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Anomalous Transport in Geological Media: non-Fickian dispersion models and inversion

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Matteo Icardi
    Dr B Muljadi
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Anomalous Transport in Geological Media: non-Fickian dispersion models and inversion

Supervised by Dr Matteo Icardi (Maths), Dr. Bagus Muljadi (Engineering), Dr. Marco Bianchi (BGS)

This project will be based at the University of Nottingham in the School of
Mathematical Sciences, in collaboration with the GeoEnergy Research Centre, the School of Engineering, and with the British Geological Survey.

Predicting solute transport in complex geological media is essential for addressing key environmental challenges, such as the groundwater remediation, and has an important role in geological exploration for evaluating risks of water contamination in carbon sequestration, nuclear waste storage, landfill dumps, unconventional hydrocarbons. However, such predictions are often unreliable due to the heterogeneity of the subsurface, the sparsity of direct observations, and the number of physical and chemical factors acting over multiple spatial and temporal scales. In recent years, upscaled transport models have been proposed able to reproduce non-standard phenomena such as early-time solute arrivals, asymmetric plumes, and persisting low-concentrations at late-times. However, the calibration of these upscaled transport models is based on extensive fitting with relatively large amount of data.

The main objective of this project is to develop a quantitative approach for predicting solute transport in complex geological media, through a combination of fully resolved fluid dynamics simulations, multiscale mathematical analysis of PDEs and SDEs, and data assimilation. Realistic geological heterogeneities will be considered, enabling reliable risk assessments and model inversion for reducing uncertainties. This project is connected to the EU-H2020 funded grant SECURe and will see the collaboration of several international and UK partners.

Funding Notes

Summary: UK/EU students - Tuition Fees paid, and full Stipend at the RCUK rate, which is £14,777 per annum for 2018/19. There will also be some support available for you to claim for limited conference attendance. The scholarship length will be 3.5 years.

Eligibility/Entry Requirements: We require an enthusiastic graduate with a 1st class degree in Mathematics (or other highly mathematical field such as Physics or Engineering), preferably at MMath/MSc level, or an equivalent overseas degree (in exceptional circumstances a 2:1 class degree, or equivalent, can be considered).


Apply: This studentship is available to start either immediately and it will remain open until filled. To apply please visit the University of Nottingham application page:

For any enquiries please email: [email protected]

This studentship is open until filled. Early application is strongly encouraged.

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