In the most recent understanding of the lubrication mechanisms in natural synovial joints it remains uncertain as to how ultra-low friction is generated. This ultra-low friction facilitates high loading, dynamic shock response and minimal wear damage, whereby the cartilage material is poroelastic and fluid flows to and from the contacting interface during operation.
Inspired by biology, engineers aim to design poroelastic bearings in which lubrication is boosted by the flow of fluid into and out of the contacting materials. We are looking for an enthusiastic graduate with an interest in fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, tribology, engineering materials and physiology to join the School of Mechanical Engineering anytime up to September 2019.
The project will be largely computational and will involve the development of new modelling techniques for poroelastic lubrication mechanisms. There will be a range of modelling challenges to overcome including anisotropic material properties, shear-thinning fluids, viscoelastic solids and lubricating films. Imaging techniques will be used to create representative geometries and open source software implemented to allow wide dissemination of the research.
Funding covers the cost of fees and provides a maintenance matching the Research Council UK rate (£15,009 for 2019/20 ). Funding duration is 3.5 years. UK and EU applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance.