PhD Studentship Surface engineering of advanced steels

PhD studentship (available from October 2013, only to students eligible to pay ‘home rate’ fees)

Sponsor: EPSRC and Rolls-Royce Doctoral Training Programme

Supervisor: Professor Harry Bhadeshia

Applications are invited for a studentship for a 4 year research programme leading to the award of a Ph.D.

The aim of this project is to develop a thorough understanding of the physical metallurgy of potential solutions and to use materials modelling work to optimise the performance, including cost of manufacture.

For the main aero-engine thrust bearings, operating experience has demonstrated that using race materials that can be surface hardened is essential. This ensures that the bearing can accommodate the very high rolling contact stresses, whilst retaining a tough core to minimise the risk of race failure due to hoop cracking.

In the future, the intention is that these thrust bearings will be hybrid using silicon nitride balls running against a high performance surface hardened steel race, and in order to optimise the rolling contact fatigue life of these bearings it will be necessary to increase the surface hardness whilst achieving other key attributes such as depth of hardness, fatigue performance and corrosion resistance.

The project will involve advanced characterisation methods together with calculations.

The ideal candidate should have a strong background in metallurgy with a preference for steels. The minimum academic requirement for admission is an upper second class UK honours degree at the level of MSci, MEng, MPhys, MChem etc, or a lower second with a good Master’s, in a relevant subject.

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Application packs are available via the Apply link below or from Dr Rosie Ward ( who is happy to answer questions about the admissions process and funding opportunities available. Enquiries about the scientific nature of the work shall be addressed to Professor Harry Bhadeshia (

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