3. Characterisation and modelling of complex environmental problems / reactive transport modelling

SCK•CEN Mentor

Leterme Bertrand, bleterme@sckcen.be, +32 (0)14 33 31 24

Expert group

Engineered and Geosystems Analysis


The networking activities relate to the characterisation and modelling of complex environmental problems, such as encountered in Johannesburg (South Africa), where some landfills lie on old gold mine dumps. There are currently no known studies that have been conducted to assess the complex processes involved in their evolution. Gold mine dumps tend to release acidic water and several chemotoxic elements, whereas landfills tend to release humic substances together with other contaminants. Advanced but robust modelling techniques are required for understanding these complex processes and assessing impacts. The information yielded by modelling techniques such as coupled reactive transport modelling and chemometric modelling is crucial in future studies that will be aimed at designing remediation strategies.


Objectives of the networking are

  • to train south-african and belgian personnel (including students) in (i) the analytical chemistry techniques that are fundamental to the acquisition of environmentally-sound data for risk assessment purposes; (ii) the implementation of geochemical flow and transport processes in state-of-the-art coupled reactive transport models;
  • to share expertise on tools (e.g. HPx software developed at SCK•CEN) and methods (hydrochemical characterisation of pollutants) transposable to various environmental problems encountered by the partners.

The minimum diploma level of the candidate needs to be

Academic bachelor

The candidate needs to have a background in

Chemistry , Geology

Estimated duration

2 weeks