Research Fellow in Quantitative 4D Seismic Analysis

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
£32,817–£49,553 (Grade 7)
Oct 26, 2019
End of advertisement period
Nov 24, 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Location Edinburgh, GB      
Organization Name Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering      

About Heriot-Watt University          

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at-heriot-watt.htm

About our Team          

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society is one of the UK’s leading institutions for multidisciplinary research and teaching in areas critical to economic development and societal equity.  We aim to attain excellence in the teaching of the core disciplines that contribute to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society and are committed to undertaking high value, high impact research and knowledge transfer in topics of relevance to global challenges.

The School enjoys facilities consistent with its location in modern, purpose-built accommodation on the Edinburgh campus. The School is well equipped in respect of laboratories for materials, structures, engineering, building services and hydraulics research and teaching.  Our research and teaching facilities in Dubai and Malaysia are contained within purpose-built campuses in Dubai Academic City and Putrajaya, respectively. 


The School’s undergraduate teaching on our Edinburgh campus covers civil and structural engineering, architectural engineering, construction project management, quantity surveying, geography, urban studies, interior design and the biology suite.  On our Dubai campus we teach civil & structural engineering, architectural engineering, architecture, construction management, quantity surveying and interior design.  On our Malaysia campus we teach civil engineering, construction project management, quantity surveying and petroleum engineering.  We offer a high quality educational experience underpinned by practical and laboratory teaching, and informed by contact with professional practice.  Most of our degree programmes hold the appropriate accreditation from the relevant professional body.  This educational philosophy ensures excellent employment prospects for all of our graduates.

Programmes of postgraduate study are aligned to the expertise contained in each of our research institutes. Our postgraduate students therefore benefit from state-of-the-art knowledge in their chosen study area.  You can find further information about the School’s postgraduate programmes at https://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/postgraduate-programmes.htm 


The School is one of the leading research centres in the UK. It has sustained a high reputation for the international standing of its research over two decades. 

 Research within the School is organised into six Institutes:   https://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/research.htm   

Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (ILES)

The Urban Institute (TUI)

Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE)

Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE)

Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design (CESBD)

Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research (I-SPHERE)

All academic staff based on the Edinburgh and Dubai campuses contribute to the research activities of one of our Institutes.

These Institutes support a wide range of research activities of relevance to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society. Institute staff undertake research funded by research councils, charitable foundations, local and national government. Research outcomes are published in leading international and national journals and key findings are widely disseminated through other media and forms of output.

Institute of Geoenergy Engineering

The Institute of Geoenergy Engineering (IGE) was founded in 1975 and is widely recognised as one of the internationally leading centres of excellence for learning, teaching, and research in petroleum engineering and petroleum geoscience. 

IGE provides specialist training through its MSc programmes in Petroleum Engineering, Reservoir Evaluation and Management, Petroleum Geoscience, and Integrated Mature Field Management, which are offered on Heriot-Watt University’s campuses in Edinburgh, Dubai, and Malaysia, through Approved Learning Partnerships in Russia, Portugal, and Australia, or through distributed learning. IGE also partners with Schlumberger to deliver an MSc in the Management of the Oil & Gas Industry and with SOCAR to establish the Baku Higher Oil School, or with the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre. To-date, over 4000 students have graduated from IGE, many of them now holding leading positions in the energy industry or academia. 

IGE’s industrially focused research involves over 60 academics and 100 PhD students and covers the full range of activities related to the upstream oil and gas industry, from exploring hydrocarbon provinces to characterising the reservoirs and providing robust uncertainty envelopes for future hydrocarbon production to developing new chemical and engineering solutions that ensure that production wells operate efficiently. More recently, IGE has extended its capabilities to develop and manage other subsurface forms of energy such as geothermal energy and CCUS through new collaborations with the Lyell Centre for Earth and Marine Science and Technology to support the transition to a low-carbon energy future. IGE leads several major UK-wide and interdisciplinary research centres, such as the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Gas, the International Centre for Carbonate Reservoirs, or the Centre for Energy Economics Research and Policy.  

