Schäfer, Thorsten

Prof. Dr. habil.

Telephone: +49 3641 /  948640

Telefax: +49 3641 / 948622


Personal information

Birth Date and Place: 11.09.1969, Wiesbaden, Germany
Marital Status: Married, 3 children

Educational history

Freie Universität Berlin,  Department of Geosciences, Germany
2008 Habilitation (Priv. Doz. Dr. habil., 2008)

Advisor: Prof. Dr. A. Pekdeger

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Department of Geosciences, Germany


Ph.D. in Hydrogeology (Dr. rer. nat., 1998)

Advisors: Prof. Dr. D. Schenk, Prof. Dr. F. Sirocko (University of Mainz)

Diploma in Geology (Dipl. Geol., 1994)  

Advisors: Prof. Dr. D. Schenk & Dr. H. Knoke, Depart­ment of Geoscience


Friedrich-Schiller-Universität (FSU) Jena, Germany

since 6/2017 University Professor and Chair of Applied Geology
Institute of Earth Sciences

Karlsruher  Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany

10/2014 – 2017 Professor of Chemical Environmental Geology
Department of Applied Geosciences, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Geo and Environmental Sciences
2014 – 2017 Deputy Director
of the Institute for Nuclear Waste Disposal (INE)
2009 – 2017 Divisional head "Geochemistry"
Institute for Nuclear Waste Disposal (INE

Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, INE, Germany

2008 – 2009 Deputy divisional head "Geochemistry"
2004 – 2012 Group Leader "Radionuclide Migration"
2002 – 2009 Group Leader "Colloid Chemistry"
1999 – 2000 Staff scientist

Brookhaven National Laboratory (NSLS) & State Univer­sity of New York, USA

2000 – 2001 Postdoctoral Research Associate

Johannes Gutenberg  University of Mainz, Germany

1996 – 1998 Research Associate
DFG priority program 546 "Geochemical processes with long-term effects in anthropogenically- affected seepage and groundwater"
1994 – 1995 Research Associate
German Research Foundation (DFG) priority program 546 "Geochemical processes with long-term effects in anthropogenically-affected seepage and groundwater"
1994 Research Associate
Compilation of a hy­drocarbon reservoir rock data base for the expert system FROCKI (German Society for Petroleum and Coal Science and Technology, DGMK)

Military Service

1995 – 1996 Department of air traffic control (AFSBw)

Awards and recognitions

2000 Johannes Gutenberg PhD award for outstanding scientific research

Scientific Highlight of the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS)



2017 – present Associated Editor for Chemie der Erde – Geochemistry, Elsevier
2016 – present Guest Editor for Geothermal Energy Journal, Springer  
2015 – 2016 Guest Editor for Clays and Clay Minerals
2014 – present Associated Editor, Applied Geochemistry, Elsevier
2010 – present   Member of the expert panel on radionuclide migration in plastic clays for the ONDRAF/NIRAS and SCK∙CEN preparation of the Safety and Feasibility Case-1 (SFC-1)
2006 – present Laboratory coordinator of the Grimsel Test Site (GTS) Colloid Formation & Migration (CFM) project
2005 – present Representative of INE in the NEA-OECD "ClayClub" focusing on the characterization, the understanding and the Performance of Argillaceous Rocks as Repository Host Formations

Proposal Review Committee (PRT) member of the PSI-SLS synchrotron facility "Hard XAS", Advanced light source (ALS, Berkeley) & Canadian Light Source (CLS) Panel on Geoscience applications


2013 – present Principal investigator (PI); research field energy proposal for a Helmholtz research programme "Renewable Energies Topic 4: Geothermal Energy Systems" (2015-2019)
2013 – present Principal investigator (PI); research field energy proposal for a Helmholtz research programme "Nuclear Waste Management and Safety as well as Radiation Research Topic 1: Nuclear Waste Management" (2015-2019)
2016 – 2017 Member "Geo/Water" of the Council for Research and Promotion of Young Scientists (CRYS) at KIT
2014 – 2017  Deputy Topic speaker "Georesources" of the KIT Climate and Environment Center
2012 – present Member of the Holcim-Award
2009 – present

Advisory committee member of the "Center of Competence for Material Moisture, CMM"