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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Computational Modelling of Coupled Magma/Mantle Dynamics

This project is a collaboration between four departments at two universities. The PDRA post advertised here will be hosted by the University of Cambridge, and will be supervised by Dr John Rudge (Earth Sciences) and Dr Garth Wells (Engineering). There is also a parallel PDRA position at the University of Oxford, supervised by Dr Richard Katz (Earth Sciences) and Dr Andy Wathen (Mathematics). The full group of six investigators will work together using online tools for collaboration (e.g. distributed version control), teleconferencing, and frequent visits between institutions.

Overview of the role:

The project will be in the area of geodynamics and numerical modelling. It will address the fluid mechanics and thermodynamics of magmatic flow through the deforming mantle.

Responsibilities/ duties:

Primarily involving the discretisation and numerical solution of a system of partial differential equations resulting from the physics of magma migration through the convecting mantle. These equations describe the flow of a low-viscosity fluid through the pores of a high-viscosity, crystalline matrix---hence they couple Darcy's law with the Stokes equation. This system of equations, including conservation of mass and momentum for two interpenetrating phases, has great behavioural richness. It has not been extensively analysed, and hence there is a broad scope for new discoveries.

The focus of work by the PDRA will depend on past experience, skills, and interests. A background in geodynamics, computational fluid mechanics, or finite element modelling is particularly advantageous. The PDRA will be expected to develop advanced simulation codes with cutting-edge software tools.

The PDRA will be expected to work within a group of investigators across institutions. This will require frequent communication and cooperation in development of code, analysis of results, and preparation of manuscripts. The PDRA will be expected to travel to Oxford occasionally for meetings, and to present work at regional and international conferences.

The PDRA will have the opportunity (but will not be required) to get involved with teaching. This will mainly involve small-group teaching and supervision of undergraduates and graduate students. There is also scope for the PDRA to supervise Masters projects, in collaboration with the PIs.

Essential qualifications:

Candidates must have a PhD in Earth Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Computer science or a related discipline, or have a Bachelors/Masters and be close to completion of their PhD.

Current, relevant experience of PDE-based numerical modelling is essential.

A record of planning, implementing and publishing research projects in a timely manner with the ability to work independently and a demonstrated record of research and innovation.

Desirable qualifications:

Experience with software development, geodynamics, computational fluid mechanics, numerical analysis, finite elements, and/or high-performance computing.

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University of Cambridge