Nonequilibrium two-phase flow in disordered media: Memory, hysteresis and energy dissipation

Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary, tuition fees, additional allowances

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 27 May 2023

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2023

For further details contact: Dr. Ran Holtzman

Project details

The displacement of a fluid by another in a disordered porous material, for example migration of water and gases in soils and rocks, is often out-of-equilibrium. This means the flow occurs in a highly nonuniform manner (both in space and time), exhibiting rate-dependency as well as path dependency (hysteresis), the latter intimately related to memory and energy dissipation. While it is known that these behaviours at the large (macroscopic) scale emerge from microscopic (pore)-scale mechanisms and the rough energy landscape associated with microscopic heterogeneity, the link between these remains elusive.

This interdisciplinary project aims to resolve this knowledge gap. To that end, we will develop state-of-the-art computational and experimental methods, in close collaboration with prof. with M. Dentz (IDAEA-CSIC) and J. Ortin (University of Barcelona), including short stays in their laboratories in Barcelona. The project also aims to use the insights gained from the small-scale investigation towards reservoir simulations of carbon geosequestration, in collaboration with the British Geological Survey.

We seek a highly-talented, motivated, and open-minded candidate, with background in physics, fluid mechanics, geosciences, or a related discipline. Experience with computer simulations as well as experiments is highly desirable.

For further details please contact Dr. Holtzman.


Tuition fees, bursary and additional allowances.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal, and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

The candidate will benefit from the exciting, research excellence driven environment in FCS Coventry, and interactions with the team members who are leading experts in physics of complex systems (Barcelona) and CCS (British Geological Survey).

Candidate specification

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English. The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

How to apply

All applications require a covering letter and a 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.  

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