After the “Site Selection Days” were successfully held in December 2019 and February 2021 with great interest and enthusiasm of the numerous participants, RWTH Aachen University is now organising the third edition of the “Site Selection Days” in agreement with the Federal Society for Nuclear Waste Disposal (BGE). Also in the third edition, the interest lies particularly in informing a broad expert audience about the current state of research and the site selection procedure.

The conference is divided into a two-day scientific part (Day 1 and Day 2) and a public part on the status of the site selection procedure in Germany on Day 3. The conference programme will be rounded off by an evening event on Day 1. During the site selection days in Aachen, you can expect interesting lectures on the following topics and subtopics, among others:

  • Geoprocessing: tectonics / stresses / volcanism / uplift / subsidence / glacial processes / erosion / exploration / uncertainties / geological modelling | learn more
  • Thermo-hydro-mechanical and chemical coupled processes:  Geomechanics / Petrophysics / Hydraulics / Modelling / Microstructures / Material models / Geochemistry and biogeochemical processes / Uncertainties | learn more
  • Repository concepts: Containers / safety concepts / engineered barriers / uncertainties | learn more
  • Repository safety: monitoring / dose calculations / safety analyses / safety studies / uncertainties | learn more

The conference is planned as a face-to-face event. However, livestreaming will be offered for the third day of the event and participation via livestreaming is free of charge. As the epidemic situation continues to develop dynamically, we are constantly keeping an eye on the official guidelines of the health authorities and the government in order to be able to react quickly in the event of any restrictions with regard to holding the face-to-face event.

For the third edition of the Site Selection Days, we are particularly interested in offering young scientists the opportunity to present their research, discuss with experienced experts in the field and exchange ideas on burning topics in the form of science slams in a rather relaxed atmosphere.

We will keep you updated on more details about the programme, registration, conference fee, abstract submission and venue on this page.

We very much look forward to welcoming you to the third Site Selection Days in Aachen in summer 2022.

Chair of Repository Safety

The Chair of Repository Safety, (ELS), at RWTH Aachen University, as an interdisciplinary teaching and research institution, is concerned with the development of solutions for the entire field of radioactive waste disposal with a focus on repository safety.

A major goal of the ELS is the training of young scientists through various teaching events and formats in which the broad aspects of the final disposal of radioactive waste are comprehensively addressed and dealt with in an impressive, well-founded as well as target group-oriented manner.

Chair of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology

The Chair of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology (LIH) deals with repository issues in various fields of work. One is in the field of geomechanics and the other is in the field of rock mechanics.

The work covers all aspects of experimental and computer-aided rock mechanics with a strong focus on applied topics. Teaching covers a wide range of soil and rock mechanics problems and focuses on applied topics with many case studies from around the world.

Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal

The Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal (LEK) focuses on thematic priorities regarding organic geochemical processes in sedimentary systems and aquatic ecosystems as well as petrophysical research on low-permeable sedimentary rocks and numeric basin modeling in sedimentary systems.

The LEK Petrophysics Group has specialized in the experimental investigation of storage and transport processes of fluids in low-permeable sedimentary rocks. Our research addresses subsurface technologies (e.g. nuclear waste disposal, CO2 sequestration, hydrogen storage and fossil fuel extraction) that are of high societal relevance in the near future. In the past decade we refined and developed experimental procedures to better understand pore scale processes in tight reservoir rocks and sealing formations. Our mission is to perform novel, cutting edge experimental research to obtain new insights into the physical interactions between rocks and fluids at the nanoscale.

Computational Geoscience and Reservoir Engineering

In the research unit “Computational Geoscience and Reservoir Engineering” (CGRE) at RWTH Aachen University, we develop novel methods to address complex geological and geophysical modeling and simulation tasks.

We employ a variety of methods from advanced mathematics and computer graphics to solve problems related to the energy transition, subsurface engineering and storage, and fundamental scientific questions.

