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Tribological Challenges of Green Energy Production and Use An Industrially Sponsored Project

   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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  Dr Monica Ratoi  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Supervisory Team:   Dr Monica Ratoi and Dr Brian Mellor

Project description

The reduction of carbon emissions which contribute to climate change requires novel technologies for green energy production and use e.g. wind turbines, hydrogen energy, electric vehicles etc. These raise new challenges for lubricated tribological parts (rolling element bearings, valves etc) which apart from being subjected to high contact pressures, the bearing material needs to resist hydrogen embrittlement and the lubricant must resist degradation. This study will investigate the influence of bearing material composition/type, lubrication and operating conditions on preventing premature failure of bearing steels due to the ingress of atomic hydrogen inadvertently produced at the tribological contact. Although promising materials and classes of lubricants exist, they have not been widely adopted mainly due to the limited methods available to characterise their performance in tribological contacts under specific operating conditions. The proposed research will address these challenges by using novel state-of-the-art methods for investigating rolling contact fatigue, hydrogen embrittlement and the role of bearing materials and lubricants. By understanding the mechanism of this process and how it is influenced by various factors, an informed selection of materials and lubricants will be a deliverable, thus enabling superior energy savings and enhanced fatigue life for the novel green technologies.

This project, supervised by world-class academic and industrial experts in Materials and Lubricants for green technologies is based at the National Centre of Advanced Tribology UK, University of Southampton and will help you achieve a unique set of skills and expertise to become a world’s leading specialist in the tribology of emerging green technologies. Recent UK government energy updates have emphasized the acute need for this highly specialized training.  This is also an excellent opportunity to publish your research in high impact factor journals.

Prospective candidates are required to have a first class or 2:1 degree (if the candidate has both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, this applies to both) in Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Metallurgy, Material Science or Physics and to meet the English language entry requirements qualifications (a minimum IELTS level of 6.5 - with a minimum of 6.0 in each component). This position is open for UK and EU candidates. A supplement to the stipend is available for the right candidate. The start date is 1st July 2022.

For enquiries, please contact the project supervisors: Dr Monica Ratoi and Dr Brian Mellor, University of Southampton, UK.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 1 July 2022, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK and EU students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £15,609 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

 How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2021/22, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Dr Monica Ratoi

Applications should include:

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: [Email Address Removed]

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