PhD Studentship: Advanced Rolling Element Bearing Lifing Methods: The Quantification of Surface and Subsurface Damage using Surface Roughness Data

University of Nottingham - Engineering

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship (3 years) to work within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham in association with SMT.

Project Background

Bearings play a crucial role in the design/operation of many machines and, as the world places greater demands on efficiency and reliability, there develops a tremendous need for the accurate prediction of bearing failure/degradation. A PhD project, supported by SMT, is due to commence at the University of Nottingham in the field of bearing failure prediction and applications are invited from prospective students. More specifically, research is to be conducted in applying/developing analytical approaches reported in the literature for the quantification of surface and subsurface damage in rolling element bearings. The work will look to:

  • Determine surface roughness profiles for deep groove ball and cylindrical roller element bearings. 
  • Determine local pressure fields for “rough” surface conditions (using a mixed lubrication model and assuming a range of loading conditions) and consequently the surface stress distributions.
  • Evaluate damage contributions due to surface and subsurface (Hertzian contact controlled) loading profiles and estimate the likelihood of failure.
  • Package analysis methods in an easy to use computational toolbox.


  • Full funding (fees and stipend) available for UK and EU candidates. International candidates are encouraged to apply but are advised that the studentship will only cover the fees (no stipend).
  • Candidates must possess or expect to obtain, a 2:1 or 1st class degree in Engineering or a Physical Sciences related discipline. Applicants with a Mechanical and/or Materials Engineering background are strongly encouraged to apply. 
  • Candidates will be available to start on 1st October 2018. 

How to apply 

Please send a copy of your covering letter, CV and academic transcripts to referring to the project title. Please note applications without an academic transcript will not be considered. Informal enquiries also to be sent to Dr James Rouse.

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Midlands of England