Job Opening

Ph.D. and M.S. opportunities in Seismology

Purdue University

Posted: 10/20/2021

Open Until: 01/02/2022

The seismology groups in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) at Purdue University are looking for highly motivated M.S. and Ph.D. students to work on a broad spectrum of seismological and tectonics topics. As part of a multidisciplinary department, students work in a collaborative environment and get exposure to a variety of expertise in earth and planetary systems, such as seismology, geodesy, petrology, lithosphere dynamics, tectonics, structural geology, planetary geology, and broader earth system interactions. Students have access to a suite of geophysical field equipment for both passive and active source seismology, including 120 SmartSolo 3C nodal seismometers, 10 Guralp CMG-3T seismometers, a 240-channel Geode wired geophone system, a truck-mounted 6000-lb seismic vibrator, and a DAS interrogator.

Students with B.S. or M.S. degrees in geophysics, geology, engineering, physics, mathematics, computer science, or closely related fields are all welcome to apply. To be considered for financial support, please submit your application for M.S and Ph.D. positions by January 2, 2022, for Fall 2022 admission. Please check [url=][/url] for application requirements. Applicants are encouraged to contact the following faculty to discuss potential projects.

1. Dr. Xiaotao Yang (
Ph.D. and M.S. opportunities to develop and apply high-resolution seismic imaging and advanced data analysis methods to study tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, and transient seismic velocity changes (seismic monitoring of environmental issues). Regions of interest for research projects include but are not limited to the Aleutian-Alaska margin and the interior, the North-American midcontinent, and the western United States. Beyond these opportunities, I will support your research ideas and provide the platform needed to facilitate your success! Contact me to discuss potential projects. Full financial support, including teaching assistantships and research assistantships, will be provided for both M.S and Ph.D. students. Applicants can find more information about Dr. Yang's research at [url=][/url].

2. Dr. Jonathan Delph (
Ph.D. and M.S. opportunities to develop passive-source seismic imaging and seismic interferometry techniques with application to the tectonic/geodynamic systems on Earth. Specific research projects include linking slab dynamics to tectonics in the eastern Mediterranean, investigating variations in crustal and upper mantle properties in the Pacific Northwest, and investigating the mantle-to-surface connection of magmatic systems. Other opportunities may develop that involve shallow (upper crustal) seismic imaging and linking petrological and seismological observations. Full financial support, including teaching assistantships and research assistantships, will be provided for both M.S and Ph.D. students. Applicants can find more information about Dr. Delph’s research at [url=][/url].

3. Dr. Robert L. Nowack (
M.S. opportunities in theoretical and applied seismology and GeoData Science. Recent studies have included Marchenko imaging with application to carbon sequestration, seismic body-wave interferometry using the autocorrelation of ambient noise, machine learning for seismic inversion, and iterative time-domain deconvolution for time-varying seismic data. A seismic array is currently being deployed to study unconventional seismic sources and their use in interferometric imaging. Dr. Nowack is a coordinator for the Purdue Geodata Science Professional Master’s program (more information can be found at [url=][/url]). Applicants can find more information about Dr. Nowack’s research at [url=][/url].

4. Dr. Douglas R. Schmitt (
Ph.D. and MSc opportunities in applied seismology, rock physics, and geomechanics. Current studies are focusing on quantitative assessments of fault stabilities for induced seismicity, detailed analysis of geophone and DAS seismic data from boreholes (Alpine Fault, Chicxulub), measurement of the seismic anisotropy of candidate deformed metamorphic and unconventional reservoir rocks, the laboratory measurement of crustal fluid seismic properties, active source seismic imaging on the Kentland Crater, and application of nonlinear elasticity theory to rock mechanics. Students are expected to participate in field studies supported by an active source seismic vibrator, a 240-channel geophone system, 3-C wireline sondes deployable to 3-km. More information about Dr. Schmitt is available at [url=][/url].

5. Dr. Yunyue Elita Li (
Ph.D. and M.S. opportunities for students with a background in geophysics, data science, and/or applied mathematics to develop physics-based data-driven techniques with application to geophysical monitoring. Specific research projects include geophysical monitoring of urban near-surface changes due to civil engineering and climate change and multi-physical monitoring of carbon sequestration based on compressive and distributed fiber sensing. Both physics-based imaging and machine learning-based approaches will be investigated. Students are expected to participate in field acquisitions, data analysis, and visualization. Other flexible opportunities and research ideas can also be explored with mutual interests. Financial support is available for competitive candidates. Applicants can find more information about Dr. Li’s research group at Sustainability Geophysics Project ([url=][/url]).

How to Apply

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