PhD Studentship in Dynamics and Control of Large Mechanical Structures

University of Cambridge - Department of Engineering

The inerter is a new passive mechanical device whose use has been pioneered for suspension systems in the Formula One industry. There is interest to apply such methods to large systems, e.g. earthquake damage mitigation in tall buildings, space tethers, railway suspensions. The motivation for this project is the control of vibrations in very long high aspect ratio drillstrings, which cause costly damage to mechanical and electronic components of the drillstring. The research seeks both a general framework to apply advanced mechanical control methods to such problems and specific solutions for the motivating example. Opportunities exist for close collaboration with the industrial partner, access to advanced facilities, and experimental testing of promising methods resulting from the research. The project falls under the control engineering EPSRC research area, and has many common elements with other areas: complex dynamics, modelling of nonlinear effects, implementation constraints for control solutions.

Supervisor: Prof M.C. Smith ( Industrial supervisor: Dr Joachim Sihler of Schlumberger Cambridge Research Ltd.

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2.1 degree (and preferably a Masters degree) in an Engineering or a related subject. Candidates should preferably have a background in dynamics, control and/or mechanical systems.

The studentship is for up to 3.5 years and includes full University and College fees, a maintenance allowance of £14,296 per year and a Schlumberger top-up of £3000 per annum. Home students are eligible for a full award. EU students do not qualify for the maintenance unless they have been permanent residents in the UK for the 3 years preceding October 2017. Overseas students are not eligible.

To apply, please complete form CHRIS /6 (cover sheet for CVs) available at and send it with your C.V. and a covering letter to to arrive no later than 31 March 2017. The successful applicant will be required to submit a formal application via the University of Cambridge Graduate Admissions web pages:

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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South East England