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(Senior) Post-Doctoral Researcher in Volcanology and Granular Flows

Lancaster Environment Centre
Salary:   £29,619 to £34,308
Closing Date:   Sunday 11 December 2022
Interview Date:   Monday 16 January 2023
Reference:  1159-22

(Senior) Post-Doctoral Researcher in Volcanology and Granular Flows

An exciting opportunity exists for an experienced researcher to work on a NERC funded project entitled “Fragmentation and flow of gas-particle mixtures in volcanic systems”. The research team includes Dr Thomas Jones from Lancaster University, Professor Josef Dufek from the University of Oregon, and Dr Ben Bernard from the Instituto Geofísico, Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IGEPN). You will be working and based within Dr Jones’ research group at Lancaster University, with visits to the project partners as required.

You will contribute to the project by performing analogue experiments to better understand the flow properties of pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) and integrate these experimental results into numerical models. Two different types of experiments will be performed. (i) Attrition experiments will quantify the rates at which pyroclasts change shape and size during transport. (ii) Granular rheology experiments will measure the rheological properties of fluidized pyroclasts. Informed by (i) the grain size distribution will be varied to investigate its control on flow rheology. These new experimental data will be integrated into multiphase PDC flow models. For example, the rheology from the experiments will be used in computing strain rates in the conservation of momentum equations. We expect model development to form a large component of the work, thus the successful candidate will have a strong numerical background and is likely to have previous numerical modelling experience.

The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (GFD) Laboratory in the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) is a world-class facility for research into a wide range of topics covering volcanology and planetary science. The lab is directed by Dr Jones and current research topics include pyroclastic density currents, Martian volcanism, magma fragmentation and magma rheology. It has a large equipment base for scaled analogue experiments (e.g., high-speed cameras, rheometers, fluidization rigs) and particle size/shape characterization. The successful candidate will also benefit from being part of the wider volcanology research group comprising numerous faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students. 

Lancaster University is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the UK university league tables. It is located on a beautiful campus in the North-West of England close to the Lake District National Park.

LEC offers a highly collegial and stimulating environment for career development based on departmental values and embedded Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity (EDI) considerations and actions. We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis as well as the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research. Furthermore, we are active and progressive around sustainability, wellbeing, and decolonising agendas.

The post is available immediately and earlier start dates are preferred. Current funding is available until 30/9/25. However, based on appointment grade and associated funding available, the post may be offered up to a maximum of 36 months. 

Informal inquiries may be directed to Dr. Thomas Jones:

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We promote equality of opportunity and diversity within the workplace and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

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