Thermodynamic Modelling for an Ice-Sheet Melt-Tip Drill




Greater Copenhagen area

The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), in collaboration with DTU Geodesy, is undertaking a two-year project to design, build and deploy a new type of ice-drill to measure deep ice temperatures within the Greenland Ice Sheet. This is a high-risk project taking an experimental approach to produce operational technology. 

You can read more about the HotRod drill here: 

This project has the opportunity for a master-level final project focused on modelling the thermal diffusion and penetration rate of the melt-tip. This work would contribute toward a team-level peer-reviewed publication describing instrument design and performance. You would be welcome to join other project activities, including instrument testing in Sweden and analysis of deep ice-sheet temperature data.

The tentative work plan is drill design in Q1/Q2 of 2019, with assembly taking place at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (Øster Voldgade 10) throughout Q3/Q4 2019. Instrument testing will take place during Q1/Q2 2020. First ice-sheet deployment is planned during joint DTU-GEUS fieldwork in Q3 2020, with data analysis of observed versus historical deep ice-sheet temperatures beginning shortly thereafter.

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Company / Organization

DTU Space


Shfaqat Abbas Khan




Supervisor info

Msc in Earth and Space Physics and Engineering


Shfaqat Abbas Khan

ECTS credits

30 - 35


MSc thesis

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

Today, DTU is ranked as one of the foremost technical universities in Europe, continues to set new records in the number of publications, and persistently increases and develops our partnerships with industry, and assignments accomplished by DTU’s public sector consultancy.

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