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Postdoc for development of cementitious materials for oil-well abandonment

Academic position on the development of cementitious materials for oil-well abandonment at the Department of Chemistry at Aarhus University, Denmark

Applications are invited for a 30-months' postdoctoral scientist position to develop and characterize cement materials for abandonment of end-of-life oil wells in the North Sea. The starting date for the position is August 1st, 2021 or as soon as possible after this date. The place of work is the Department of Chemistry, Langelandsgade 140, 8000 Aarhus C, and the position is associated with the Laboratory for Solid-State NMR of Inorganic Materials.

When an oil well reaches the end of its lifetime, it must be permanently plugged and abandoned. Such plug and abandonment operations usually consist of placing several cement plugs in the wellbore to isolate the reservoir and other fluid-bearing formations. In recent years, permanent abandonment of oil wells has become an important topic due to the large number of old offshore wells in mature areas such as the North Sea.

The position is associated with a research project between the Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University and BYG-DTU, the Technical University of Denmark, which aims to explore key parameters that determine the durability and permeability of cement paste used as barrier material in environmental conditions of a typical offshore oil well. The project will investigate and predict changes in phase assemblage and structure of traditional well cements and novel cement materials under laboratory conditions that represent realistic approximations of field exposure (e.g., salinity, temperature, and pressure). The hydrate phases that are most prone to changes under the exposure conditions will be identified and with this knowledge, new binders will be proposed that potentially utilize the local conditions to refine microstructure through the interaction with the environment.

We seek a highly motivated candidate with a PhD degree in chemistry, materials science, nanoscience or similar and documented experience in research on cementitious materials and materials characterization at the microstructural level. Thus, the applicant must have a solid background in inorganic chemistry and relevant characterization techniques. In particular, experimental experience with solid-state NMR spectroscopy will be considered as a plus. Moreover, the candidate should have the ability to work and collaborate in a group, to develop new ideas, and to write and communicate in English.

The Department of Chemistry at Aarhus University is one of the leading chemistry departments in Europe with a broad research program. It has a permanent staff of about 30 full, associate and assistant professors, a support-staff of around 30 technicians and other personnel, ~100 PhD-students, 50 postdocs and 400 students. In addition to excellence in research, teaching and supervision, the Department of Chemistry values equal opportunities, a collegial atmosphere, and a student-friendly mindset.

In Aarhus you have easy access to beautiful nature, an exciting culture and city life as well as a safe environment for children - a great place for the whole family. The city of Aarhus has everything you need within a surprisingly small area: exciting national and international jobs, delightful residential areas, a rich cultural life, and beautiful surrounding landscape of woods and coastline that make Aarhus a wonderful place to live and work. For further details on the city and the university please follow this link: https://international.au.dk/research/.

All highly motivated candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Equal consideration will be given to all qualified applicants independent of their gender, race, and cultural background. We see diversity as a strength.

For further information on the position, please contact Assoc. Prof. Jørgen Skibsted (jskib@chem.au.dk).

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline. Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range
Natural Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at www.international.au.dk/

Deadline: 13 April 2021

 


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