Functieomschrijving Master thesis Project “Active-Distributed Temperature Sensing for groundwater flow velocities in heterogeneous sedimentary aquif

The use of heat as a tracer for groundwater flow has had a renewed impulse over the past decade, because of the application of Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) techniques along fibre-optic cables.
However, DTS techniques for hydrogeological applications are still under development in particular when it comes to the quantitative interpretation of datasets generated under field conditions to retrieve groundwater flow velocities in great spatiotemporal detail.
In this project we intend to carry out a set of model and laboratory experiments  using so called Active-DTS techniques (in which heat is added to the system in order to improve sensitivity of the DTS-temperature measurement to fluid flow) that serve to enhance the applicability of DTS in heterogeneous sedimentary aquifer systems. Model simulations will provide insight in the relation between temperature measurements (averaging in space and time) and heterogeneities in the formation and groundwater flow.
In an existing laboratory set-up at Deltares, we plan to construct different representations of layered aquifer heterogeneities using sand, silt and clay. Using a variety of DTS cables in different configurations (e.g., coiled, and non-coiled) a sensitivity study will be carried out of the ability of A-DTS measurements to quantify aquifer thermal and hydraulic properties. The laboratory data will be interpreted using numerical modeling of coupled heat and fluid flow (e.g., FlexPDE).
The results of this study will be used to inform the design and installation of a field experiment carried out in the framework of a larger study aiming to use Active-DTS in combination with geophysical measurements to elucidate the origin of groundwater emerging in water supply pumping wells.
This project is a cooperation between Arcadis, Wetsus, Deltares and Wageningen University. The internship will take place in Leeuwarden, but for 2 -3 weeks you will be asked to go to Utrecht for laboratory research.

Functie-eisen Master thesis Project “Active-Distributed Temperature Sensing for groundwater flow velocities in heterogeneous sedimentary aquif

We are looking for a technical master student with some experience in numerical modeling and an affinity with hydrogeology for a master thesis (6 months). Furthermore:

  • you are motivated;
  • your English is fluent;
  • you are hard-working;
  • you have conducted multiple research topics.


Arcadis is a leading global design and consulting firm in the field of the natural and built environment. In collaboration with our clients, we deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes through the application of design, consultancy, engineering and project management services.
Within the different departments of Arcadis a whole range of interesting work placement and graduation projects are offered to students to gain practical experience within their field of study. Every year, over 150 students choose Arcadis as the organization for their graduation project or work placement. In most cases, our projects determine the content of the student’s activities with us; the actual work placement or graduation project usually develops within the framework of a dialogue with the student. During these work placements and graduation projects with us, the student will get a supervisor who will also make sure that the student is well acquainted with the people, the culture and the opportunities available to them at Arcadis. A good thing to know is that Arcadis provides an internship allowance.
On our website you will find more information about our company.
The master thesis will be part of the PhD research by one of Arcadis employees at Wetsus ( Contract and location will be with Wetsus Leeuwarden. Wetsus will also provide the internship allowance.


If you are interested in this position, please contact Raïscha O’Prinsen, Campus Recruiter, on tel. +31 6 5073 6808 or via You can apply by using the ‘Solliciteren’-button (application button) at, not by sending an e-mail.
To assess your application, that we will receive via the “solliciteer direct” (application button), in the best way possible we would like to receive your most current Resume and a motivation letter that covers the following aspects:

  • reason for your application;
  • maximum willingness to travel (in time);
  • availability (number of hours per week and desired start date);
  • language proficiency

Solliciteren kan middels deze link

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