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Improved data modelling and interrogation using AI innovation to reduce the environmental impact of oil exploration

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  • Full or part time
    Dr O Akanyeti
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Hafren Scientific is a geological consultancy company, operating in the oil and gas sector, to improve the placement, efficiency and productivity of wells. It is specialized in forensic characterisation of rock samples by leveraging a combination of elemental, mineralogy and isotopic analytical methods. Over the years, the company has generated large volumes of rock compositional data from more than 2000 wells that are distributed all around the world.

The PhD project will focus on efficient means of integration, visualization and mining this rich and multimodal dataset using cutting edge software engineering, statistical and machine learning methods. The ultimate goal is to develop more accurate and reliable computer models that can support decision making in drilling, reservoir management and reducing environmental impact.

The prospective student will be part of a vibrant, multi-disciplinary research team including computer scientists, geologists, physicists and geochemists. They will be trained in cluster computing, deep learning and big data approaches as part of their PhD program. They will also have the opportunity to apply their knowledge to other domains (e.g. minerals extraction, geomaterials in manufacturing and environmental monitoring) dealing with complex and multimodal data sets. In addition, they will gain working experience by spending time in the Hafren’s Data Department.

The prospective applicant should have a minimum of a 1st or good 2:1 in Computer Science or related fields (e.g. Physics, Geology and Geography). This is an interdisciplinary project suitable for applicants with strong analytical and software engineering skills and who are interested in machine learning and data mining. The student should be available to take up the studentship by January 2020 at the latest. The project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) through the European Union’s Convergence programme administered by the Welsh Government. KESS II PhD scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners. (Applicants need to only apply, they do not need to search for partners.)


To apply, please submit the following to the Postgraduate Admissions Office (address below) by 17TH November 2019.

1. A completed Research Programme Application Form, two references. Application and reference forms may be downloaded from

2. A completed KESS II Participant proposal form (put the reference number AUE10006 in the top right hand box of the application form) and an up-to-date CV. KESS II application forms are available to download at the link below.

3. A PhD proposal of up to 1,000 words where you expand on your experience and interests and describe why you are a good candidate for this research studentship. Please refer to the Project Description.

Length: Full-time for 3 years. (Theses must be submitted 6 months after the funded three year study period.)

Training: The achievement of a Postgraduate Skills Development Award (PSDA) is compulsory for each KESS II scholar (The PSDA is based on a 60 credit award, which is an additional award to the PhD).

Eligibility: Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be an EU national and resident in East Wales on University registration, and must also have the right to work in the region on qualification.

East Wales means the following counties of Wales:

Vale of Glamorgan

Informal enquiries should be made to Otar Akanyeti at [Email Address Removed] or 01970 622537

Address for applications:
Postgraduate Admissions Office Recruitment & Admissions Student Welcome Centre Aberystwyth University Aberystwyth SY23 3FB

Quote Reference: AUE10006

Closing date for applications: 17th November 2019

Funding Notes

Value of Award: A stipend of £14,483 (rising in accordance with inflation for the remaining two years). Each scholarship has an additional budget for travel, equipment/consumables and training to support your research. KESS II PhD Scholarship holders do not pay fees.

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