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The Bio-tribology of Personal Care Products in Consumer-relevant Environments

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M Carre
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

We have a vacancy for a bright, enthusiastic and self-motivated PhD student to join the Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Tribology (iT-CDT) at the University of Sheffield in October 2020. The project is sponsored by Unilever and will link up with their in-house R&D in beauty and personal care.

About the Project:

The physical human interaction between hands, hair and skin in the presence of personal care products (e.g. shampoo, lotion, deodorant etc.) is a key driver to a positive consumer experience. Critical to these interactions is the complex tribology occurring at the contacting surfaces and this is affected by soft-matter loading and frictional behaviour, lubrication and skin biomechanics. This project will build on existing expertise in these areas to examine bio-tribological interactions, replicating real-word scenarios in a lab environment through the use of simulant test-beds and techniques that assess the key physical parameters (optical coherence topography; ultrasonography; skin characterisation; tribometry; surface analysis; strain measurement). Understanding the tribological behaviour in consumer-relevant environments will enable performance screening protocols to be developed for beauty and personal care products. These will be realised within the R&D laboratories of the sponsoring company, Unilever, to deliver real-world impact.

For further information, please contact Prof Matt Carré – [Email Address Removed]

About the Centre:

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Tribology (iT-CDT) is a partnership with The University of Sheffield and University of Leeds, set up with funding provided through the EPSRC and is currently funded through industrial partnerships and other research funding sources.

We are a training and research facility for PhD students offering 3.5 year fully funded PhD projects, along with a training which has been designed to provide the relevant tribology training to students with engineering and physical sciences background.


• 1st or 2:1 degree in Engineering, Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Mathematics or other Relevant Discipline.

Please apply directly through the University online system, using this project description and assigning Prof Carré as supervisor:

Funding Notes

The funding covers the cost of tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard UK research rate (£15,285 in 2020/21). This studentship is only available for UK / EU applicants resident in the UK for at least 3 years immediately preceding the start of the course.

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