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Five job/position openings from the SCEC Community

Date: 09/21/2022

Dear SCEC Community,

Please see below for the following announcements related to jobs, post-doc opportunities, and PhD positions:

PhD opportunity at ETH Zurich in earthquake physics
Two post-doctoral positions at the University of Bristol related to Imaging Magmatic Systems
USGS Mendenhall post-doctoral opportunity in fiber optic and array seismology for EEW
Risk Management Solutions, Inc. seeking Senior Earthquake Modeler


On behalf of Elias Heimisson, ETH Zurich

PhD opportunity at ETH Zurich in earthquake physics

We are seeking a highly motivated individual with a strong interest in applying numerical modeling of coupled fluid flow and solid mechanics to earthquake physics. 

You will be responsible for developing a novel code that simulates fault shear localization coupled to a poroelastic bulk. This involves implementing and developing a spectral boundary integral method to obtain a dimensionally reduced representation of the bulk and coupling to an inner domain. You will also apply codes to understand data from field-scale earthquake experiments in the Bedretto lab.

Applications are accepted until October 31, 2022.

Further information on requirements and application procedure are found here: https://tinyurl.com/ycxnktjd



On behalf of Maximilian Werner, University of Bristol

Two post-doctoral positions at the University of Bristol related to Imaging Magmatic Systems

We have two postdoc positions on offer as part of the ERC grant ‘Imaging Magmatic Systems’ (MAST) based at the University of Bristol:

  1. Geodetic Modelling: The postdoc will develop inverse models of InSAR data to image strain within magmatic systems. We are looking for candidates with experience of geophysical inverse modelling in the solid earth geosciences, and are particularly looking for candidates with experience using geodetic data to study the earthquake cycle or volcanic deformation.
  2. Modelling Magmatic Systems: The postdoc will develop 3-D models of magmatic architecture based on the growth and coalescence of intrusions, and explore the link between the long-term growth of magma bodies and observations of short-term deformation. We are looking for candidates with experience of numerical modelling in the solid earth geosciences, preferably of magmatic systems and/or volcanic deformation.

The positions are for 2.5 years initially, starting from Jan 2023 onwards. 

For informal enquiries please contact Prof. Juliet Biggs (juliet.biggs@bristol.ac.uk)

Candidates need to apply through the university website (containing more details on the position):



Deadline: Sept 30th


On behalf of Jeff McGuire, USGS

USGS Mendenhall post-doctoral opportunity in fiber optic and array seismology for earthquake early warning

The purpose of this Mendenhall Fellowship opportunity is to advance our understanding on fiber optic (FO) seismology for earthquake early warning (EEW) applications using array processing techniques.  A successful applicant should have the background and interest to pursue research on distributed acoustic sensing of earthquake waves with fiber optic cables and with traditional seismic arrays for EEW, focused on using seismic array processing techniques with either FO or traditional seismic arrays.  Array processing offers a robust method for determining slowness and back azimuth from arriving waves, which can help identify seismic phases and the earthquake source location at regional distances, in areas not easily instrumented with standard networks.

The ShakeAlert EEW system is live in California, Oregon, and Washington.  It relies on methods that are well optimized for dense seismic networks.  However, many of the largest earthquakes that could produce shaking within the ShakeAlert reporting region will occur outside of the well instrumented areas, such as offshore in the subduction zone.  Properly characterizing these earthquakes as quickly as possible presents one of the greatest opportunities for success in EEW, and more active research is needed to improve the methods used for these difficult to instrument regions. Method development can be done using a growing number of publicly available fiber optic and traditional seismic array datasets.  There will also be opportunities to design and collect new datasets during the term of the fellowship.

Even with the great potential for FO datasets to complement an EEW system like ShakeAlert, numerous fundamental questions remain. Among these, the most important ones include: how well dynamic strains in the fiber represent true ground strain, how signals within the FO array vary due to coupling and site effects, quantifying detection limits in frequency space, isolating seismic signals from natural and anthropogenic noise, the performance of FO systems in the near-field, optimal array geometries and sampling configurations, and differences in performance related to fiber engineering.

For more information about this Mendenhall post-doctoral fellowship opportunity please see: 


Applications, including a research proposal, are due by November 1, 2022.

If you are interested in applying, please reach out to any of the advisors for this research opportunity:

Jeff McGuire <jmcguire@usgs.gov>, Andy Barbour <abarbour@usgs.gov>, Clara Yoon <cyoon@usgs.gov> 

Learn more about the Mendenhall fellowship program here: https://www.usgs.gov/centers/mendenhall

Full listing of research opportunities is available here: https://www.usgs.gov/centers/mendenhall/research-opportunities


On behalf of Emel Seyhan, RMS

Risk Management Solutions, Inc. seeking Senior Earthquake Modeler

The Model Development group is looking for a Catastrophe Modeler to help it build industry leading stochastic catastrophe models for the quantification and management of catastrophe risk. The position requires development and update of ground-motion models for RMS Global Catastrophe Risk Models. The applicant will lead the task of brining in latest research results on ground-motion estimation and amplification of those motions at different site conditions for the global suite of RMS earthquake models. In addition, the position requires knowledge of characterization of building sites for applying the ground-motion amplification models. Catastrophe modeling (also known as cat modeling) is the process of estimating the losses that could be sustained due to a catastrophic events such as hurricanes or earthquakes. The results from this modeling exercise is used to analyze risks in the insurance and reinsurance industry.

Job requirement:

  • Degree in Civil Engineering. PhD degree is required and the area of research should be in the area of characterization of ground-motions and soil amplifications. 1-2 years of post-doctoral research experience in the relevant area is preferred.
  • Good statistical knowledge, preferably in geo-spatial statistics
  • Programming skills to develop and support model update work
  • Calibrate and update hazard models and geotechnical models based on the latest research results published in scientific literatures, journals and reports. Review and interpretation past event data will play a critical role in this process as well as a need to understand and develop the state of the art practices in the field.  The position requires running probabilistic models to determine loss distributions, probable maximum losses and average annual losses requiring strong background in probability and statistics.
  • Review and update ground-motion soil amplification factors
  • Analyze geology and soil data in order to estimate parameters for amplification of ground motion.
  • Research into the physical nature of earthquake phenomena and development of accurate ground-motion intensities in order to improve loss estimations.
  • Technical support both internal and client questions will be required. Hence the position requires good skill in oral and written communication.
  • The position will require independent work and being able to perform required research. The research results have significant impact on damage probabilities and loss estimations.

See the full job description at: https://jobs.jobvite.com/rms/job/o1Wskfwt


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