FlowTrans (Marie Curie Initial Training Network)

The FlowTrans Initial Training Network is a unique environment for career development, built on joint challenges of Industry and University partners in a newly emerging supra-disciplinary field, spanning from Physics to Earth Sciences and aiming to understand Flow in Transforming Porous Media.

Training will be hosted by eight universities in synergy with two full and four associated industry partners with the objective of delivering highly-trained mobile researchers to the European market.


The objective of FlowTrans is the creation of a unique research training environment and a new inter-sectoral supra-interdisciplinary field to de-fragment European knowledge and combine industry and universities to harness understanding of basic scientific questions for tackling future challenges in Exploration of Geological Resources.

Our research training objectives focus on teaching ESRs and ERs the necessary interdisciplinary skills needed to study Flow in Transforming Porous Media.

The characterisation and the understanding of flow of fluids within rocks and granular media has become an ever-increasing problem in Earth Sciences, Physics, and in many industrial applications, including CO2 sequestration, hydrocarbon migration, ore deposit development, and radioactive waste disposal.

One of the main problems is the understanding of flows in transforming porous media (PM), where the rocks and fluid pathways evolve spatially and temporally, for example due to chemical interactions with the flow, or due to compaction of the solid matrix. We propose to study the feedback mechanisms and their impact on the porous media through an interdisciplinary approach between Earth Scientists and Physicists.

State of the art analytical and experimental methods will be used on natural systems and rock analogues, and will be complemented by multi-scale dynamical simulations, to develop new basic understanding and new methods that can be directly used in industrial applications.

The overarching theme of the FlowTrans network is Flow and Transformation of porous media. In order to illustrate how closely the private and public sectors are interwoven, we constructed scientific work packages that are directly linked to private applications of the research units.  

Research opportunties

New positions available

11 new Early Stage Researcher positions are available within the FlowTrans Marie Curie Initial Training Network. See "Fellows" for further descriptions of the different projects.

Conditions: You have no more than 4 years research experience and you have not lived more than 1 year (at the time of appointment) within the country that you want to go to. 


Early Stage Researchers

  • Replacement reactions, pattern formation and ore deposits (University of Glasgow)
  • Creating and clogging dynamic permeability in fault zones and geological reservoirs (University of Grenoble)
  • Reactive Faults I: Interplay between creep/aseismic deformation, earthquakes and fluids in fault zone mechanical properties with a special emphasis on the North Anatolian fault zone (University of Grenoble) 
  • Porosity-generation and evolution during mineral replacement reactions (University of Münster) 
  • Reactive Faults II: Chemical and textural evolution of shear zones (University of Münster) 
  • Pore-space evolution in reactive rocks (University of Oslo)
  • Dissolution and Clogging in Porous Media and Fractures (University of Oslo)
  • Evolution of Rocks during fast fluid movements (CNRS, University of Strasbourg)
  • Flow in chemically evolving fractures (CNRS, University of Strasbourg)
  • From fluid-infiltration to material failure (University of Copenhagen) 
  • Flow, dissolution and deformation couplings in fractured and porous rock (University of Warsaw)

Experienced Researchers

  • Use of seismic interferometry for microseismic event location, velocity model improvement (Magnitude) 
  • Coupled pressure-solution and brittle deformation (Hebrew University) 
  • Stylolite-fracture systems- barriers or pathways? (University of Glasgow)
  • Electromagnetic prospecting - 3D forward modeling and inversion (Offshore-Resource-Group-Engineering)


The effects of transformation of Porous Media on reservoirs, ore deposits and contaminate transport.   

  • RWP 1: Fault zone permeability and mineral reactions (ore deposits and contaminant transport) Glasgow ER1, Münster ESR1, Oslo ESR2, Grenoble ESR3, Münster ESR4, associate partners: CSIRO (private), Amphos (private), Magnitude (private)  
  • RWP 2: Creating and clogging dynamic permeability (dynamics of tight deposits) Grenoble ESR5, Strasbourg ESR6, Oslo ESR7 associate partners: IRIS (private), Magnitude (private)
  • RWP 3: Transforming reservoirs, coupling of fast and slow transformation (hydrocarbon and contaminant transport) Jerusalem ER3, Strasbourg ESR8, Glasgow ESR9, Copenhagen ESR10, Poland ESR11, associate partners: CSIRO (private), Magnitude (private), IRIS (private)
  • RWP 4: Locating flow and transformation: Inversion and exploration (Application of RWP 1-3) Magnitude ER2 (private), ORG ER4 (private), ESR1-11, associate partners: CSIRO (private), Amphos (private), Magnitude (private), IRIS (private)

Research Work Package 1 (RWP1, REACT) deals with Fault zone permeability and mineral reactions with a special emphasis on ore deposits and contaminant transport. The package is led by ER 1 (UGLA) and ER 3 (HUJI) and consists of ESR 1-4 (UM, UIO, UJF, UM) in combination with Amphos21, IRIS and CSIRO from the private sector. It deals with important aspects of mineral replacement, pattern formation and ore deposits in general and focuses on the important influence of fault zones on this process. The objectives of RWP1 are a) to create a numerical model for mineral replacement/dissolution-precipitation reactions that reproduces observed patterns in faults, ore deposits, and porous media, b) to experimentally produce replacement reactions with an emphasis on porosity generation in tight rocks, model these and validate the models with experiments, c) to understand and model large scale reactive fault systems at different levels in the crust.

