4 PhD Studentships in Contact Fatigue Damage Mechanisms in Machine Elements

Applications are invited for research studentships in the field of rolling contact fatigue mechanisms leading to the award of a PhD degree. All posts are fully-funded with a bursary and fees (at the UK/EU student rate) provided by our industrial partner, SKF, the world’s largest rolling bearing manufacturer.

 The 4 available PhD studentships form an integral part of a large research programme into fundamentals of rolling contact fatigue damage in highly-stressed, rolling-sliding contacts, such as those found in gears, rolling bearings and cam-follower contacts. The research programme involves both experimental and numerical aspects of contact fatigue and we will be glad to discuss with you which specific PhD project is most suited to your professional background and interests. Please submit only one application and we will consider you for all 4 available studentships. The studentships will be based in the Tribology Group, which is internationally recognised for its excellence in contact fatigue research.

 The experimental part of the programme will utilise several rigs available in our research group, such as triple-disc contact fatigue rig, to initiate and propagate fatigue cracks under controlled conditions. In addition to experimental testing, projects will involve analyses of the generated surface damage, from small cracks, 10s of microns in length, to larger pits, as well as the surrounding steel microstructure using  various techniques including SEM, TEM and X-ray imaging. The numerical modelling aspects of the programme will be conducted in parallel and will aim to model crack initiation and propagation, including the relevant effects of material microstructure. Several in-house modelling tools, including crystal plasticity algorithms and contact mechanics solvers, will be utilised for this purpose in addition to selected commercial packages. Hence, the candidates suitable for this part of the programme will have some previous experience of numerical modelling, although the exact numerical tools used are less important as all relevant training will be provided.  

PhD studentships involve regular contact with industry including visits to SKF’s research facilities in Europe and giving presentations to industrial experts. In addition, you will have opportunities to attend and present your research at major international conferences, including in the US and Japan, as well as publish scientific papers in the relevant journals.

You will be an enthusiastic and self-motivated person who meets the academic requirements for enrolment for the PhD degree at Imperial College London. You will have a first degree in mechanical engineering, materials, physics or a related subject, and an enquiring and rigorous approach to research. Good written and oral communication skills are essential.

To find out more about research at Imperial College London in this area, go to:


For information on how to apply, go to:


Interested applicants should send an up-to-date curriculum vitae to Dr Kadiric (a.kadiric@imperial.ac.uk) or Prof Dini (d.dini@imperial.ac.uk). Suitable candidates will also be required to complete an electronic application form at Imperial College London in order for their qualifications to be assessed by College Registry.

Closing date: until post filled

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PhD Opportunities in the SKF UTC

The UTC is always looking for talented PhD students and post-doctoral researchers. Research topics vary but the general information about the set-up and requirements for our PhD and post-doctoral positions is provided below. If you are interested in joining us and would like to find out about any current vacancies please use the contact details below to get in touch.

The research position will be based in the SKF University Technology Centre (UTC) which is funded by SKF, leading global manufacturer of rolling bearings, seals, lubrication systems and mechatronics. The UTC works in close collaboration with SKF’s own Engineering Research Centre (ERC) in the Netherlands and the researchers will have the opportunity to spend some of their time at the ERC and experience first hand the application of scientific research in an industrial environment. UTC is part of the Tribology Group at Imperial College London, which is one of the largest Tribology research groups in the world, with extensive experimental and numerical research facilities and an international reputation for research excellence. The Group includes a number of PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and academic staff and offers a vibrant and multicultural working environment.

You will be an enthusiastic and self-motivated person and, if applying for a PhD position, will need to meet the academic requirements for enrolment for the PhD degree at Imperial College London. You will have a background in Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials, or a related field and an enquiring and rigorous approach to research, together with a strong intellect and disciplined work habits. Training will be given in tribology and the relevant investigative techniques. You will become a skilled communicator, comfortable in an international situation. Good team-working, observational and communication skills are essential.

For further details of the post please contact Dr A Kadiric (a.kadiric@imperial.ac.uk, +44(0)2075941717). Interested applicants should send a up-to-date curriculum vitae. Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form available on the Imperial College London website.

Committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are also an Athena Bronze SWAN Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion and a Two Ticks Employer