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Analysing coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of geothermal reservoirs with fault reactivation

Applications are invited for our EPSRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) PhD studentships that will support six (6) research projects starting 1 October 2022. One of these projects is “Analysing coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of geothermal reservoirs with fault reactivation led by Dr Lee Hosking in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend of £18,062 including outer London allowance plus payment of their full-time tuition fees for a period of 42 months (3.5 years).

You should be eligible for home (UK) tuition fees but there is a limited number of studentships (no more than two) available to overseas applicants, including EU nationals, who meet the entry criteria.

The Project

This project will investigate faulted deep geothermal reservoirs to improve understanding of fundamental behaviour and predictions of recoverable heat, while reducing the uncertainty and risk concerning induced seismicity. Coupled thermal-hydraulic-mechanical modelling will be employed with an emphasis on the conditions of fault reactivation due to fluid injection. Project outcomes will inform strategies for the safe exploration of unconventional geothermal resources, including within the UK.

Please contact Dr Lee Hosking at lee.hosking@brunel.ac.uk to find out more about the project.


You will have or will receive an undergraduate degree classified at 1st class or 2:1 (honours) in an engineering or physical sciences discipline. A postgraduate masters degree may be an advantage. Where appropriate, applicants must have English language proficiency to an overall score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Skills and Experience

An understanding of geo-environmental engineering and computational model development using MATLAB, COMSOL, etc. would be an advantage. You should be a highly motivated individual and possess a strong sense of curiosity. The ability to study independently, think critically and collaborate with others is essential.


How to apply

Email the documents below as a single PDF file to cedps-studentships@brunel.ac.uk by 16:00 on Friday 3 June 2022. Please state the name of the project supervisor in your email.

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • Your 300-word personal statement setting out why you are suitable for this position;
  • Your Undergraduate/Postgraduate Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Your English Language qualification of IELTS 6.5 overall or equivalent, if applicable;
  • Two references, one of which can be provided by a member of Brunel University academic staff.

Interviews will take place in June 2022.


Meet the Supervisor(s)

Lee Hosking - Lee is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. As a member of the Geotechnical and Environmental Engineering research group, he specialises in geo-energy and geo-environmental engineering. His main area of research is geological CO₂ sequestration, looking at the nature of CO₂ flow and storage in deep fractured rock formations. This has involved theoretical and numerical model developments using dual porosity and discrete fracture approaches, recently being expanded to include the interplays between fluid injection and the induced microseismicity and permeability evolution of fractured rocks. This research is of practical importance to industry and public stakeholders for the development of geothermal energy and CO₂ sequestration, as well as being a topic of significant interest to the general public. It is being conducted in collaboration with China University of Mining and Technology following funding from The Royal Society. Lee is always looking for talented and motivated PhD students as well as new collaborators for research projects. Before joining Brunel University London at the start of 2020, Lee was a Research Associate at the Geoenvironmental Research Centre, Cardiff University, where he led the CO₂ Sequestration work package of the £24 million FLEXIS energy systems research project (2015-2020). He received his PhD from Cardiff University in 2014, having graduated with a First Class (Hons) MEng degree in Civil Engineering, also from Cardiff University.