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UK/EU Studentship: Understanding the Mechanism of Oil and Water Migration in Porous Media

Project Description

Due to funding regulations, this studentship is only available to UK and EU nationals. Students must meet the eligibility criteria at:

3-year fully-funded PhD studentship with Professor Lynn Gladden and Dr. Andy Sederman to start 1 October 2019. The industrial partner is Shell Global Solutions International B.V

Magnetic resonance imaging techniques offer the potential to map the spatial distribution of different fluids and the velocity with which they move. Further, the fact that these measurements can be made within an optically opaque material such as a porous medium makes MRI uniquely positioned to gain insight into hydrocarbon and water flows within rocks. The aim of this project is to use combinations of magnetic resonance imaging methods to identify how different strategies for removing hydrocarbon from rock cores actually work at a mechanistic level, and hence be able to implement these hydrocarbon recovery methods far more effectively. This is important because, using current strategies, significant amounts of hydrocarbon are left within the reservoirs when they are drilled. If the recovery could be made more efficient by being able to design the process using a more scientific approach, fewer bore holes will be required.

The project will first explore simple water-hydrocarbon displacements and then study how the mechanism of displacement changes when polymer or other chemical injectants are employed. Further, it will be of interest to study how these mechanisms change as a function of rock core type. For example, how does the surface chemistry and the structure of the pore space influence the way the different fluid species behave inside the pore space and the extent to which the hydrocarbon is successfully expelled from the rock?

The project requires good experimental skills, competence in data analysis and basic mathematical skills.

Applicants for the studentship should have:

1.) A First Class (or a high 2:1) in all previous degrees (Bachelor’s and if applicable, Master’s or other postgraduate degrees) in a relevant discipline such as chemical engineering, engineering, chemistry or physics.
2.) If your degree(s) was taken outside the UK, please visit to determine if your marks will qualify before you apply.
3.) The successful candidate will be expected to formally apply for admission to the University of Cambridge. Please see the University’s admissions requirements at:

To apply for the studentship, please send the following to by noon on Friday 8 March 2019:

1.) Include the Vacancy Reference number NQ18164 in the subject line of your email.
2.) A copy of your CV
3.) Copies of your transcripts from all previous degrees (Bachelor’s and if applicable, Master’s or other postgraduate degrees) that show the marks/grades obtained in each course.

Funding Notes

Due to funding regulations, this studentship is only available to nationals of the United Kingdom and European Union.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Cambridge in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 177.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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