 reservoir simulator and other compositional models.
  • Good team player with good interpersonal skills.


Amount of travel
  • Travel involved: Moderate Travel
How to apply

Applications for this vacancy should be made online through the Heriot-Watt University iRecruit system.


Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on Friday 27th October 2017


Consideration will be given to applications on a part-time and/or job-share basis.


Use our total rewards calculator to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.


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