PhD scholarship in Compositional Reservoir Simulation Involving Complex Phase Equilibria

One PhD scholarship in Compositional Reservoir Simulation Involving Complex Phase Equilibria is available at Center for Energy Resources Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark (CERE DTU).
The project
The project which is sponsored by international oil companies, deals with the accuracy of thermodynamic models, and reliability and efficiency of phase equilibrium calculation algorithms in compositional reservoir simulations involving complex phase equilibria.

The project consists of two topics: one on “Advanced Thermodynamic Models for Reservoir Simulation of Reservoir Processes with Multiphase Equilibrium”, and another on “Stability Analysis Skipping for Multiphase Compositional Reservoir Simulation”. The project can be expanded in the future in terms of topics and man power under the same theme on composition simulation involving complex phase equilibria, provided that additional funding becomes available.

The scope
The scope of the project covers complex reservoir processes, such as production of heavy oil with steam and solvent, enhanced oil recovery with CO2, and development of liquid rich shale (LRS) reservoirs. All these processes involve multiphase equilibrium, which adds some challenges to reservoir simulations in terms of phase equilibrium description and calculation. We plan to investigate how different thermodynamic descriptions will influence the simulation results and how important it is to employ a more accurate thermodynamic model for the complex multiphase equilibrium.

Different thermodynamic models will be tested with special focus on several advanced thermodynamic models which are believed to be better in describing multiphase equilibrium. We also plan to improve the computational efficiency for reservoir simulations with rigorous description of multiphase equilibrium, where the time used in phase equilibrium calculation is expected to increase dramatically, especially in its stability analysis part. It will be investigated how to bypass stability analysis in the above mentioned multiphase equilibrium scenarios in an efficient and reliable manner. For LRS, a particular issue regarding the influence of capillary pressure on phase equilibrium will be evaluated.

The applicants should have a master's degree preferentially in chemical engineering, chemistry, petroleum engineering, or applied mathematics or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree. The applicant is expected to have good knowledge of applied thermodynamics, competences in development of mathematic models, and skills in programming.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled at Department of Chemistry at DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Erling H. Stenby and Senior Researcher Wei Yan.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, public-sector consultancy and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years. The position is provided with full benefits (pension, holidays …) and a monthly salary starting at approximately 25 000 Danish kroner (3300 EUR).

The PhD student will be supervised by Senior Researcher Wei Yan, Professor Michael L. Michelsen, and Professor Erling H. Stenby.

Further information
For further information regarding the PhD position, please contact Senior Researcher Wei Yan ( or Professor Erling H. Stenby (

Please submit your online application no later than 15 March 2014

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.
All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and public service. Our staff of 5,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 9,000 students are educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.
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