Research Scholar in Mechanical Engineering

Brisbane, Australia
15 Nov 2017
End of advertisement period
23 Nov 2017
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering

Two PhD Research Scholarships in Rail Mechanics

The University of Queensland's School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering maintains a world-class reputation and is at the cutting-edge of engineering education, research and expert consultation across the fields of mechanical, materials, mining, aerospace and mechatronic engineering.  The School’s reputation for research excellence attracts academia from around the world. Our diverse research programs address the evolving needs of industry and society, and contribute to economic and social development. The School’s established research strengths in hypersonics, light metals, geothermal energy and mining technology, are complemented by continued growth in areas such as solar thermal, composites, steels, surface engineering, metals manufacturing and rock mechanics.

The role

The UQ Rail Mechanics group lead by Prof Paul Meehan are working with a global railway industry partner on a challenging project to predict, detect and control an interesting but undesirable vibrational contact phenomenon occurring in railway bearings; known as false brinelling. The phenomenon occurs during the transportation of new trains and results in vibrations and rapid degradation of the bearings in service. The aim is to design, develop and test new optimised predictive models and on-train monitoring equipment using mechanics based modelling. The algorithms will incorporate state of the art tribological mechanics for bearing vibration and wear that will be tested and tuned using UQ’s unique two disk rolling testrig and on-train measurements. 

Two PhDs are required to join the project team and will perform:

  • design and development of efficient bearing mathematical and numerical simulation models to predict the occurrence and growth of false brinelling.
  • design and development of Finite Element models to do the same.
  • develop experimental and field monitoring systems for false brinelling to understand the phenomena and to validate efficient models
  • design and recommend practices or conditions to avoid false brinelling.
  • report on designs, modelling, lab and field results to industry and academia.

The person

Applicants should have a degree in Mechanical Engineering or equivalent in Mathematics or Science, with a very strong interest in mechanics. The candidate is also required to meet the minimum requirements for entry into the PhD program. The research group is very dynamic and fast moving and hence it is crucial that any candidate is a team player with an independent and professional work ethic. The candidate must have excellent communication skills in terms of both written and spoken English language expression.

Candidates will also need to be aware of and comply with legislation and University policy relevant to the duties undertaken, including:


The scholarship is comprised of a stipend of $30,000.00 per annum for a total of three years with the possibility of a six-month extension. The successful applicant will also have the opportunity to supplement this stipend with paid casual teaching and tutoring.


For specific questions about the role please email Professor Paul Meehan,  


To submit an application for this role, please complete an application to the PhD program online here: Please list Prof. Paul Meehan as the supervisor and list the PhD project you wish to complete as the Scholarship being applied for. All applicants will be required to supply the following documents:

  • A cover letter that addresses how you meet the requirements for the PhD program and addressing the desired skills and attributes;
  • A curriculum vitae detailing education, professional experience, research experience, publications, and relevant competencies;
  • Academic transcript for all post-secondary study undertaken, complete or incomplete, including the institution grading scale;
  • Award certificates for all completed post-secondary study
  • Evidence for meeting UQ’s English language proficiency requirements; and
  • The name and contact details of three referees who can best comment on your prior research experience. UQ will contact your referees directly, but you will need to enter their details into the application form.

Application closing date

Thursday, 23 November 2017 (11:55pm Eastern Australia Standard Time)