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RWTH Aachen - Lehr- und Forschungsgebiet Ton- und Grenzflächenmineralogie (CIM)

The research group Clay and Interface Mineralogy (CIM) investigates processes at the aqueous interfaces of clay minerals. Apart from classical mineralogical analyses such as quantification of clay minerals with X-ray diffraction, surface and bulk properties of clay minerals are characterized by a variety of physicochemical methods. Within the EMR group, we work on the smallest scale relevant for reservoir processes. 

Research Assistant/Associate

Work­ing field:

Thal­lium is an emer­ging con­ta­mi­nant with hig­her toxi­city to mam­m­als than other heavy metals such as Pb, Cd or Hg. Soils repre­sent the cru­cial envi­ron­men­tal com­part­ment for Tl trans­fer paths from point sour­ces to the adja­cent bio- and hydro­spehre, respec­tively. Thus, a quan­ti­ta­tive under­stan­ding of the Tl beha­viour in the cri­ti­cal zone in gene­ral and in soils in par­ti­cu­lar is of great social import­ance. The sorp­tion pro­per­ties of Tl on clay mine­rals, which are key pha­ses for the enrich­ment or migra­tion of Tl in soils, are not pro­perly inves­ti­ga­ted. This pro­ject will gene­rate sorp­tion iso­therms of Tl and poten­ti­ally simi­larly beha­ving metals on select and repre­sen­ta­tive clay mine­rals. The data will signi­fi­cantly improve the accu­racy of pre­dic­tive fluid trans­port model­ling of Tl in the cri­ti­cal zone. This will be eva­lua­ted in a case study on a soil affec­ted by smel­ter-deri­ved Tl input.

Job descrip­tion:
  • Pre­pa­ra­tion of puri­fied clay frac­tions of select clay mine­rals
  • Com­mis­sio­ning an expe­ri­men­tal setup for mea­su­ring cation exch­ange iso­therms at various tem­pe­ra­tu­res, pH, and ionic strengths, respec­tively
  • Inves­ti­gate the influ­ence of com­plex-for­ming ani­ons (espe­cially HCO3- and Cl-) on the exch­ange of Tl spe­cies
  • Per­form a case study on a pol­luted site nearby to Aachen
  • Eva­lua­tion, vali­da­tion and publi­ca­tion of results in inter­na­tio­nal peer-reviewed jour­nals
  • Par­ti­ci­pa­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion of results at inter­na­tio­nal con­fe­ren­ces


We are loo­king for an out­stan­ding can­di­date, who full­fills the fol­lo­wing requi­re­ments:
  • Uni­ver­sity degree (Mas­ter or equi­va­lent) in Geo­sci­en­ces or Che­mis­try or Phy­si­cal Che­mis­try
  • Strong back­ground in ana­lyti­cal and che­mi­cal work
  • Excel­lent com­mand of writ­ten Eng­lish
  • Expe­ri­ence in pro­gramming with Mat­lab and Python is wel­come

Requi­red app­li­ca­tion docu­ments (please pro­vide a sin­gle pdf docu­ment)
  • Let­ter of moti­va­tion
  • Aca­de­mic cur­ri­cu­lum vitae
  • Descrip­tion of your lab expe­ri­ence

What we of­fer:

The posi­tion is 3 years and is to be fil­led by Febru­ary 1, 2019. This is a part-time posi­tion (75% of the stan­dard weekly hours for full-time employees).

The suc­cess­ful can­di­date has the oppor­tu­nity to pur­sue a doc­to­ral degree.

The salary cor­re­sponds to level EG 13 TV-L.

RWTH Aachen Uni­ver­sity is cer­ti­fied as a "Family-Fri­endly Uni­ver­sity". We par­ti­cu­larly wel­come and encou­rage app­li­ca­ti­ons from women, disa­b­led per­sons and eth­nic mino­rity groups, reco­gni­zing they are under­re­pre­sen­ted across RWTH Aachen Uni­ver­sity. The prin­ci­ples of fair and open com­pe­ti­tion apply and appoint­ments will be made on merit.

How to ap­ply:

For further details, please contact
PD Dr. Sven Sindern
Tel.: +49 (0) 241 8095778

Prof. Dr. H. Stanjek
Tel.: +49 (0) 241 8095762

Please send your application by January 5, 2019 to
PD Dr. Sven Sindern
Institute of Applied Mineralogy and Economic Geology
RWTH Aachen University
Wuellnerstrasse 2
52062 Aachen

You can also send your application via email to Please note, however, that communication via unencrypted e-mail poses a threat to confidentiality as it is potentially vulnerable to unauthorized access by third parties.