Post-Doctoral Fellow

USA and Saudi Arabia
Up to $60,000 per year + benefits
February 11 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Postdoctoral Research Opportunities in Microfluidic Systems for Enhanced Oil Recovery

MRSEC, Harvard and CIPR, KFUPM

The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at Harvard University and the Center for Integrative Petroleum Research (CIPR) at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) have open positions for two postdoctoral fellows in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) research using microfluidic systems. The research will be a collaboration between the Harvard MRSEC and CIPR of KFUPM and will entail spending equal times at both institutions. The appointments are with the College of Petroleum Engineering & Geosciences (CPG) at KFUPM.  

We are seeking candidates with strong knowledge of microfluidics design and flow characterization and modeling for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) studies. A knowledge of and laboratory experience in EOR is advantageous but not necessary. Our thrust area of research on Enhanced Recovery is served by the oilfield chemistry, petrophysics, and colloids programs at the CIPR. We work with some of the largest oil operators and several major service providers on a diverse portfolio of EOR methods of great importance to the Oil and Gas industry. The objective is to better understand fundamental EOR mechanisms, study the properties of the reservoir and injected fluids and bring such methods to maturity for field use and application. We provide unique laboratory facilities that allow for emulated reservoir conditions in temperature, pressure and reactive and multiphase flow and multiscale in-situ imaging techniques.

Successful candidates will engage with research teams at both centers on issues related to chemical and low salinity waterfloods, water alternating gas and foam, and passive, active, and reactive nanoagents. The successful candidates are expected to contribute to the development of new knowledge through creative and innovative designs of 2D and 3D reservoir-on-a-chip devices and flow experiments with in-depth analysis of results.


In 2015, KFUPM established a new college, the College of Petroleum Engineering & Geosciences (CPG) as a strategic collaboration with Saudi Aramco. CPG aspires to become one of the world’s premier research institutes in hydrocarbon energy studies and geosciences. It is an embodiment of a novel, integrative approach to the fields of petroleum engineering, geophysics, and geology. It developed from the merger of three previously distinct academic bodies at KFUPM: The Department of Earth Sciences, the Department of Petroleum Engineering, and the Center for Petroleum and Minerals. At the heart of the CPG lies the new Center for Integrative Petroleum Research (CIPR). The CIPR is home to the CPG’s scientific research enterprise and supports curiosity-driven research, as well as challenge-driven contract research.

The CPG aims to distinguish itself by its: (1) world-class research facilities and research programs, (2) unique opportunities for researchers, (3) global research engagement of academia through partnerships and collaborations (4) substantial industrial engagement in research and education, and (5) integrated academic curricula. The CIPR is projected to grow into an organization of 75 full-time research faculty and staff that are expected to include several postdoctoral researchers. In addition, the CIPR is intended to host a considerable number of graduate students, visiting researchers from other academic and research institutions, and visiting researchers from industry.

The Harvard MRSEC has established a program to study flow in porous media using model microfluidic systems.  The focus is on developing understanding of the basic physics of two-phase flow in porous media using optical techniques for visualization at the pore scale.  This collaboration with the CIPR will extend these fundamental studies to systems of importance to the Oil and Gas Industry.


  • Ph.D. in physics, chemical engineering, petroleum engineering or a related field with heavy emphasis on microfluidics research and application.
  • Record of high-quality research output
  • Passion for multidisciplinary research
  • Excellent command of English
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and high level of professionalism and tact in interacting with a diverse population of academic and industry collaborators


  • Employment is with the CIPR at KFUPM. CIPR offers a competitive salary
  • Fully furnished, all-utilities paid, on-campus housing in Dhahran, KSA
  • Premium health and dental insurance
  • Up to 2 round-trip tickets between Dhahran, KSA and point of origin annually
  • 30 days of paid annual leave
  • Supported travel between Harvard and KFUPM