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Net-negative surfaces: Design, development and testing

   School of Engineering

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  Dr S Goel  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

In a simple sense, net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. It may be argued here that in other sense, energy can be seen as an investment into making a component, i.e., if the energy incurred in producing a component is recovered back from the component by its energy generation or harvesting capability then it can be said that the component is net-negative. This is because the component will itself be able to save/produce energy that would have otherwise required that much of gas/oil.

This project thus defines a new concept of “Net-negative surfaces” – which are surfaces that would possess functionalities including energy storage, energy harvesting, or even the capacity to reduce the amount of energy that is otherwise incurred during tribology and wear application while deploying such components. These for example not only will include solar cells, which directly produces energy but also nanopatterned gear tooth which will achieve improved longevity and reduce the efforts in repair of gear tooth. Yet another example could be altering the surfaces of soda lime glass to behave like boro silicate glass and this will make the glass manufacturing leap in to net negative paradigm

The project will use a combination of simulation methods, together with experimentations involving, subtractive and additive manufacturing techniques to design and test surfaces with functionalities to return the energy spent in producing it. This way a new view of Net negativity will be tested and a prototype application be demonstrated.

Supervisory Team:

The successful applicant will be working Prof Saurav Goel at Southwark Campus of LSBU. Prof Goel is an Associate Director of the EPSRC Networkplus in Digitalised Surface Manufacturing ( which is run jointly with the University of Manchester.  As part of this project, you will be benefitted from a wide range of training tools. Informal enquiries should be directed to Prof Saurav Goel ([Email Address Removed]).


Applicants must be of outstanding academic merit and should have (or be expected to gain) either a first class or an upper second-class Honours degree (or the international equivalent), or an MSc/MRes with distinction. Enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates from all countries with a background in either Engineering, Materials Science, Physics or Mathematics or a related discipline are encouraged to apply. Candidates should be able to demonstrate that they are highly motivated, have excellent communication skills and undertake challenging tasks using their own initiative.

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