Multiscale Modelling of Shale Gas Flows

The University of Edinburgh is seeking an excellent student to award a prestigious PhD scholarship to investigate the behaviour of methane gas inside porous rock media. The student will be using molecular dynamics simulations and develop new multiscale models to predict unconventional gas flows in underground reservoirs. This is part of a $2.8M joint research project between Edinburgh University, Strathclyde University, and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM).

This scholarship is to work with Dr Matthew Borg in his research team in the School of Engineering, which in REF2014 came first in the UK for “research power”, with 94% of our research rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top 25 universities.

The start date is October 2019 (or another date, by arrangement), and is for 3½ years. As this is a joint project with KFUPM, there will be some visits to Saudi Arabia for knowledge exchange and research interactions, with research staff and engineers from industry.

The principal objectives of this PhD research project are as follows:

  • to use molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the interactions of natural gas with the inner surfaces of geological gas reservoirs down to the nanoscale;
  • to use these molecular results to develop boundary conditions that are suitable for a hybrid multiscale technique for simulating the flow of gas in real porous rock samples. This problem is directly relevant to reservoir simulations for the oil and gas industry.


Further Information: 

More information can be found here: 

Closing Date: 

Monday, September 30, 2019

Principal Supervisor: 

Assistant Supervisor: 


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.

This is a scientifically and technically challenging project, so it is absolutely essential that the applicant is a dedicated and diligent individual with a 1st (or 2:1) honours engineering degree (or with a degree in a relevant subject area, such as in applied maths or physics), have a strong background in mathematics and physics, and have a good knowledge of (or willing to learn) C++ computer programming and Linux OS. Students already with knowledge of running MD simulations in LAMMPS are desired.


Tuition fees + stipend are available for Home/EU and International students.

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: