Sektion für Mineralogie, Petrologie & Geochemie




PhD announcements


In the framework of the EU-funded Initial Training Network VERTIGO (, 2 PhD positions are now available within the group of
*Experimental Volcanology
*( at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Germany. The preferred starting dates for the projects are March-April 2014. Each appointment is planned for a maximum of 36 months. During this time, the students will spend several months on secondments at other Full or Associated Partners of the VERTIGO consortium.

*ESR 1 Project Title*
"The causes and consequences of large-scale volcanic ash aggregation."

Ulrich Kueppers (Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany)
Michael Jacob (Glatt Ingenieurtechnik GmbH, Weimar, Germany)
Jonathan Merrison (Aarhus University, Denmark)

*Aim: *The aggregation of individual ash fragments to larger clusters and the related effect on particle sedimentation is a known phenomenon. Although experiments have become increasingly sophisticated, none of the approaches has been able to reproduce the complexity of ash aggregation processes as observed in nature. In this project, the student will study the variability of natural ash aggregates, characterize varies types of ash (grain-size, porosity, chemical composition) and investigate experimentally the influencing factors responsible for aggregation, observed aggregate size and aggregate solidification (and its timing). He/she will be performing thorough experiments using fluid bed processing techniques as well as a horizontal, recirculating windtunnel.

- Strong background in volcanology and/or petrology
- Good physical condition
- Proficient in English and demonstrate great written/oral skills

*ESR 2 Project Title*
"A new look into explosive volcanic eruptions: integrated shock-tube experiments, field- and laboratory-based high-speed imaging and textural characterisation of pyroclasts.

" Supervisor:
Ulrich Kueppers (Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany)
Joern Sesterhenn (Technical University Berlin, Germany)
Jacopo Taddeucci (INGV Rome, Italy)

*Aim: *The fragmentation process inside a volcano and the ejection dynamics of the gas-pyroclast mixture are the closest witnesses of syn-eruptive processes. As the fragmentation process is beyond direct observation, we need to constrain other roads to increase our understanding of explosively erupting volcanoes and mitigate the associated hazards. In order to augment our mechanistic understanding quantitatively, the student will (1) observe erupting volcanoes and laboratory experiments with high-speed video cameras and acoustic arrays, (2) sample proximal deposits, (3) analyse shock-tube experiments (fragmentation bomb) to quantify the influence of sample and experimental parameters, (4) describe the textural properties of samples from field and experiments and (5) model the particle ejection computationally.

- Strong background in volcanology and/or petrology
- Training in fluid mechanics and numerical analysis. Knowledge on gas dynamics and multiphase flows highly appreciated
- Good physical condition
- Proficient in English and demonstrate great written/oral skills

Candidates from any nation may apply. However, they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their future host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
Eligible applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research career, counted from the diploma that gives the rights to embark in a doctoral degree, have not yet obtained a PhD and should be proficient in English and demonstrate great written/oral skills.

The VERTIGO network is an Equal Opportunity educator and employer committed to recruiting, supporting and fostering a diverse community of outstanding students. All applicants who share this goal are encouraged to apply. We strongly encourage the application of women.

To apply, send one PDF including your CV, a research statement, an academic transcript and contact information for 2 referees. The research statement should include a description of undergraduate research projects/studies undertaken as well as research interests for the future. Applications shall be sent to Ulrich Kueppers:


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