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   Monday, August 29, 2022  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

When a structure has many components it is difficult to predict how it will vibrate. Computer programs can model the individual components but cannot usually combine them in a realistic manner. The research will involve experimental and computational studies to investigate how best to model structures built-up from components. The problem with vibration is the danger of resonance. Small forces may cause large amplitudes of vibration if resonant conditions occur. Thus the research will focus on the role of the connections between components during resonance. The work will take place in fully equipped research laboratories which are supported by laboratory technicians and computer facilities.

Frictional interfaces hold structures together but their dynamics cannot be predicted. Examples of frictional interfaces are connections between components, bolted joints, cables and shafts. Our understanding is so poor that basic experiments are needed to fully appreciate how a joint behaves. Previous work has identified that in a joint there is a static contact patch which is then distorted during dynamic motion. Understanding the dimensions of this contact patch and the forces and motions in the frictional interface is the next stage. This PhD will focus on understanding static and dynamic contact patches and developing models.

The overall objective is to develop suitable models that can be used in computer simulation. Currently no such models are available. This PhD is suitable either for students interested in fundamental research or for students who wish to work on model development. The student should have a good understanding of dynamics and stress. The research will be conducted in a fully equipped laboratory with technician support and workshop staff.

Funding Notes

This is a fully funded studentship. The cost of the PhD programme, including tuition fees, will be met jointly by AWE and Cranfield University. The student will receive the standard EPSRC bursary (approximately £15000 per annum with no tax to pay). The PhD is expected to last three years.


Applicants should have standard academic entry requirements for the University. (First or Second class honours in related area)

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