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The economic feasibility and safety of a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste strongly rely on the performance of the host formation. In the Netherlands, appropriate geological layers are poorly indurated clay formations. Proper characterisation and understanding of the host formation's time-dependent chemo-hydro-mechanical behaviour is fundamental. Indeed, the disposal facility is expected to be constructed in a process lasting around a decade and operated for several decades prior to closure. However, to date, the behaviour of poorly indurated clays beneath the Dutch surface is inferred from material at much shallower depths from Belgium.
The aim of the PhD project is to experimentally characterise the mechanical behaviour of deep poorly indurated clays, with a view of contributing to the safety case for a geological disposal facility in the Netherlands,
Cores representative of a Dutch geological disposal facility have recently been obtained from a unique multi-objective research drilling. As part of the PhD project, the cores will be thoroughly characterised and their hydro-mechanical behaviour will be experimentally investigated. The PhD candidate will benefit from world-class laboratory and imaging facilities already available in the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of TU Delft and partner institutions (via existing strong collaborations such as EPOS-NL), and the support of experienced technical staff.
This PhD position is part of the NWO-funded Safe Environment for Clay Underground Repository (SECUUR) project hosted by the Section of Geo-Engineering within the Department of Geoscience & Engineering. The successful candidate will integrate into a team of enthusiastic researchers working on the geological disposal of radioactive waste, including another PhD student carrying out research on SECUUR. The PhD candidate will also integrate with the European Joint Research Programme in the management and disposal of radioactive waste (EURAD) funded by the European Commission.
Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.
Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.
Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.
The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.
For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.
Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.
At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.
Challenge. Change. Impact!
The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource availability, urbanisation and clean water. Our research projects are conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced of the importance of open science and supports its scientists in integrating open science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.
Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.
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