PhD Studentship in Compound Degradation Modelling within Heavy Machines

University of Southampton School of Engineering

United Kingdom

PhD Studentship in Compound Degradation Modelling within Heavy Machines

School of Engineering
Location: Highfield Campus
Closing Date: Tuesday 30 June 2020
Reference: 1250320DA

Supervisor: Robert Wood

Project description

This EPSRC funded PhD is aligned with a major EPSRC funded research on early wear detection being conducted at the national centre for advanced tribology at Southampton (nCATS). The project would be in collaboration with the Engineering Department at City, University of London. Heavy machines use numerous tribology based systems and the onset of wear within these systems is the main reason why they are made unavailable for use. This decay/damage is typically a result of multiple mechanisms occurring simultaneously and the evolution is poorly understood. This project will develop compound degradation modelling within heavy machines in partnership with Shell, GE Aviation, Schaeffler and Senseye. It will aim to provide predictive capabilities of remaining useful life (RUL) of systems. The research will start with existing physics and materials based models of multiple degradation modes and develop a framework to model the interaction between the different modes of degradations. This compound degradation model will also incorporate uncertainties involved to support the RUL prediction. Such modelling would be validated by experiments on tribometers and real engineering systems using wear sensor arrays with embedded electronics that will allow far better spatial and temporal resolution of tribological contact decay mechanisms (surface, subsurface and lubricant). Data and model outputs would be fed into machine learning algorithms for robust trend recognition and life prediction. This dual site PhD would allow research to be conducted at both Southampton and City Universities.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Professor Robert Wood, nCATS Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4881.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 30 June 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Applications should be made online, please select the academic session 2020-21 “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Robert Wood under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include:

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact:

In your application, please refer to