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Linking RDE emissions reduction technologies in advanced engines to oil dilution rates – In collaboration with the Ford Motor Company.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 22, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project queries should be sent to Dr Chris Bannister:

For more information on the PVRC please go to:

Proposed start date: Before 1st April 2019

The Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre (PVRC) at the University of Bath is seeking a PhD candidate for an experimental/modelling project, backed by the Ford Motor Company, investigating how state of the art aftertreatment systems utilised within advanced vehicle powertrains impact on oil dilution rates.

Oil dilution is a significant issue whereby fuel injected into the cylinder isn’t combusted and, instead, finds its way into the lubrication oil via wall wetting. This is particularly a problem when aftertreatment systems require late fuel injection events. Oil dilution means that more frequent oil changes are required which reduces the service interval for vehicles and increases the quantities of waste oil over a vehicle lifetime. The rate of oil dilution is dependent on factors such as piston/combustion chamber design, injector spray pattern/operating conditions, and the calibration being employed.

The reduction of emissions from conventional and hybrid vehicles is a challenge, particularly with the introduction of new RDE on-road emissions evaluations. Many technologies are employed to minimise emissions including low pressure exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), Lean NOx Traps (LNT), diesel/gasoline particulate filters and cylinder deactivation. These systems require thorough control and optimisation to ensure compliance with emissions legislation but also minimising vehicle fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The way in which these systems are utilised, and the way in which the vehicle is driven on the road, is expected to affect the level of oil dilution.

The aim of the proposed project is to understand the interaction between emissions control technologies and oil dilution rates in advanced combustions engines with the intention of increasing service intervals and influencing the configuration and control of aftertreatment systems under real-world driving conditions within future Ford vehicles.

The project can be adapted to the skills of the applicant, but the project could involve the following areas of investigation:
• Modelling the impact of fuel injection strategies and engine design parameters on oil dilution rates (piston design, piston rings, clearances etc)
• Validating the predictions using a vehicle on the rolling road or under real world driving conditions (RDE)
• Assessing how control of aftertreatment systems can maintain performance but reduce oil dilution rates. (For example, control of late injection for NOx trap / DPF / GPF regeneration)
• Evaluate the impact of modelled dilution rates on vehicle service intervals

Based at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the PVRC is a leading group for theoretical, experimental and analytical research into powertrain systems in the UK. Our team has an excellent track record in delivering industry-relevant projects, and has long established collaborations with industrial partners. Our work covers all of the links in the chain from energy storage to its conversion into mechanical work on board a vehicle. The recently secured £61m investment for a new facility in Bristol and Bath Science Park will deliver significant new test facilities and collaboration space to propel the team into a global leading position.


Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

Funding Notes

Funding is for up to three and a half years. It includes UK/EU tuition fees, training support fee of £1,000 per annum and a Maintenance stipend of £14,777 per annum (2018/9). EU students are eligible for a full award if they have lived, worked or studied within the UK for 3 years prior to the funding commencing.

Successful applicants will ideally have graduated with a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree in Engineering (Mechanical, Automotive, Chemical or related subject.)

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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