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Applications are invited for a research studentship in the field of Tribology, leading to the award of a PhD degree. The post is supported by a bursary and fees (at the UK/EU student rate only) provided by our industrial partners. The studentship is for three years from July 2013.

The proposed research program will involve studying the initiation and growth of rolling contact fatigue cracks in non-conformal lubricated contacts with emphasis on rolling element bearing applications. In addition, the interaction of lubricant additives with the steel microstructure and composition is of interest. The project is largely experimental and the research will utilise a number of investigative techniques available in the Tribology Group, including the micro-pitting-rig (MPR), ball-on-disc tribometer (MTM rig), AFM, SEM as well as other, proprietary techniques. The research results could lead to significant improvements in efficiency and reliability of various machine components and rolling element bearings in particular.


The PhD will be based in the SKF University Technology Centre (UTC) which is funded by SKF, leading global manufacturer of rolling bearings, seals, lubrication systems and mechatronics. The UTC works in close collaboration with SKFs own Engineering Research Centre (ERC) in the Netherlands and the PhD student will have the opportunity to spend some of their time at the ERC and experience first hand the application of scientific research in an industrial environment. UTC is part of the Tribology Group at Imperial College London, which is one of the largest Tribology research groups in the world, with extensive experimental and numerical research facilities and an international reputation for research excellence. The Group includes a number of PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and academic staff and offers a vibrant and multicultural working environment.

UK requirements for international applications

Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.

University requirements

Program requirements


You will be an enthusiastic and self-motivated person who meets the academic requirements for enrolment for the PhD degree at Imperial College London. You will have a background in Mechanical Engineering, Materials, Chemical Engineering or a related field and an enquiring and rigorous approach to research, together with a strong intellect and disciplined work habits. Training will be given in tribology and the relevant investigative techniques. You will become a skilled communicator, comfortable in an international situation. Good team-working, observational and communication skills are essential.

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