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PhD position in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics – UT, Netherlands

The Netherlands, University of Twente (UT)

The SKF University Technological Centre for Grease Lubrication at the University of Twente has an opening for a PhD candidate.

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General Info

Position: PhD position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , ,
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: 2.434 to 3.111 Euro/Month

Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET)
University of Twente (UT)
University of Twente (UT)
Enschede, The Netherlands

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Qualification Details

  • You hold a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering or Physics;
  • You have good experimental skills;
  • Good knowledge and demonstrated awareness of modelling using Python, C and/or MATLAB;
  • A strong analytical mind, an eye for detail, and a critical attitude towards assessment of experimental results;
  • You are passionate about learning new concepts and doing original research;
  • You are fluent in English and express yourself easily in speech and in writing.

Responsibilities/Job Description

  • study lubrication mechanisms in grease lubricated roller bearings;
  • study grease churning and bleed behavior in a roller bearing;
  • design an experimental test set-up for film thickness measurements;
  • measure film thickness in cylindrical roller bearings under various operating conditions;
  • further develop a film thickness model for cylindrical roller bearings;
  • closely collaborate with your research team colleagues at the University of Twente;
  • finish your research with a PhD thesis and publish your work in academic journals and at conferences.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: -
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

Applications should at least include the following:

  • Letter of motivation and/or research interest.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • List, with grades, of courses from both Bachelors and Masters degrees.
  • References and, if applicable, a list of publications.

About the Project

The goal of this 4-year project is to measure and model film thickness in grease lubricated cylindrical roller bearings. This requires a thorough understanding of Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication (EHL), thin film lubrication properties of oils, and grease lubrication mechanisms. The overall result is a semi-empirical model for predicting film thickness in cylindrical roller bearings for various greases, under various conditions. This project is executed in close collaboration with SKF, a leading global bearing manufacturer, and Shell, a leading global base stock and lubricant manufacturer.

Bearings are the most widespread machine elements after nuts and bolts. There are more than 50 billion bearings operating in the world at any time. 80-90% of bearings are grease lubricated. The reliability or life of a grease lubricated bearing is dominated by the quality of the lubricating film that separates the rolling elements (balls or rollers) from the rings. The quality of the film is determined by its thickness and lubricity. The film thickness determines the contact intensity from the stresses caused by asperity interaction. Grease lubrication mechanisms can be complex. Unlike oil lubrication in which the contacts are fully flooded, grease lubricated contacts are often starved (with no lubricant in some regions of the contact). Severe starvation can lead to parched lubrication. The challenge here includes developing a consistent model and practical methodology for determining film thickness in cylindrical roller bearings (CRBs).

About the Department

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering with a view to enabling society and industry to innovate and create value using sound, efficient and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading centre for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to some 1,800 Bachelor's and Master's students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates and offers three degree programmes: Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our educational and research programme are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

About the Employer: University of Twente (UT)

Note or Other details

The UT provides a dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a topic of high industrial relevance, excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus. We offer:

  • A full-time 4-year PhD position;
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating international research environment with excellent facilities;
  • You are offered a professional and personal development program within Graduate School Twente;
  • A starting salary of €2.434 gross per month in the first year and a salary of €3.111 in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.

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Contact details

For more information, please contact Dr. Jude A. Osara, PE ( or Piet M. Lugt (


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