In 2015, IGE received the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize, recognising its sustained pioneering work in innovation and research excellence. The prize recognised how the IGE’s research and innovation activity spans hydrocarbon exploration to production technology, and also harnesses its findings to enhance interdisciplinary work, with some of its inventions now used in medical and biological research. It was the second time that IGE was awarded with the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, which is the highest award in U.K. higher education.

During REF2014, IGE has provided four highly ranked impact case studies and was a central component of the Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering (ERPE), which was the largest submission in the UK to the General Engineering assessment panel. 94% of ERPE’s overall research activity was classified as world-leading or internationally excellent, and ERPE had the highest research power rating of all general engineering submissions in the UK. Previous REF and RAE exercises have awarded IGE’s research the highest possible ratings as well. 

For further information visit http://hw.ac.uk/IGE

 Detailed Description          

The chosen candidate will work as a member of the ETLP team in IPE. The Edinburgh Time-Lapse Project (ETLP) is a mature, UK-based, university research consortium with over nineteen years of experience in the field of quantitative interpretation of 4D seismic data. The size of our research team fluctuates in size each year but typically consists of a lead researcher, Assistant Professors, a Research Fellow, SRAs, RAs, and twelve PhD students. The project is now in its seventh phase, and this will last until June 2021. Phase VIII is planned from 2021 to 2024, and it is expected that this position would be extended into Phase VIII. Our particular specialisation is the integration of reservoir engineering and time-lapsed seismic data at an in-depth and at a practical level that is relatively unique to academia. To maintain our practical, multi-disciplinary data-centric perspective, a key driver in ETLP research is the data donated from our sponsors. Our project portfolio covers clastic, chalk and hard-rock carbonate fields from the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, Campos Basin, West Coast Africa, North America, and Gulf of Mexico.

As a member of the ETLP team you will work extensively in the field of 4D QI for industry application. You are expected to have an excellent working knowledge of industry-standard software, and solid, up-to-date coding skills. There is industry interaction on a daily basis, therefore it is important that you possess the experience of working for a company in the O&G sector. The majority of your time in this post will be dedicated to independent research on 4D seismic analysis using field datasets donated by sponsors. We will encourage you to publish your findings in the relevant journals. You must be a team player, willing to support students and staff, and to take on a share of administrative duties of the group to support and expand our activities. In addition, you must be capable of supporting and, eventually, supervising PhD students to full term.

This post will be offered on either Grade 7 (£32,817- £40,322) or Grade 8 (£41,526 - £49,553) depending on experience.

Key duties and responsibilities          

The successful appointee will be expected to undertake the following:

  • Independent research on 4D QI using sponsors’ data
  • Present at biannual sponsors’ meetings
  • Attend occasional meetings with O&G companies
  • Present at workshops and conferences
  • Support and assist in the supervision of PhD students
  • Support the team administratively at meetings and throughout the year

Please note that this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post.  Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve. 

      Education, qualifications and experience          


  • A Masters or PhD in Geophysics or a related subject


  • Several years of experience working in the oil industry
  • Experience of working as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Experience and up to date knowledge of coding

Competencies, Skills and Knowledge:

  • Excellent IT skills
  • Good team player with good interpersonal skills
  • Research-oriented mindset


  • Several years of experience working in industry
  • Drive and commitment to the succeed


      How To Apply          

Candidates can make informal enquiries to Prof Colin MacBeth, c.d.macbeth@hw.ac.uk, 0131-451-3171.

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on Sunday 24th November 2019

If you have not heard the outcome of your application by 4 weeks from the closing date, please assume that your application has been unsuccessful.

For more information on working at Heriot-Watt University, please visit https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work-for-heriot-watt.htm

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

Minimum Salary 32817      
Maximum Salary 49553      
Currency GBP                  
Amount of Travel Moderate Travel