User login


You are here

PhD/Postdoctoral position@KIT (Germany) on phase-field modeling of polycrystalline evolution in geological veins

Kumar Ankit's picture

GEOLAB, a joint initiative of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany), Helmholtz
centers for Environmental Research (UFZ) and Geosciences (GFZ,Potsdam) invite applications
for a PhD/Postdoc candidate position (Salary scale TV-L E13).

The qualifying candidate will join a young, dynamic, international team of multidisciplinary
scientists engaged in numerous scientific and industrial cooperations under the leadership of
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Britta Nestler (at Institute of Applied Materials, KIT). The Computational
Materials Science group at IAM specializes in the application of phase-field methods for grain
structure evolution at the mesoscale in commercial alloys and geomaterials.

The PhD student/postdoc is expected to conduct large scale numerical studies of the
polycrystalline evolutions in geological veins. This work will be based upon the extension of of
the results reported earlier in:

•   Ankit, K., Urai, J.L., Nestler, B. Microstructural evolution in bitaxial crack-seal veins: A
phase-field study (2015) Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth, 120 (5), pp.
•   Ankit, K., Selzer, M., Hilgers, C., Nestler, B. Phase-field Modeling of Fracture Cementation
Processes in 3-D (2015) Journal of Petroleum Science Research, 4 (2), pp. 79-96.
•   Ankit, K., Nestler, B., Selzer, M., Reichardt, M. Phase-field study of grain boundary tracking
behavior in crack-seal microstructures (2013) Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 166
(6), pp. 1709-1723.

During the initial stages, the appointed candidate will report directly to the team leader (Group
name: Quantitative modeling of phase transformations).

Brief overview of the project

Progressive crack-sealing is the most common vein forming process in Earth’s crust but the
details of the microstructural processes in these are not well understood. One important facet of
vein growth processes is the crystallization of minerals (for e.g. quartz, calcite) from a
supersaturated solution in crevices within rocks. The natural system examined in the present
project consists of a gap between two walls of polycrystalline material, filled with a
supersaturated solution with a pressure gradient. From this fluid, crystals precipitate epitaxially
on the crystal of the surrounding rock. Such a system is intrinsically complex as the convection
influences the polycrystalline evolution by altering the growth competition between the crystals.
Additionally, the hydrodynamic conditions are influenced by the sealing and reopening of the
gap. A new and promising interdisciplinary model approach for the problem of vein growth is the
method of phase-field modeling coupled with hydrodynamic calculations. An exemplary work-
flow to numerically model the vein growth process in rocks is illustrated underneath:



The overall objective of the proposed project is to develop a thorough understanding of 
tightly-coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical processes in veins using state-of-the-art phase-field model
that can potentially assist in oil exploration.

Minimum Job Requirements:

- For PhD candidate: Masters degree or equivalent in computer or mechanical engineering,
materials science, geophysics, or a related field. As per the official guidelines, the candidate
needs to figure in top 50% of the graduating class (during Masters or equivalent) for a
successful registration as a doctoral student at KIT.

- For Postdoc: An excellent track-record of publication in peer-reviewed journals.

The appointed candidate is expected to commence work by January, 2016.

Desired qualities

- Basic understanding of phase transformation in materials and thermodynamics.
- Preference will be given to candidates having a working knowledge of the phase-field
method. Candidates having experience with cellular automata or atomistic-scale simulations
are also encouraged to apply.
- Keen interest in computer programming (C/C++) and knowledge of numerical techniques.
- Demonstrated capabilities in parallel code development is a plus.
- Ability to work in a collaborative research environment on problems comprising diverse
application domains.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills (English).

How to apply

Interested candidates should send an updated CV and the contact information of at least 3
references to Dr.-Ing. Kumar Ankit (Team Leader):

In case of further queries, please feel free to contact me or Prof. Dr. Britta Nestler

Dr.-Ing. Kumar Ankit
Group Leader: Quantitative modeling of phase transformations
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute of Applied Materials - Computational Materials Science (IAM-CMS)
Haid-und-Neu-Str. 7, 76131 Karlsruhe


Institute of Applied Materials - Applied Materials Physics (Campus North)
Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76334 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen





Kumar Ankit's picture

We have received more than 30 applications during last week. Owing to this overwhelming response, I would like to encourage the aspirants with background in phase-field modeling to apply as there may be several postions available, starting next year.

Kumar Ankit's picture

I thank all the applicants for their interest. The positon is filled.

Subscribe to Comments for "PhD/Postdoctoral position@KIT (Germany) on phase-field modeling of polycrystalline evolution in geological veins"

More comments


Subscribe to Syndicate