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Wheel/Rail Interface Tribology PhD - ’Influence of Microstructural Properties on wheel and Rail Wear and Damage’

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project is funded by the Virtual Vehicle Research Center in Graz, Austria and will involve close collaboration with another PhD student based there. The research involves development and planning of small and full-scale tests to investigate the influence of microstructural properties of wheel and rail materials on their wear, rolling contact fatigue (RCF) and thermal induced damage (e.g., white etching layers (WELs). Analysis of materials post-test will be carried out using a range of techniques (SEM, indentation hardness measurement and EBSD to study grain deformation and work hardnening; surface profilometry and XRD to establish surface changes; micro-CT for wear debris analysis). The successful applicant will have access to the University’s Doctoral Development Programme – training designed to develop their research and personal skills. There will be an opportunity to publish the outcomes of the work in journals and at key conferences (e.g., Contact Mechanics and Wear of the Rail-Wheel Systems – CM2021 in Melbourne, Australia).

Applicants will need to have a undergraduate/Masters degree in mechanical engineering, materials science or physics. Knowledge of Tribology would be beneficial (training can be given if you don’t have this) as well as experience of carrying out experiments. Good team working ability and good writing and presentation skills are also required.

The project offers a chance to join the biggest wheel/rail interface research group in the UK/Europe; an opportunity to work on an international platform collaborating with the other PhD student on the project who will work on modelling of the wear/damage.

The anticipated start date for the project is February 2019.

For more information please contact Professor Roger Lewis (; +44 114 2227838).

Funding Notes

The bursary is at the standard EPSRC rate (£14,777 in 2018/19) and is only open to EU/UK students.

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