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Optimising surfaces and lubricant combinations in sustainable hydrogen and hydrogen mix combustion engines

   Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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  Mr P King, Dr Nicholas Morris  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering has seen 100% of its research impact rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, underlining the wide-ranging positive impacts that our research has on the world (REF, 2021).

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. Find out more.


As the world pushes towards the end of conventional petrol and diesel engines in on and off highway applications, there is a push towards hydrogen combustion, particularly in larger vehicles. (off-highway excavators, military vehicles and trucks >7 tonnes.) Hydrogen combustion, however, poses a number of challenges in the effects of hydrogen on surfaces within the engine (material changes, embrittlement etc.) and the lack of lubricity of the hydrogen across all facets of the engine systems from fuel pumps, injectors, cam/tappet, cylinder/piston and other bearing interactions.

This PhD research project will investigate the suitability of coating materials and corresponding lubricant combinations under such conditions, exploring the physical interactions produced in such highly challenging situations.

Supported by an experienced and dedicated supervisory team, this PhD research project will use a combined experimental and state-of-the-art numerical prediction approach, investigating the effects of hydrogen fuelling on the component/lubricant systems to develop the design of next-generation systems.

The researcher will benefit from world-class research training at Loughborough University, enabling them to gain high-level technical skills in areas such as tribology, high-performance coatings and fluid film lubrication. The group has extensive links with industrial partners in automotive, truck and agricultural vehicle industries, as well as in motorsport. There will also be opportunities to attend international conferences and interact with leading industries within the field.

In the first instance to discuss the research and gain further insight and support about the application process please contact [Email Address Removed] or [Email Address Removed] for more information.


Primary supervisor: Paul King

Secondary supervisor: Nick Morris

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Automotive Engineering or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree will be an advantage.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.


All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select 'Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering'. Please quote the advertised reference number: P2SAM22-13 in your application.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.

Apply now

Funding Notes

If awarded, the studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £16,062 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK rate. While we welcome applications from international students, please be advised that it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available. Successful candidates will be notified end of October 2022.
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