PhD Studentship, Lubrication Challenges, Impact of Electrostatic Charges on Bearings

Southampton, United Kingdom
£15,609 per annum
Wednesday, 7 April 2021
End of advertisement period
Tuesday, 6 July 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Mechanical Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Tuesday 31 August 2021
Reference:  1347121DA
Supervisory Team:    Monica Ratoi, Brian Mellor

 Project description

Project fully sponsored by a Leading Oil Company

The proposed research aims to offer a generation of efficient lubricants optimised for the emerging technologies so as to overcome their long-standing problem related to hydrogen embrittlement. The atomic size of hydrogen enables it to diffuse readily through the lattice of solid materials and cause catastrophic failure in high strength steels. Embrittlement by hydrogen has been identified as a major consequence of hydrogen uptake and represents an extra challenge for lubricated tribological parts such as bearings that are normally subjected to high stresses. This study will investigate the influence of bearing material composition or type on preventing premature failure for any given lubricant due to the ingress of hydrogen produced by electrical discharges at the tribological contact. By understanding the mechanism of this process and how it is influenced by several factors, an informed selection of lubricants will be made to deliver superior energy savings and enhanced fatigue life. 

 The research will involve novel methods for investigating rolling contact fatigue, hydrogen embrittlement and the role of bearing materials and lubricants by employing a wide range of state-of-art technology. 

This is a unique opportunity not only to carry out doctoral studies and publish your research in high impact factor journals but also become one of the world’s leading specialist in lubrication for emerging technologies i.e. wind turbines, hydrogen fuel cells, electric vehicles etc. You will undertake interdisciplinary research at the National Centre of Advanced Tribology at University of Southampton, UK under the supervision of international experts in the fields of tribology, lubricant chemistry, and materials technology.  

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Monica Ratoi, nCATS Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 160.

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 31 August 2021 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK 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 Monica Ratoi 

Applications should include

Curriculum Vitae
Two reference letters
Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact:

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