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Study of oil leakage and power loss from radial shaft seals used in automotive power transmission systems


Project Description

A fully funded PhD Studentship Co-sponsored by EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) scheme and automotive industry

Reference: RR190916

The EPSRC and industrial partner (NEAPCO) are providing a fully funded PhD studentship based at Loughborough University.

The Studentship will run for 3.5 years and includes:
• A fee waiver equivalent to the home/EU rate
• An EPSRC tax-free stipend currently at £14,296 p.a. for 3.5 years.

Due to funding restrictions, this is only available to those who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. In order to qualify for a full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the minimum UK residency requirement https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/eligibility/

Radial shaft seals are frequently used in power transmission systems to prevent oil leakage. The importance of these components for operational reliability provides a great challenge for the industry. Pertinent design and standardisation of key surface parameters such as surface texture and machine lead angle or shaft lead are paramount. The former is an inherent property of any surface, which is also commonly referred to as surface roughness whilst the latter is formed during manufacture of the shafts.

The often contradictory objectives of efficiency, effective sealing and reliability require a combined numerical and experimental approach. A numerical model accounting for surface interactions and hydrodynamic flow in the mixed regime of lubrication will be created. The numerical model will be used to understand the underlying physics and inform design. In parallel, a component level test rig will be created to experimentally validate the numerical model and to benchmark new components designs. Additionally, new standards will be created to characterise the waviness and roughness of the contact surfaces measured using optical interferometers.

Applicants should

• Have a first class honours or good upper second class degree in mechanical/automotive/ aerospace engineering, physics and mathematics.
• Have an appreciation of tribology, automotive transmissions and measurement techniques.
• Demonstrate a keen interest in measurement and numerical analysis
• Good inter-personal and networking skills are required, particularly in interactions with industrial partner of research.

How to Apply
Applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/meme/pg-research/

Informal enquires about the research project should be made to Dr. Nicholas Morris, email: or Dr. Ramin Rahmani, e-mail@

Please quote the reference RR190916 on all correspondence and especially on the application form. Please ensure that you select ‘Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering’ under ‘Programme Name’ on the application form.

Deadline for applications is Wednesday 19th October 2016.

Funding Notes

The Studentship is open to all eligible UK/EU and international/overseas students. It will run for 4 years and it includes:
A fee waiver equivalent to the home/EU rate*
An enhanced EPSRC tax-free stipend of up to £18,000 p.a. for four years.
A personal training budget of £10,000 to support specific training needs.
* Please note that non UK/EU domiciled students will be required to find funding to cover the difference between home/EU fees. All non-UK applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements, details available on the website.

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