PhD Candidate “Multi-observable thermochemical tomography: applications to critical minerals exploration frameworks”

University of Twente
November 20, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2,770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

The University of Twente wants to be an organisation that optimally deploys diversity, talents, and capabilities in the labour market for now and in the future. In the framework of our diversity and inclusiveness policy, we strongly stimulate people with a (work) disability to apply for this position.

The University of Twente is committed to providing a working environment where everyone is valued, respected, and supported to progress. Our priority is to ensure that no one is disadvantaged based on their ethnicity, gender, culture, disability, LGBTQ+ identities, family and caring responsibilities, age, or religion. We encourage everyone who shares these values to apply.

Your challenge

Three important components of modern exploration frameworks for Li, REEs, Cu, Au, Ag and many other critical metals, are the detection of i) metasomatic imprints in the shallow sub-continental mantle, ii) specific lithologies/compositions in the middle and lower crust, and iii) trans- lithospheric structures (i.e. fluid pathways). The first informs about ideal source regions for many magmatic ore deposits in the shallow crust (e.g. epithermal Au); the second identifies ideal sources for more evolved magmas (e.g. REE-bearing pegmatites and/or porphyry Cu deposits); the third defines potential pathways for the melts-fluids.

However, reliable detection of trans-lithospheric systems and the associated compositional heterogeneities in the deep crust and lithospheric mantle remains one of the most challenging tasks in modern geophysics. This project will integrate the four most relevant geophysical datasets for this task (seismic, MT, magnetic and gravity) into a joint probabilistic inversion platform driven by powerful Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms and state-of- the-art computational techniques with the capacity to detect thermochemical anomalies of interest in the crust and shallow mantle at scales relevant for greenfields/brownfields exploration and mineral system characterization. With additional information from remote-sensing approaches, the outcomes of this project will create a step change in the way we combine geo-information and mineral systems concepts to characterize the Earth's subsurface.

You will develop a conceptual and numerical data-fusion platform to detect relevant compositional anomalies in the crust and lithospheric mantle at scales relevant to greenfields/brownfields exploration frameworks. You will also work on the application and validation of the methodology in selected regions of interest.

You will collaborate closely with researchers at UPC (Spain) and the University of Granada (Spain), as well as with partners Geoscience Australia, Minerals Target International and BHP.

Your profile
  • MSc in Geophysics, Physics, Engineering Geology or similar
  • Enthusiastic demeanour to conduct research individually and as part of a team
  • Knowledge of computer programming with either Fortran, Matlab, Python and/or C
  • Experience with Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations; familiarity with geochemistry, inverse theory and/or thermodynamics is highly desirable, but not essential
  • Good communication skills
  • Excellent level of spoken and written English
  • Experience in writing scientific articles/reports
  • Willingness to travel and fulfil research stays/secondments related to the project
  • Because of stimulating of mobility according to the regulations from the external agency, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the starting date of the employment
  • Our offer
  • An inspiring multidisciplinary, international and academic environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda
  • Full-time position for 4 years
  • A professional and personal development programme within Twente Graduate School
  • Gross monthly salary of € 2,770.- in the first year that increases to € 3,539.- in the fourth year
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%
  • Excellent support for research and facilities for professional and personal development
  • A solid pension scheme
  • A total of 41 holiday days per year in case of full-time employment
  • Excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus.
  • Information and application

    For more information about the position, you can contact Dr Juan Carlos Afonso (e-mail: [email protected]. You are also invited to visit our homepage.

    Please submit your application before 20 November 2023. Your application should include:

  • A motivation letter (maximum 2 pages of A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications and motivation to apply for this position
  • Curriculum Vitae (including contact information for at least two academic references)
  • An academic transcript of BSc and MSc education, including grades and a short description of your last large result (MSc thesis/final project report/EngD thesis)
  • 1st round interviews will be scheduled for mid/late November 2023. A possible 2nd round interview will be scheduled when/if needed.

    About the department

    The department of Applied Earth Sciences (AES) combines Earth science knowledge with geospatial modelling and sophisticated earth observation, to increase our understanding of Earth systems and their interaction with society in space and time. We combine insights on hazards with information on exposure and vulnerability, to model and monitor risk to human societies, and inform actions to reduce risk and increase resilience in long-term planning, for early warning and disaster response, and in the context of post-disaster recovery and reconstruction.

    As we enter the third energy transition in human history, the coming decade will be a defining test for humanity and its capacity to respond to unprecedented global challenges. This MSCA Doctoral Network (EarthSafe) supports the rapid transition to green energy and low-carbon economies in Europe and beyond by creating transformational data-fusion platforms to inform and enhance global exploration frameworks for deep geothermal resources and critical minerals to support green technologies. EarthSafe will achieve this by harnessing i) the complementary strengths and resolutions of multiple satellite and land-acquired geodatasets, ii) a novel combination of Artificial Intelligence, probabilistic inverse theory and state-of-the-art computational modelling and iii) a new social innovation component to support the creation and adoption of socially-responsible and sustainable practices.

    EarthSafe's transdisciplinary philosophy will break ground in the way we integrate knowledge from classic scientific disciplines (geoscience, mathematics, engineering, computer science, social science) in Earth and planetary sciences, offering novel multidisciplinary approaches with world changing impact. In doing so, EarthSafe will contribute to the main objectives of the European Green Deal (e.g. no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, no person and no place left behind). Also, by providing cost-efficient technologies that can be applied anywhere in the world to support the transition to cleaner energy and greener technologies, EarthSafe will support Europe in achieving multiple United Nations Developmental Goals in developing countries.

    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) provides international postgraduate education, research and project services in the field of geo-information science and earth observation. Our mission is capacity development, where we apply, share and facilitate the effective use of geo-information and earth observation knowledge and tools for tackling global wicked problems. Our purpose is to enable our many partners around the world to track and trace the impact – and the shifting causes and frontiers – of today's global challenges. Our vision is of a world in which researchers, educators, and students collaborate across disciplinary and geographic divides with governmental and non-governmental organisations, institutes, businesses, and local populations to surmount today's complex global challenges and to contribute to sustainable, fair, and digital societies.

    Want to know more? Afonso, J.C. (Juan Carlos)

    Associate Professor

    Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Juan Carlos for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.



    Email:[email protected]

    How to apply Step 1

    Apply. When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

    Step 2

    Selection. The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

    Step 3

    1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

    Step 4

    2nd interview. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

    Step 5

    The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

    Your Colleagues
  • Dahal, A. (Ashok)
  • Personal page

  • Nabukulu, C. (Catherine)
  • Personal page

  • Westen, C.J. van (Cees)
  • Personal page

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  • Our mission We are a university of technology
  • Our university is a public institution that serves society. We are accountable to society for the ways in which we use our academic freedom. We are responsible for ensuring that the power of science and technology is harnessed to achieve the best possible impact in a changing world. We cherish our rich tradition of combining technical and social sciences in our five profiling themes: Improving healthcare by personalized technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

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  • We help society meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. But we are also transparent about what science and technology can and cannot do in finding sustainable solutions. And help translate these solutions into everyday life.

  • Our mission We are sustainable
  • We want our communities to flourish and show resilience, so we seize opportunities for innovation. We are knowledgeable and have an eye for what society needs. Our students and staff receive all the guidance they need in their quest for ecological, social and economic sustainability. “The University of Twente is all about people. Our sustainable technologies help to strengthen society.”

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