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Geological Modeling Research Scientist



Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Posted on Monday, May 6, 2024
Role Overview
Title: Geological Modeling Research Scientist
Hours: Full time
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Benefits Eligible: Yes
Manager: Ahinoam Pollack, Head of Research
Mission – Why we exist and why we need you
Geothermal energy is the most abundant renewable energy source in the world. There is 2,300 times more energy in geothermal heat in the ground than in oil, gas, coal, and methane combined. However, historically it’s been hard to find and expensive to develop. At Zanskar, we’re using better technology to find and develop new geothermal resources in order to make geothermal a cheap and vital contributor to a carbon-free electrical grid. We set new industry standards for discovery rates, finding new prospects at an unprecedented scale and revolutionizing the exploration process.
The research team at Zanskar is at the cutting edge of developing tools to pinpoint and characterize geothermal resources with higher precision than ever before. To achieve this capability, we rely on both geological, physical and machine learning modeling. We need a scientist with expertise in generating geological models, specifically fault-hosted geothermal systems. This key player on our team will help us unlock the next leap in geothermal exploration technology by integrating geological realism with data, algorithms and computational power.
Outcomes - Problems you’ll solve
Success in this role will look like novel and patentable workflows and tools that our team will deploy in the field in the next year to find and de-risk an unprecedented number of geothermal resources that can be developed into commercial power plants before 2030. The workflows would generate geologically realistic earth models. In addition, the role’s work will include assessing geological uncertainty, meshing grids, as well as visualizing and communicating results.
Competencies – What we’re looking for
3D geological modeling: the candidate should have experience in writing software for generating geological models. This can be, for example, via kinematic structural modeling (e.q. PyNoddy), process based (e.q. discrete element methods, MOVE), object based (e.q. discrete fracture networks), potential field (e.q. GemPy, Loop Structural, SKUA), or other methods (RRM). Preferably, this experience should involve the generation of faulted earth models. Ability to mesh the structural models for physical simulations is an added bonus skill.
Computer programming: this position is a software development role. Several years of programming experience are necessary.
Structural geology, geomechanics: we place a large emphasis on integrating structural geological rules in our modeling framework. Understanding of the physical principles governing geological deformation history is crucial.
Effective communication skills: Collaborate with cross-functional teams including exploration geologists, data science, and business leaders. This includes communicating on results, roadblocks, clarifications, and recommendations for next steps and road maps.
This is a Senior or Staff level position. To be competitive, a candidate will most likely need a Master’s & 3yrs+ experience or a PhD & 1yr+ experience in quantitative earth sciences.
Location, Salary, and Benefits
- The position is located in Salt Lake City, but we are open to remote work (also outside the US) for exceptional cases. Remote work would only be feasible for a contractor role.
- Full-time
- Paid holidays
- 15 days PTO + Accrual increase based on tenure
- Paid Sick Leave
- Medical and dental coverage
- 401k
- A direct impact in displacing carbon emissions, and growth opportunities in a growing startup environment
Equal Opportunity Employer
Zanskar is an equal opportunity employer (EOE) and complies with all applicable federal, state, and local employment practice laws.
Please reach out to with any questions.