Imperial College London

Dr James P. Ewen

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

RAEng Research Fellow



j.ewen Website CV




462City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





In his research, James uses state-of-the-art molecular simulation techniques to study the behaviour of lubricants and additives. Specific methods include:

  • Classical nonequilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) simulations (bulk and confined)
  • Ab initio (first principles) calculations, e.g. density functional theory (DFT)
  • Coupled techniques e.g. quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM)

Particular topics of interest include:

  • Structure and dynamics of confined fluids under extreme pressure and shear conditions
  • Effect of molecular structure on friction and flow behaviour
  • Behaviour of lubricant additives under confinement and shear: organic friction modifiers (OFMs), nanoparticles, anti-wear additives, ionic liquids


Fig 1. Snapshots from NEMD simulations of lubricant (left) and traction fluid (right) molecules, confined between iron oxide surfaces, under high pressure, high shear conditions. Reproduced from J. Ewen et al. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2017,19, 17883

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