Research Associate

Imperial College London - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Salary Range: Research Associate: £36,800 – £44,220 per annum*

Fixed Term appointment up to 30 September 2018

Friction and wear are encountered in systems involving moving parts. They are frequently mitigated by the use of lubricants. The choice of lubricants depends on the properties of the rubbing pairs and the expected working conditions. When low volatility and chemical inertness are of concern, perfluoropolyether (PFPE) based lubricants are commonly used. While additives are usually added to conventional base oils to improve lubricant performance, the implementation of such strategy in PFPE lubricants is not straight forward. This is because most additives have limited solubility in PFPE. Thus novel additives for PFPE are necessary. This project aims to identify and develop novel additives for PFPE oils and more importantly to understand their working mechanisms. This project is experimental. Working closely with an industrial sponsor and synthetic chemists, our ultimate goal is to develop design guidelines for effective PFPE formulations.

Applications should have, or be near completion of, a PhD in Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering, Materials or Mechanical Engineering (or equivalent).

You will be a very good experimentalist and will have previous experience in additives (both conventional and nanoadditives) and lubrication. You have designed and built your own test setup. Knowledge in thermodynamics of mixing (aggregation and dispersion phenomena), physics of fluids, and fluid mechanics is essential. Knowledge of synthetic chemistry (inorganic) is highly desirable. Experience is tribological testing, surface and bulk characterisations (microscopies and spectroscopies for both solids and solutions) are highly desirable. You will also have strong interest in understanding fundamentally lubrication processes. You are good communicator and a team player who is willing to help in other projects. You will be part of the Tribology Group at Imperial College London and will be comfortable in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment.

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £32,380 - £34,040 per annum.

For informal enquiries about the post please contact Janet Wong at

Our preferred method of application is online via our website. Please click ‘apply’ below or go to (Select “Job Search” then enter the job title or vacancy reference number into “Keywords”). Please complete and upload an application form as directed quoting reference number EN20170375AM. Further information is also available on the job description.

you must submit an application form for our posts along with a CV, if you do not fill in an application form, you will not be considered.

Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to Helen Stoneham at

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