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Energi Simulation Chairs: Numerical Modelling of EOR Processes and energy transition

Two Chairs in CCUS and Reactive Flow Simulation and on Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)/energy transition are supported by the charitable foundation Energi Simulation in the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. These Chairs are held by Professor Eric Mackay (CCUS) and Professor Arne Skauge (EOR).

EOR/Energy Transition: In the Energy Transition which is essential to avoid drastic climate change and global heating, oil production from new green field sites will be discouraged. In this energy transformation oil production will be a necessity for a long period, but it is essential that the production should come with a minimum carbon footprint. Therefore, the focus is on oil production from existing fields using low carbon Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). Professor Skauge has a long history of working on research in this area on topics such as water-alternating-gas (WAG) processes and polymer and surfactant flooding. The selected candidates will be working in a group of PhD students supervised by Professor Arne Skauge, Professor Ken Sorbie and Professor Eric Mackay.

Several modelling PhD studentships are available to study these processes in this group.

The successful applicant will carry out numerical simulation studies of specific EOR processes, and CO2 capture and storage.

Research topics are:

  • Optimising carbon intensity and oil recovery.
  • Exergy calculation for EOR processes.
  • CO2 and Hydrogen storage.
  • Improve mechanistic modelling of WAG.
  • Polymer transport in porous media.
  • New approach of modelling viscous fingering.
  • Multi-scale oil trapping.
  • Complex flow upscaling.


This scholarship is open to all students, whether home, EU or overseas.

Applicants should be educated to BSc or MSc level (minimum 2:1 or equivalent) in Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering or another numerate scientific/engineering subject. Candidates for simulation-based PhDs should be familiar with developing and/or running transport models and have a good mathematical background. It is an advantage if you already have a permission to study in the UK, as we are eager to start the research as fast as possible. Candidates should demonstrate good English language skills, attention to detail, a disciplined and methodical approach to completing their workload, computer literacy, excellent communication skills and the ability to write reports and present information in a clear and engaging manner to academic and industry audiences.


This is a full scholarship which will cover tuition fees (Home and Oversees) and provide an annual stipend (currently £18,622, increasing to £19,237 in 2024-25) for 42 months. Thereafter, candidates will be expected to pay a continuing affiliation fee (currently £130) whilst they complete writing up their thesis.

How to Apply:

To apply you must complete our online application form.

Depending on the subject area of your project proposal, please select either PhD GeoEnergy Engineering or PhD Petroleum Engineering as the programme and include your full project title and reference number (EGIS2024-ENERGI) on your application form. Ensure that all fields marked as ‘required’ are complete.

Once have entered your personal details, click submit. You will be asked to upload your supporting documents. You must complete the section marked project proposal; please provide a written proposal (3-5 A4 pages), including a supporting statement outlining your suitability and how you would approach the project.

You must also upload your CV, a copy of your degree certificate and relevant transcripts and an academic reference in the relevant section of the application form.

You must also provide proof of your ability in the English language (if English is not your mother tongue). We require an IELTS certificate showing an overall score of at least 6.5 with no component scoring less than 6.0, or a TOEFL certificate with an overall score of at least 85, including reading 20, listening 19, speaking 20 and writing 21. Alternatively, if you have received an English-taught Bachelors or Masters degree from one of the countries listed on the UK Government Guidance under ‘Who does not need to prove their knowledge of English’, and it was obtained less than two years from your intended start date, you should provide evidence of your award that clearly states it was delivered and assessed in English language.

For further information about this scholarship opportunity please contact Heather O'Hara at the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, email

Please contact for technical support with your application.


Applications will be reviewed as they are received. The closing date is currently 30th April 2024, but applications may close early if a suitable candidate is identified before the deadline. The successful candidate will be expected to start by September 2024.