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PhD Studentship in Contact Fatigue Damage Mechanisms in Machine Elements

Project Description

Applications are invited for a research studentship in the field of rolling contact fatigue leading to the award of a PhD degree.

The available PhD studentship forms an integral part of a large research programme into fundamentals of rolling contact fatigue damage in highly-stressed, rolling-sliding contacts, such as those found in gears, rolling bearings and cam-follower systems. The overall research programme involves both experimental and numerical aspects of contact fatigue and we will be glad to discuss with you which of those two aspects may be more suited to your professional interests and set the aims of the PhD project accordingly. The project will be based in the Tribology Group, which is internationally recognised for its excellence in contact fatigue research.

The experimental part of this research programme will utilise several rigs available in our research group, such as the triple-disc contact fatigue rig, to initiate and propagate fatigue cracks under controlled conditions. The generated surface damage, from small cracks that are 10s of microns in length, to larger pits, will subsequently be analysed using various techniques including SEM, TEM and X-ray imaging. Novel in-situ crack detection techniques will also be employed. The numerical modelling aspects of the programme will be conducted in parallel and will aim to model crack initiation and propagation, including the relevant effects of material microstructure. Several in-house modelling tools, including crystal plasticity algorithms and contact mechanics solvers, will be utilised for this purpose in addition to selected commercial packages. Hence, the candidates suitable for this aspect of the research programme will have some previous experience of numerical modelling, although the exact numerical tools used are less important as all relevant training will be provided.

This PhD studentship involves regular contact with industry including visits to SKF’s research facilities in Europe and giving presentations to industrial experts. In addition, you will have opportunities to attend and present your research at major international conferences, including in the US and Japan, as well as publish scientific papers in the relevant journals.

You will be an enthusiastic and self-motivated person who meets the academic requirements for enrolment for the PhD degree at Imperial College London. You will have a first degree in mechanical engineering, materials, physics or a related subject, and an enquiring and rigorous approach to research. Good written and oral communication skills are essential.

To find out more about research at Imperial College London in this area, go to:

For information on how to apply, go to:

Interested applicants should send an up-to-date curriculum vitae to Dr Kadiric () or Prof Dini (). Suitable candidates will also be required to complete an electronic application form at Imperial College London in order for their qualifications to be assessed by College Registry.

Closing date: until post filled

Imperial Managers lead by example.

Committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are also an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Two Ticks Employer, and are working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people

Funding Notes

The post is fully-funded with a generous tax-free bursary of up to £20k pa and fees (at the UK/EU student rate only) provided by our industrial partner, SKF, the world’s largest rolling bearing manufacturer.

Related Subjects

How good is research at Imperial College London in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 172.80

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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