Dutler, Nathan

P​hD Student


My PhD project is related to the research of deep geothermal energy. It focusses on the understanding of hydro-mechanical response during hydraulic fracturing. The aim is to create new fractures into a low permeable rock with an assessable seismic risk to exploit an economical heat-exchanger. The hydraulic stimulation project is imbedded in the framework of the SCCER-SoE (www.sccer-soe.ch) and is conducted by the Deep Underground Laboratory group at the Grimsel Test Site which is operated by the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA).

My work emphasis the design, execution, analysis and interpretation of the hydraulic fracturing experiment on intact rock. The aim is to study i) the fracture geometry and the associated interaction with natural fractures, ii) the fracture growth and opening during stimulation, iii) the transient pressure propagation and iv) the seismic response during injection and shut-in phase. More particularly, the injection protocol and injection metrics were varied to study effects in v) cyclic vs. constant injection and vi) fluid viscosity during a decameter scaled hydraulic fracturing job in low permeable rocks with a natural fractures.



2014 – 2016        Master’s Degree in Earth Science with a Major in Geophysics
                            ETH Zurich
                            Thesis: “Stress Characterisation for the Grimsel Test Site (GTS)
                            – Implications for the In-situ Stimulation and Circulation Project (ISC)”

2011 – 2014        Bachelor’s Degree in Earth Science
                            ETH Zurich
                            Thesis: ”Interaction between transducers and their effects
                            ​on the wavefield in physical seismic modeling”

2004 – 2007        Apprenticeship as notary secretary with
                            Federal Vocational Baccalaureate



2016 – present   Ph.D.                   
                           Center for Hydrogeology and Geothermics (CHYN),
                           University of Neuchâtel

2014 – 2016       excursion and tutorial assistant for the Lectures
                           “Dynamic Earth 1 + 2”, Department of Earth Science, ETH Zurich
                           Coaching for the Lecture “Matlab for environmental and earth science”

2007 – 2013       notary secretary (part time employment)
                           Notariat, Grundbuch und Konkursamt Winterthur-Wülflingen


Link to publications:

Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nathan_Dutler/contributions 






Office: E215

Phone: +41 (0)32 718 26 41




Centre d'hydrogéologie et géothermie (CHYN)

Emile-Argand 11

CH-2000 Neuchâtel