PhD: Molecular Modelling of Lubricant-Solid Interactions that control friction and wear

University of Edinburgh - School of Chemistry

A 42-month PhD iCASE studentship funded by EPSRC and BP is available in the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Professor Philip J. Camp. The studentship is part of a recently announced EPSRC Prosperity Partnership project ‘Preventing Surface Degradation in Demanding Environments’ in collaboration with the University of Manchester, Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Leeds.

Engine lubricants contain additives that carry out many functions, such as modifying frictional properties, reducing corrosion and wear of engine parts, neutralising acids and other corrosive species, dispersing soot particles, and forming tribological films on surfaces. This project will concern large-scale molecular dynamics simulations of the interactions and cooperative behaviour of friction modifiers, dispersants, and acids near the fluid-solid interface under static and shear conditions. The results will complement experimental measurements of adsorption isotherms, spectroscopic and scattering studies of the structures of adsorbed films, and the responses of the films to the high pressures and high shear rates found in engines. There will be close interactions with experimental collaborators, and particularly with Dr Stuart Clarke (Cambridge) and Professor Colin Pulham (Edinburgh).

The studentship is fully funded for 42 months starting as soon as possible, and covers tuition fees and an annual stipend (starting at £14.5k per annum) for a candidate satisfying EPSRC’s criteria.

The successful candidate will possess, or expect to obtain, a first or upper-second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, physics, or chemical engineering. Essential qualities include basic knowledge of statistical mechanics and the properties of condensed matter, and familiarity with a programming language such as Fortran or C/C++. Some prior experience or exposure to molecular-simulation techniques and an interest in HPC are desirable. Other essential attributes are good presentation and communication skills (written and oral). In the first instance, informal enquiries (accompanied by a CV) should be directed to: 

Professor Philip J. Camp
School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, David Brewster Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FJ, Scotland
Tel: +44 131 650 4763

Formal applications are made through the University's EUCLID system.

The position will remain open until filled.

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