PhD Student - Department of Electromechanical, Systems and Metal Engineering

Ghent, Flanders, be
Company: Ghent University
Category: Computer and Mathematical Occupations
Published on 2021-06-20 02:05:37

Last application date May 01, 2021 00:00

Department TW08 - Department of Electromechanical, Systems and Metal Engineering

Contract Limited duration

Degree Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Occupancy rate 100%

Vacancy type Research staff

Job description

Context – High performant and power-dense electromechanical systems (e.g. weaving looms, compressors, gearboxes, drivetrains, …) need oil lubrication to reduce friction and resulting in wear in the contact between two surfaces and to efficiently dissipate heat from the contact points.

On the one hand, these systems contain multiple oil-lubricated bearings of various types, which typically operate under different and/or varying conditions (load, speed, temperature). Ideally, the lubrication properties have been adapted to these operating conditions. However, in practice each individual bearing operates under suboptimal lubrication conditions, leading globally to an increased Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) due to reduced energy efficiency, reduced component lifetime, and increased maintenance and downtime. At Ghent University, techniques are being developed to actively control and optimize the local lubricant thermomechanical properties. On the other hand, proper lubrication of gears is extremely important in a number of industrial applications, including wind turbines and automotive. A plethora of diagnostics indicators, based on signal processing and machine learning applied on indirect measurement techniques (e.g. acceleration, sound, rotational speed, etc.) have been proposed to monitor the damage evolution in gears but rarely are compared with a direct damage measurement based on camera images.

In this project, detailed experimental tribology studies of lubricated contacts (bearings and gears) will be performed to gain an understanding of the mechanisms at play in lubricated contacts in state-of-the-art electromechanical systems.

Your tasks – The envisioned Ph.D. focuses on the development of experimental methodologies to study the behavior of lubricated bearings and gears at realistic dynamic operating conditions. Test rig design and proper instrumentation of test rigs will be an essential task to enable measuring the relevant properties. This will go hand in hand with modeling efforts that are ongoing within the research group. The candidate will be in close contact with collaborators in Flanders.

Job profile

1. You hold a Master's degree in (Electro-)Mechanical Engineering.
2. You have a strong motivation for conducting scientific research at a high level.
3. You possess good analytical and technical skills
4. You have an affinity with Tribology.
5. You take responsibility for the development of your project in a well-structured, thorough way, and you’re able to solve problems independently. You display creativity in solving problems, generating ideas, or finding new ways of working.
6. You have an open personality and willing to contribute to the team and participate in didactic projects.
7. You have excellent communication skills in English, both orally and in writing.

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