Our geological modeling methods are specifically tuned to work in cases with scarce data in a formal probabilistic manner. We investigate different mathematical models to construct complex geometries, e.g. gaussian processes and universal co-kriging approaches for implicit surface representations, and NURBS and subdivision surfaces for explicit surface representations, with combinations of both to address geometries on multiple hierarchies. In addition, we work on innovative probabilistic methods, such as probabilistic maschine learning and gradient based samplers as well as optimised visualisation and interfacing with these methods, e.g. using methdos of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR).

In the field of geophysical simulations, we work on a variety of thermo-hydro-mechanical models. Also here, a central aim is to perform uncertainty quantification and global sensitivity analyses, which often require thousands to millions of forward simulations. We work on a variety of physics-based machine learning approaches to obtain efficient surrogate models in order to facilitate these types of investigations

Applications of our methods are in a range of applied fields, from geothermal resource and reservoir investigations, underground storage and soil investigation, to more fundamental scientific questions such as mineral segmentation in thin sections and fault sequence analysis in the alpine orogeny.

Energy and Mineral Resources Group

The Institute of Geology at RWTH Aachen University is integrated in the Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering and part of the Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR) Group of the Division of Applied Geosciences and Geography.

At the Institute, fundamental and applied research is carried out by Professor Peter Kukla and his team, with focus subjects including Sedimentary Systems and Tectonics, Sedimentology and Environmental Geology, Sustainable Georesources Management and Regional Geology. Work areas and methods include the seismic interpretation and analysis of multidimensional seismic data (high-resolution 3D reflection seismics, regional 2D reflection seismics) and the integration of geological and geophysical surface and subsurface data into static and dynamic geological (reservoir) models. In the future, these methods will be increasingly used in the field of geothermal energy in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute IEG (Energy Infrastructure and Geothermal Energy), which was newly founded in 2019. The clastic sedimentology group focuses on coastal dynamics (both field-based studies and numerical modelling) and depositional processes in continental and shallow-marine environments, specifically applied to Carbon and Capture Storage purposes. Regional geological research is increasingly conducted at the institute in the context of the German energy transition and the coal phase-out as well as the search for a final radioactive waste repository. Further subjects in the institute’s profile in research are the analysis of sedimentary systems as environmental proxies, the prediction of reservoir properties, the geological storage of energy carriers in reservoirs and salt caverns, the material flow analysis of certain georesources (e.g. hydrogen, geothermal energy), the utilization and economics as well as the ecological assessment of georesources projects, and the analysis of social and economic implications (CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility).

Institute of Neotectonics and Geohazards

The Institute of Neotectonics and Geohazards at RWTH Aachen University studies earthquakes and their consequences, such as tsunamis, but also volcanism in different parts of the world from Chile, Japan, India, Namibia, Central Asia, the Mediterranean region and Germany.

Natural disasters are not necessarily geohazards, but when they affect people and their habitat they become a risk. They have always affected the Earth system and must be carefully differentiated in terms of space (local, regional, global), time (duration), intensity (magnitude), recurrence rates, and in the relationship of cause to effect. Extreme climatic events, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, glacial lake outbursts, mass movements and land subsidence cause enormous economic costs and worse – endanger human lives. The goal is to identify, evaluate, and manage hazards to prevent major damage. That is why we are studying the causes, processes and consequences of natural disasters here at RWTH Aachen University the teaching and research area with a multidisciplinary team of geoscientists to develop procedures that prevent a disaster from occurring or minimize its damage. Of course, active faults in the Earth’s crust play an important role in the search for repositories and other projects.

Your contact person regarding content

Dr. Klaus Baier
Lehrstuhl für Ingenieurgeologie und Hydrogeologie | RWTH Aachen University
Lochnerstraße 4 – 20 | D-52064 Aachen
Tel.: +49 (0)241 80-96771

Your contact person regarding organizational matters

Julia Backhaus
RWTH International Academy
Campus-Boulevard 30 | D-52074 Aachen
Tel.: +49 (0)241 80-97861

Further contact persons regarding content

Repository concepts: Prof. Dr. Klaus Fischer-Appelt (

Safety analyses: Prof. Dr. Klaus Fischer-Appelt (

Geological Processes: Prof. Dr. Klaus Reicherter (

THCM: Prof. Dr. Florian Amann (

BGE:  Team Gremienbegleitung der STA, Dr. Esther Neye (