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Post Doctoral Fellowships, Next Generation Adaptive Wells and Optimal Placement for Improved Recovery, Canada First Research Excellence Fund

Job ID: 13495

Updated: July 28, 2017

Location: Main Campus

Position Description

Next Generation Adaptive Wells and Optimal Placement for Improved Recovery

In 2016, the University of Calgary was awarded $75 million, over seven years, from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) for its initiative entitled: Global Research Initiative in Sustainable Low Carbon Unconventional Resources. The goal of this research is to dramatically reduce the impact of energy extraction and energy use on the environment.

As part of the implementation of its CFREF scientific strategy we are seeking to address two research and development grand challenges:

(1) to improve monitoring and imaging of reservoirs while drilling and during production to enable a step-change improvement in fine scale reservoir characterization, and

(2) to develop new well and completion designs to improve production efficiency and reduce lifecycle emissions.

Collectively known as the Next Generation Wells Project, research involves both fundamental discovery in the areas of reservoir engineering, geochemistry, geophysics and drilling engineering with a strong focus on technology development.

Successful candidates will work within a multidisciplinary team of geochemists, geophysicists, and engineers consisting of several PI’s, a research engineer and several graduate students.

Accordingly, we seek applications from qualified candidates within 2-4 years of their Ph.D. degree to take up 4 Postdoc positions with the following specific qualifications:

  • New well designs, geosteering optimization, and multilateral wells (1 Postdoc position): This project aims to assess the feasibility and mechanisms of adaptive and self-drilling well designs, primarily with CFD, FEM and FEA modeling. If feasibility is rapidly demonstrated, project work will continue with laboratory scale prototype design, assembly and testing. The appropriate Postdoctoral candidate will have a strong engineering background with a knowledge of systems modelling, programming and an understanding of the drilling process.
  • New well completions designs including adaptive competitions, chokes, smart chokes, and in-well separation systems (1 Postdoc position): This project aims to assess the feasibility and mechanisms of adaptive completion designs, smart choke systems and distributed wellbore and reservoir monitoring technologies, primarily with CFD, FEM and FEA modeling. If feasibility is rapidly demonstrated, project work will continue with laboratory scale prototype design and testing. The appropriate Postdoctoral candidate will have a strong background in petroleum and mechanical engineering with a knowledge of multiphase fluid flow.
  • New signal and distributed sensor systems for real-time formation imaging and reservoir characterization (2 Postdoc positions): This project aims to assess and develop the next generation of distributed sensing and flow control systems for steam-based – high pressure and high temperature – and fractured rock production systems, both for real-time analysis during drilling and during production. These systems will include embedded fibre optic systems, distributed acoustic sensing systems, and integration of various sensing systems for drilling. Development and testing of prototype sensors, actuators and communication methods in the laboratory will be at the core of this project. The appropriate Postdoctoral candidate will have a strong background in petroleum, mechanical or electrical engineering or a background in geophysics / geoscience / geology with a strong background in sensor system applications, will understand spatially distributed sensing systems and have some experience in the fabrication and testing of new instrumentation.

Each candidate will be required to work within a team environment and so excellent communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a diverse group of interdisciplinary researchers is a must. Experience with technology development and commercialization is not required, but would be advantageous.

Postdoctoral positions offer a stipend of $55,000 CAD/year for 2 years. Post-doctoral fellows will be expected to apply for major funding opportunities they are eligible for (e.g. NSERC, Killam, AITF, Banting). The positions also come with sufficient research support to be managed by the candidates in consultation with the PI members of the team.

In assembling the CFREF research teams, aggressive diversity and equity targets are in place and so applications from under-represented groups are especially encourage.

Applications should consist of a current CV, a list of 2¿3 referees with contact information and a cover letter, indicating you are applying for a position with the NextGen Wells team. Indicate which of the areas and positions you are interested in. Please also indicate your availability. The positions are available immediately and the search will continue until the team is assembled.

To be eligible as a Postdoctoral scholar at the University of Calgary, the candidate must have been awarded a PhD or equivalent within the five (5) years immediately preceding the appointment. Please review the Eligibility page for more information prior to applying for this position.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. In this connection, at the time of your application, please answer the following question: Are you a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada? (Yes/No)

Additional Information

To learn more about postdoctoral scholar opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Postdoc Careers website.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

We’re increasing our scholarly capacity by investing in people who want to change the world, bringing the best and brightest to Calgary to form a global intellectual hub and achieve advances that matter to everyone.

About Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is one of the world's cleanest cities and has been named one of the world's most livable cities for years. Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.


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