Imperial College London

Dr James P. Ewen

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

Research Associate (EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship)



j.ewen Website CV




462City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr. James P. Ewen is a Research Associate in the Tribology Group, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London. He is a co-organiser of Web Seminar Series on Tribology (WeSST).

He studies solid-liquid interfaces using molecular simulations. Most of his research involves identifying links between the nanoscale behaviour of lubricants and their macroscale performance. His research is highly interdisciplinary in nature and is of direct relevance to industry. As such, he has collaborated with several industrial (Shell, SKF, Afton Chemical, Baker Hughes) and academic (ETH Zürich, UNIMORE, University of Saarland, UC Merced) partners to help solve important engineering problems. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology, 

He was awarded the Innovation in Tribology Award by the IOP in 2019 and the Tribology Bronze Medal in 2018 by the IMechE. In 2017, he was received a Doctoral Prize Fellowship from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). In the same year, he was awarded the Margaret Fishenden Centenary Memorial Prize for the best PhD Thesis in the Department of Mechanical Engineering over the previous 5-year period. 

He completed his PhD in the Tribology Group at Imperial College London, under the supervision of Prof. Daniele Dini and Prof. Hugh Spikes in 2017. His CASE PhD studentship was co-funded by Shell and the EPSRC and he has spent 15-month placed in Shell technology centres around the world during his undergraduate and post-graduate studies. He graduated from the University of Bath with a Masters in Chemistry degree (First Class Hons.) in 2014.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Ewen JP, Ayestarán Latorre C, Gattinoni C, et al., 2020, Substituent effects on the thermal decomposition of phosphate esters on ferrous surfaces, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol:124, ISSN:1932-7447, Pages:9852-9865

Zhang J, Ewen JP, Ueda M, et al., 2020, Mechanochemistry of zinc dialkyldithiophosphate on steel surfaces under elastohydrodynamic lubrication conditions, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Vol:12, ISSN:1944-8244, Pages:6662-6676

Ewen J, Gao H, Mueser M, et al., 2019, Shear heating, flow, and friction of confined molecular fluids at high pressure, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Vol:21, ISSN:1463-9076, Pages:5813-5823

Gattinoni C, Ewen JP, Dini D, 2018, Adsorption of Surfactants on alpha-Fe2O3(0001): A Density Functional Theory Study, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol:122, ISSN:1932-7447, Pages:20817-20826

Ewen JP, Kannam SK, Todd BD, et al., 2018, Slip of Alkanes Confined between Surfactant Monolayers Adsorbed on Solid Surfaces, Langmuir, Vol:34, ISSN:0743-7463, Pages:3864-3873

Ewen JP, Gattinoni C, Zhang J, et al., 2017, On the effect of confined fluid molecular structure on nonequilibrium phase behaviour and friction, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Vol:19, ISSN:1463-9076, Pages:17883-17894

Ewen JP, Gattinoni C, Morgan N, et al., 2016, Nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of organic friction modifiers adsorbed on iron oxide surfaces, Langmuir, Vol:32, ISSN:0743-7463, Pages:4450-4463

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