Research Associate in Friction: The Tribology Enigma (EPSRC Programme Grant)

University of Sheffield - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Fixed-term for 2.5 years.

In collaboration with The University of Leeds, members of the Leonardo Tribology Centre have been awarded an EPSRC Programme Grant entitled ‘Friction: The Tribology Enigma’. This 5-year project will address the challenge that friction in realistic engineering contacts cannot currently be predicted accurately. The search for a unified model for friction is futile, because friction is system dependent; however, the goal to predict friction at a system level is achievable. Understanding the physical and chemical processes at contacting interfaces is key, and this Programme Grant will contribute to this through the development of improved experimental and numerical simulations of friction.

The post-holder will initially focus on the development of experimental platforms for investigating friction in extreme interfaces. In this project, ‘extreme’ will go beyond the traditional definition of the high loads and/or temperature (e.g. dry machining, oil/gas ball valves) and consider contacts that are highly transitionary (e.g. automotive engine stop/start), and/or exposed to open environments producing/utilising third bodies (e.g. wheel-rail interface), and/or involve complex materials. You will then contribute by variously performing test work, analysing results, and building models.

Applicants must have a PhD (or have equivalent experience) in Engineering or Physical Sciences, or in another relevant discipline that will provide the skills required for the research. Proven capability and experience of high quality experimental research is essential. This is a full-time post, flexible and part-time working would also be considered.

This is a research role in the Department of Mechanical Engineering which has been a major discipline at the University of Sheffield since its foundation in 1905. We have over 80 members of academic and research staff, who, along with more than 100 PhD students, carry out cutting-edge research spanning both fundamental science and industrial applications.

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Northern England