Bachelor and Master Theses

The GZB constantly offers attractive topcis for Bachelor and Master Theses on geothermal energy. Within the scope of the graduate thesis, students can use the extensive technical equipment and the modern laboratories of the departments Advanced Drilling Technologies, Infrastructure and Applications and Reservoir Engineering and Rock Physics. In cooperation with the International Geothermal Association (IGAIcon externer Link it is also possible to write a graduate thesis with relation to an economic or social scientific topic, such as acceptance or sustainability. 

Writing the graduate thesis is possible for students from national and international universities, who aim at graduating in an engineering, scientific, business or social studies field:

  • Civil engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • supply engineering
  • geophysics
  • mining engineering
  • electrical engineering
  • geoscience
  • physics
  • economic sciences
  • ...

The departments currenty offer the following topics for Bachelor or Master Theses. For further information or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the contact persons. 

Topics for Bachelor and Master Theses at the GZB

Advanced Drilling Technologies

The department's focus is the development of innovative drilling techniques and the integration of newly developed drilling tools into practice. This includes:

  • the develpoment of new drilling techniques using thermal processes involving laser or plasma technologies
  • development, calculation, simulation and tests of new drilling techniques based on high-pressure jetting technologies - GeoJetting - 
  • investigation and simulation of interaction between rock and high-pressure jetting technologies in deep drilling
  • development, construction and tests of new drilling components

Especially for engineering students there are numerous up-to-date and demanding topics for Bachelor and Master Theses. Within their graduate thesis students can make use of modern software with CFD possibilties, Comsol, Ansys, Siemens NX etc. The in-house mechanical workshop offers the possibility to manufacture parts and also test drillings can be carried out on the on-site drilling and testing site. 

Topics for Bachelor and Master Theses:

  • ...


Dipl.-Ing./M.Sc. Volker Wittig

Manager Advanced Drilling Technologies

E-Mail: Volker Wittig

Infrastructure and Applications

The department for Infrastructure and Applications investigates the research problems and technologies for supply and care of single objects and urban infrastructure. This includes the application of heat, cooling and power plant engineering as well as special applications such as storage technologies and the after-use of mining infrastructures. Within these focal topics, Bachelor or Master Theses with the following contents are possible:

  • fundamental site and feasibility studies
  • designing of concepts for geothermal based heating and/or cooling
  • dynamic simulations of building physics, plant engineering and thermo-hydraulic applications
  • planning and monitoring of geothermal applications and plants
  • measurement and testing technology for geothermal development systems and heatpumps

Interested students from various fields of studies can write their graduate thesis within the current department's research projects .

Topics for Bachelor and Master Thesis:

  • Determination of thermal conductivity and heat capacity of the rocktypes of the coal-bearing upper carboniferous (Bachelor Thesis)
  • Hydrogeological and hydraulical characterisation of a mine thermal energy storage and the adjacent rocks (Master Thesis)
  • Classification and effects of the lithostatic and hydrostatic pressure on a mine thermal energy storage based on the example of the mine Prosper-Haniel (Master Thesis)
  • Influences and effects of the thermal storage on the rock mass of the coal-bearing upper carboniferous (Master Thesis)


Dipl.-Geophys. Gregor Bussmann

Manager Infrastructure and Applications
Room: G1 1-007
Tel.: +49 (0)234 32-10794

E-Mail: Gregor Bussmann

Reservoir Engineering and Rock Physics

In order to evaluate the economic outcome of a (geothermal) project it is mandatory to develop a good reservoir model, which is based on its insitu properties. This requires the application of geophysical methods of underground exploration, simulations and field and laboratory tests:

  • Seismic exploration
  • Geophysical borehole data and analysis
  • Field and labortory tests for the characterisation of the reservoir
  • Laboratory tests for the improvement of the rock's hydraulic properties

The department Reservoir Engineering and Rock Physics offers interested students from the study fields of geoscience, chemistry, physcis and engineering an extensive laboratory equipment for experiments and analysis, the opportunity to conduct field tests on the GZB-testing site and high-performance software for complex simulations.

Topics for Bachelor and Master Thesis:

  • X-ray microtomographical quantification (µ-CT) of the rock's pore volume
  • Correlation between geophysical borehole data and geological rock outcrops
  • Precipitation reactions, scaling and corrosion in geothermal reservoirs
  • Geological structure of geothermal reservoirs
  • Determination of mechanical parameters and transport properties of reservoir rocks
  • Flow through naturally and artifically created fractures and cracks
  • Digital rock physics - comparison between laboratory tests and simulation
  • Analysis of passive seismic data


Prof. Dr. Erik Saenger

Manager Reservoir Engineering and Rock Physics
Room: G1 1-005
Tel.: +49 (0)234 32-10718

E-Mail: Erik Saenger

International Geothermal Association - IGA

The International Geothermal Association (IGA) is a scientific, educational and cultural organization established to operate worldwide. It is a non-political, non-profit, non-governmental organization with consultative status to the UN.

The objectives of the IGA are to encourage research, the development and utilization of geothermal resources worldwide through the publication of scientific and technical information among the geothermal specialists, the business community, governmental representatives, UN organisations, civil society and the general public. One of IGA's aim is to encourage, facilitate and, when appropriate, promote the coordination of activities related to worldwide research, development and application of geothermal resources.

The IGA is a founding partner of the International Renewable Energy Alliance (REN Alliance). The REN Alliance is a close partnership of five globally operating renewable energy associations with the aim of promoting renewable energy sources worldwide. The work includes political dialogue and advisory on potentials and scenarios for renewables, sustainability assessments, carbon funds, policies and other related fields.

Topics for Bachelor- and Master Theses:

  • ...



Marietta Sander

Manager IGA branch in Bochum
Room: G1 1-013
Tel.: +49 (0)234 32-10265

E-Mail: Marietta Sander

Zusätzliche Information


Dipl.-Ing. Volker Wittig M.Sc. 

R&D Manager Advanced Drilling Technologies

Room: G1 1-003
Phone: +49 (0)234 32-10768

Volker Wittig

Dipl.-Geophys. Gregor Bussmann

Manager Infrastructure and Applications

Room: G1 1-007
Phone: +49 (0)234 32-10794

Gregor Bussmann

Prof. Dr. Erik Saenger

Manager Reservoir Engineering and Rock Physics

Room: G1 1-005

Phone: +49 (0)234 32-10718

Erik Saenger

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