Research Work Package 2 (RWP2, FRAC) deals with creating and clogging dynamic permeability and is especially interested in dynamics of tight deposits. The package is led by ER 1 (UGLA) and ER 3 (HUJI) and includes ESR5-7 (UJF, CNRS (STA), UIO) and associate private partners IRIS Magnitude and Offshore Resource Group Engineering. This research package deals with the important aspect of how permeability can be created by fast processes like fracturing and how it can be destroyed by clogging. Understanding these processes in an open environment, including universities and the private sector, is important to build the knowledge to better assess the risks associated with fracking techniques, and to help in the development of clean techniques for the extraction of fluids from tight rocks. It is thus related to RWP1 where permeability is partly created by fractures in fault zones. The objectives of RWP2 are a) to understand the creation of permeability in tight rocks as a function of high fluid pressures, heating, or reactions, b) to understand how fluid is transported dynamically in such systems and c) how clogging can close the permeability again.

Research Work Package 3 (RWP3, FRAC&REACT) is concerned with the evolution of sedimentary rocks and reservoirs, especially the coupling between fast and slow transformation.  Results will improve basic scientific understanding as well as have applicability to hydrocarbon and contaminant transport. The package is led by ER 1 (UGLA) and ER3 (HUJI) and consists of ESR 8-11 (CNRS (STA), UGLA, UCPH, UW). The package directly deals with reservoirs and will be co-led by private partners including CSIRO, Magnitude, IRIS and Amphos21. The main objectives of RWP 3 are a) to understand effects of stress and chemistry on deformation, b) to understand flow in chemically evolving fractures and c) to study feedbacks between these processes during compaction of sedimentary basins.

Research Work Package 4 (RWP4, LOCATE) deals with inversion and exploration and is directly connected to the other 3 RWPs. The package is led by ER2 (Magnitude) and ER4 (Offshore Resource Group Engineering) and will involve input from all the other ERs and ESRs. The objectives of this research package are to develop new techniques: a) for locating flow in reservoirs and deposits with geophysical methods, b) for locating transformations and associated anisotropies in reservoirs and deposits and c) for exploration, based on the outcome of RWP 1-3. 


Our research training objectives focus on teaching ESRs (Early Stage Researchers) and ERs (Experienced Researchers) the necessary interdisciplinary skills needed to study Flow in Transforming Porous Media. In order to advance a significant step further in this topic the researchers need to have a broad knowledge of the underlying physics and the complexity of geological problems. Our unique supra-interdisciplinary approach combining experienced experimental, theoretical and numerical experts from Physics with the same range of experts from Earth Science, plus Industry will give students the interdisciplinary skills needed to become top scientists in the future. On the other hand they also need to understand how knowledge can be applied and used in associated industrial applications. Only this combination of training in private and public sectors will produce the much-needed workforce for Europe in the next decades.

We have defined 6 training work packages (TWP) that cover the skills needed by the ESR’s and ER’s. Training at the network level will take place in 6 network congresses that will contain the different schools defined in Training Work Packages 2-5. FlowTrans contains a special skills committee that monitors the development of the different skills of its fellows. In a previous management meeting the scientists in charge that will also make up the Supervisory Board of FlowTrans have defined the necessary skills that FlowTrans fellows will need. Our training program is specifically designed to train these skills. In addition to skill development on the network level the ESRs will enrol in local PhD programmes. Personal Career Development Plans will be worked out by ESRs and ERs and their supervisors. In addition 6 specific schools will deal with Career Development of fellows were fellows will get training in how to write an effective Career Development Plan and how to act according to this plan and shape their careers actively to become the next generation workforce in Europe. The Personal Career Development Plans of the fellows will be continuously evaluated and fellows will reflect on their plans and take actions accordingly.


Dr. D. Koehn (University of Glasgow) will coordinate the FlowTrans network and as Network Coordinator will be responsible for reporting and communication with the European Commission and will chair the Supervisory Board (SB). The network coordinator will be supported by the deputy-coordinator Dr. R. Toussaint (CNRS, STA).The FlowTrans network will be managed by the SB that consists of one scientist in charge from each of the 10 level I partners.

The FlowTrans Kick-Off Meeting took place from the 17th to the 19th of January 2013 in the Hyde Park Hotel in Central London, UK. 

Full Partners

  • Daniel Koehn: University of Glasgow, UK 
  • Renaud Toussaint: CNRS/University of Strasbourg, France
  • Einat Aharonov: Hebrew University, Israel
  • Andrew Putnis: University of Münster, Germany
  • Knut-Jørgen Måløy and Bjørn Jamtveit: University of Oslo, Norway
  • Piotr Szymczak: University of Warsaw, Poland
  • Francois Renard: Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble, France
  • Joachim Mathiesen: University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Eirik Flekkøy: Offshore-Resource-Group-Engineering
  • Guillaume Daniel: Magnitude, France

Associate Partners

  • IRIS, International Research Institute of Stavanger, Norway
  • Israel Energy Initiative-Ltd., Israel
  • Amphos 21, Spain
  • CSIRO, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia