PhD Studentship: Fatigue initiation and propagation optimization in complex layered bearing archite

Southampton, United Kingdom
Mar 24, 2017
Mar 23, 2018
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Type
PhD / Doctoral
PhD Studentship: Fatigue initiation and propagation optimization in complex layered bearing architectures.

Engineering Mats & Surface Engineerg Gp

Location: Highfield Campus

Closing Date:  Friday 23 March 2018

Reference: 855117BX

Project Reference: EngSci-MATS-293

Plain half shell journal bearings are used in a wide range of turbomachinery shaft applications, including marine, automotive and power generation applications.  These bearings have to be conformable and fatigue resistant under quite complex service loading conditions.  Complex layered architectures may offer a tuneable approach to optimizing fatigue performance in terms of controlling initiation behavior and growth behavior (sometimes these two effects may play out in opposing ways).  Currently a somewhat empirical approach is employed by manufacturers to identify the number, thickness and type of the different layers in the thin overlay coating.  Work at Southampton University has now identified a consistent way in which to track the initiation and early stages of fatigue growth (using thermography techniques) and provided a detailed assessment of crack initiation and growth in the various layered constructions provided to date (using FIB and other advanced microscopy techniques).  A follow-on PhD is now planned to apply these newly developed and validated techniques (mechanical testing, strain analysis, thermography and advanced microcopy characterization) to a systematic set of variations in overlay coating architecture (spacing, thickness, separation etc of hard and soft layers).  These will be produced by the student via electroplating approaches at the sponsor company’s new purpose built laboratory and they will then evaluate this systematic set of parametric explorations in terms of how this controls fatigue behavior.  These findings will help to develop and validate a materials modeling and simulation framework based on these findings to investigate optimization of the layered architecture for fatigue performance. An enhanced stipend of £16, 500 tax-free is available to UK-eligible applicants



The ideal candidate for this project will have a bachelors or master degree in mechanical, aerospace or materials engineering and have studied some fracture mechanics at undergraduate level.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof. Philippa Reed, Engineering Materials research group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 3763.



To apply, please use the following website:

Further details:

  • Job Description and Person Specification