PhD scholarship in new Tube Materials for Corrosion Control in Oil & Gas

DTU Mekanik
torsdag 21 dec 17

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Frist 20. januar 2018
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The Materials and Surface Engineering section in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark are seeking candidate for 1 PhD position in the field of investigation steel alloy chemistry, microstructure, and surface finish on oil field corrosion and scaling. Proposed PhD project is a part of the work package conducted in collaboration between The Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre (DHRTC) and Maersk Oil (MOG).

The PhD position is for a 3-year period and expected to start from March 1st 2018.

Corrosion is a common problem in the oil and gas industry, which reduces the lifetime of well tubing material. An extensive internal corrosion of the tubing materials requires better corrosion resistant alloys. Understanding steel alloy chemistry and microstructural relation to corrosion is an important aspect. Another determining factor for scaling is the surface finish of the tubing, which dictates the kinetics of scale growth.

Responsibilities and tasks
To prevent corrosion, e.g. corrosion inhibitors, H2S and O2 scavengers or biocides can be used. However, despite of using such mitigation techniques, extensive corrosion in the wells is still observed. The conditions present in the wells are complex and the severity of corrosion depends on various environmental (e.g. CO2/H2S/O2, seawater fraction, temperature, pressure, liquid flow velocity, stresses etc.) and material variables (e.g. chemical composition, microstructure, and surface finish).

Recent corrosion study made in collaboration between DHRTC, DTU and MOG, showed that the penetration depth related to pitting corrosion was increasing as a function of Seawater fraction (SW %). However, the nature of corrosion damage depends on the material used and its electrochemical behavior. Both low chromium and high chromium steels are used for production pipes, however the corrosion behaviour vary significantly due to the passivating nature of the alloys. For example high chromium alloys are more susceptible for localized attack compared to low chromium alloys depending on the oil well conditions. The aim of this PhD project will be:

  • Corrosion investigation of materials as a function of alloy chemistry and microstructure under sweet and sour conditions
  • Defining corrosion mechanisms vs alloys chemistry, microstructure, and heat treatment conditions
  • Detailed investigation of the passivity nature of steels with Ni, Mo, and other alloy additions
  • Scale formation on various types of steel, and correlation to alloy chemistry and surface finish.
Candidates for the position should have a Master degree in materials science and engineering, chemistry or related subjects with a good knowledge on microstructure, material characterization, and corrosion of steel materials. Prior experience in corrosion issues related to oil and gas systems is an advantage. Combination of knowledge in materials, corrosion, and oil & gas application is preferred.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Rajan Ambat.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Rajan Ambat, tel.: +45 4525 2181, e-mail:

You can read more about Department of Mechanical Engineering on   

Project will also be collaboration with DHRTC, DTU,

Please submit your online application no later than 20 January 2018 (Local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.   

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Mechanical Engineering covers the fundamental engineering disciplines within Solid mechanics, Fluid mechanics, Coastal and Maritime Engineering, Energy systems and energy conversion, Materials and Surface Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering design and Product development. The department has a scientific staff of about 135 persons, 100 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 85 persons.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and
scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.