PhD Studentship in Shell University Technology Centre

Applications are invited for a research studentship in the field of Fuels and Lubricants, leading to the award of a PhD degree. The post is supported by a bursary and fees (due to funding restrictions this is at the UK/EU student rate only) and sponsored by Shell. The studentship is for three and a half years from December 2013.

It is of paramount importance to develop fuels and lubricants that provide low friction, to improve machine efficiency and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  However strategies to reduce friction must not lead to any increase in wear.  The proposed research programmes will involve fundamental studies of the influence of fuel and lubricant additives on friction and wear in engines. 

The PhD project is sponsored by the Shell University Technology Centre (UTC) for Lubricants and Fuels based in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, and will take place in the Department’s Tribology Group and Thermofluids Division.  The Tribology Group has an international reputation for research excellence and comprises more than 20 PhD students as well as many post-doctoral researchers and academic staff.  It offers a vibrant and multicultural working environment. The Thermofluids Division has an internationally leading record, established over several decades, in pure and applied research into Combustion, Fluid Flow and Heat and Mass Transfer.  It has well equipped recently refurbished laboratories with an extensive range of advanced laser diagnostic instrumentation and extensive computer facilities.  It comprises more than 70 PhD students, 10 Post-doctoral research associates and 14 academic staff.

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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 Chemical or Mechanical Engineering, Materials, Physics 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, thermofluids 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.  The project will involve close collaboration with Shell and you will be expected to visit and communicate with various Shell centres around the world.

For further details of the post please contact Dr Sarah Matthews (, Professor Hugh Spikes ( or Professor Bill Jones ( Interested applicants should email an up-to-date curriculum vitae to Dr Matthews. Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form available on the Imperial College London website in order for their qualifications to be assessed by the College Registry.

Closing date: 31 December 2013 (Midnight GMT)

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