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PhD Studentship in Green Tribology: Degradation and lubrication of stern tube seals

   Department of Mechanical Engineering

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a fully funded research studentship in the field of Tribology, leading to the award of a PhD degree. The project starts as soon as the post is filled, and runs for four years.

The project: Stern tube seals are elastomeric seals used in seagoing vessels. Their two main functions are to prevent water ingress into the stern tube and to minimize lubricant spillage into the marine environment and the engine chamber of the vessel. Due to environmental concerns, the use of mineral oils for maritime applications that interface with water is not desirable, and a range of bio-friendly lubricants has been introduced. However, these lubricants cause accelerated degradation of the seals, affecting their functionality and durability.

The aim of the research is to investigate the fundamental degradation mechanisms due to lubricant interaction with the sealing system. We will develop new experimental setups and numerical models to assess and describe the degradation of the seals and link this to the functional performance. This PhD studentship is part of a larger project, and the PhD student will work alongside another PhD student, based at the University of Twente, who will focus on the lubrication aspects of the sealing system. The industry sponsor, AEGIR-Marine, is closely involved in the project and part of the PhD project will be spent at their R&D facilities in the Netherlands, investigating the upscaling of the obtained results to actual seals.

You are an enthusiastic and self-motivated person who meets the academic requirements for enrolment for the PhD degree at Imperial College London. You will have, or are about to receive, a 1st or upper 2nd class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering or a related subject. You have an enquiring, rigorous and hands-on approach to research together with a strong intellect and disciplined work habits. An interest in both experimental work and modelling techniques is essential, as are good observational, team working and communication skills.

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

For information on how to apply, go to:

For further details of the posts contact Dr Marc Masen at . Interested applicants should send an up-to-date curriculum vitae to Dr Masen. Suitable candidates for the post at Imperial College will be required to complete an electronic application form at Imperial College London in order for their qualifications to be addressed by College Registry.

Closing date: when post filled

Funding Notes

The post is supported by a bursary and fees at the UK student rate provided by the Materials Innovation Institute M2i in collaboration with AEGIR-Marine BV. Candidates should fulfil the eligibility criteria for the award. Please check your suitability at the following web site:

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