EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L01629X/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Tribology
Principal Investigator: Dwyer-Joyce, Professor RS
Other Investigators:
Matthews, Professor A Marshall, Professor MBJ Slatter, Professor T
Rainforth, Professor WM Morina, Professor A Priest, Professor M
Neville, Professor A Wilson, Dr M Lewis, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Cameron Ltd GE Oil & Gas Infineum UK Ltd
National Physical Laboratory NPL Network Rail Philips
Ricardo Group Rolls-Royce Plc (UK) Siemens
Tecvac Ltd
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 April 2014 Ends: 30 September 2023 Value (£): 3,641,918
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Complex fluids & soft solids Eng. Dynamics & Tribology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2013 EPSRC CDT 2013 Interviews Panel C Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The machines, products and devices all around us are full of moving parts; from the tiny read/write head in a hard drive, the prosthetic hip joint, the high speed train rail/wheel interface, the most powerful jet engine, to the giant gearboxes in wind turbines. It is the interacting surfaces in these moving parts where friction occurs and energy is lost. Lubrication is required to control friction and minimise the wear that causes premature failure. Selection of suitable rubbing materials and surface treatments helps to make parts last longer. Tribology is the science that encompasses the study of friction, wear, lubrication and surface engineering. It is a true underpinning technology behind developments in all industry sectors.

This proposal is for a Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Tribology (iT-CDT) to act as a training school and centre for research excellence in tribology. We have established a number of industrial partners who are prepared to make significant cash commitment to the Centre. They will benefit from a supply of highly trained PhD graduates, research focussed on their industry needs, as well as access to a pool of research on generic pre-competitive themes. The two universities are fully supportive of the bid and are providing studentships, staff time, and facilities. The total gearing proposed is £3.75M (45%) from EPSRC, £2.2M from industry (26%), and £2.4M (29%) from the universities.

Integrated Tribology

Integrated across disciplines - the nature of tribology is such that a multi-disciplinary approach is essential: physics of surfaces, chemistry of lubricants, material and surface treatment technologies, and engineering design. The iT-CDT plans to recruit PhD students and undertake PhD projects that span the disciplines of physics, chemistry, materials science and mechanical engineering.

Integrated across industrial sectors - tribology is an underpinning technology in all industry sectors. Many industries face the same generic problems (e.g. operating with thinning films, minimising and/or control of friction, fuel efficiency, reducing maintenance, extreme environments). The iT-CDT plans to integrate across sectors, sharing research expertise and common themes.

Integrated over the product life cycle - tribology is involved at all stages of a product lifecycle - from design, manufacture, maintenance, repair, through to disposal. The iT-CDT plans to have projects that span these stages of the lifecycle and to train students in the appreciation of the lifecycle and its sustainability.

Integrated across length scales - when surfaces rub together, atomic forces at the interface are responsible for friction and adhesion. The molecular structure of the lubricant and its chemical formulation provide protection. Interaction at this nano-scale governs performance at the macro-scale. The iT-CDT plans to integrate across length scales, combining analysis and methods from nano- to macro- in each project.

Integrated across technology readiness level - The iT-CDT plans to give students experience of the different types of research. The Centre's structure of mini-projects, research, and a final impact project will give scope for fundamental pre-competitive research, consultancy type problem solving, and application of research in an industrial environment, respectively.

Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk