The black box opened: Non-invasive observation of nanoparticle transport in rock pore systems

The emergence of manufactured nanoparticles presents a new threat to groundwater resources. To protect groundwater, we must be able to predict nanoparticle movement in aquifer systems.

Critically, however, we are unable to do this due to the lack of spatial information in current experimental datasets.

To overcome this fundamental knowledge gap, we are developing methods to image the transport of nanoparticles inside porous media and real rock, collecting spatially resolved data from which we can develop more robust transport models.

The current project, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is using a novel combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), led by Glasgow University, and magnetic susceptibility measurements (MSM), led by Birmingham University.

Applications are invited for a 12-month Post Doctoral Research Fellow post to undertake the MSM research, developing and using laboratory equipment and computer models to explore the internal workings of what is currently a ‘black box’. The techniques that will emerge from this work will also be of relevance to problems associated with petroleum and ore fluid migration.

The researcher will join a very active groundwater and geomagnetism research team, with backgrounds including geology, mathematics, and chemistry, within the Water Sciences and Geosciences research groups of the School.

For informal enquiries email John Tellam or Carl Stevenson.

Further more information, or to apply, visit the job specification page.