PhD Position in Advanced Seismic Imaging and Machine Learning for Earthquake Site Response Studies

PhD Position in Advanced Seismic Imaging and Machine Learning for Earthquake Site Response Studies

Published Deadline Location
4 Aug 20 Sep Delft

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Job description

Applications are invited for 1 PhD student to work on a multi-disciplinary research project funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) as part of the DeepNL research initiative. This PhD position will be in the Section of Applied Geophysics and Petrophysics; however, the student will also work closely with the Section of Geoengineering. Using active and passive seismic data and advanced seismic imaging schemes, the innovative research will provide a 3D, detailed characterization of the shallow subsurface that complements discrete cone penetration test (CPT) data. The obtained correlation between seismic data and an extensive CPT database will be used to develop a machine-learning tool for generating additional geotechnical datasets for Groningen and elsewhere. The final goal is to facilitate a more realistic earthquake site-response analysis through incorporation of 3D heterogeneities in soils.

The PhD student will be responsible for conducting 3D-seismic synthetic tests, innovative field experiments, and full-waveform inversion to obtain high-resolution, near-surface velocity fields, capturing soil lateral variability. The information on soil lateral variability will facilitate improved site response analysis in the SOFTTOP project (a collaborative project within DeepNL). In particular, the PhD student will be responsible for developing a new machine-learning tool to establish seismic-CPT correlations for predicting CPT data at new locations. 

The Department of Geoscience and Engineering encompasses 5 sections: Applied Geology; Applied Geophysics and Petrophysics; Geoengineering; Resource Engineering; and Reservoir Engineering. The present PhD project will be a collaboration between the Sections of Applied Geophysics and Petrophysics and Geoengineering.

The Section of Applied Geophysics and Petrophysics executes a programme of fundamental and applied scientific research and education in exploration, engineering and environmental geophysics and petrophysics. The Section has 9 full-time and 4 part-time academic staff, and 42 PhD and postdoctoral researchers. The Section actively contributes to the IDEA League Joint Master's Programme in Applied Geophysics, together with ETH Zurich and RWTH Aachen University. The Section has good computation facilities and advanced infrastructure and instruments for field and laboratory experimental studies. The Section of Geoengineering has 13 full-time and 6 part-time academic staff, and 35 PhD and Post-Doctoral researchers. Areas of expertise include soil mechanics, dykes and embankments, foundation engineering, underground space technology, engineering geology, and geo-environmental engineering. Both Sections have very good links with industry.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


Applicants should possess a very good first degree in Applied Geophysics and in-depth training in seismic imaging. Demonstrated aptitude for seismic data processing and an affinity for computer programming are essential. This includes skill in implementing/adapting advanced inversion and imaging algorithms and working with different kinds of datasets. Aside from seismic imaging, it is essential that the student is interested in, and has a strong aptitude for, statistical/probabilistic methods. The successful candidate should be able to design and perform seismic field experiments. Communication skills are important; applicants should have a high level of proficiency in written and spoken English. The successful candidate is expected to cooperate closely with other members of the DeepNL research team and with colleagues from both geophysics and geotechnical engineering backgrounds.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 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 we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.


Delft University of Technology

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 and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 



Faculty Civil Engineering & Geosciences

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 depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals 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.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD01389


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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