PhD in Development of Ultrasonic Sensors for Machine Bearings at Sheffield

Closing Date
20 December 2019

We have a vacancy for a creative, enthusiastic and self-motivated PhD student to join the Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Tribology (iT-CDT) at the University of Sheffield.

About the Project:

This project is about building sensors to measure wear and oil films in journal bearings. The sensors will generate ultrasound which travels through the bearing shell and reflects back from the contact faces. By analysing this reflection we can determine wear and oil film lubrication.  Such journal bearings are found in all kinds of machines; for example crankshafts in auto-engines, stern tube bearings in oil tankers, or gearbox bearings in wind turbines.

This project is sponsored by Daido Metals who are a leading world-wide manufacturer and supplier of bearings and other engineering components. You will work closely with Daido; developing measurement systems on lab based apparatus at Sheffield and then carrying out trials at their site on their test machines. Over the duration of the PhD you will take the methods from proof of concept to a pre-production prototype. Along the way you will be carrying out fundamental research in acoustics and tribology – how sound waves interact with interfaced and thin layers. The project will aligns with the challenges of Industry 4.0 to build new kinds of sensors to monitor and control machines and components.

Timescales and Funding

The project will begin in October 2019 (although could be scheduled into early 2020). The project is funded by Daido; funding covers fees (at the UK home rate) and a stipend in line with the EPSRC ( with an additional top-up.

About the Centre:

The CDT Centre is a partnership with the University of Sheffield and the University of Leeds, created with funding provided through the EPSRC and is currently funded through industrial partnerships and other research funding sources. You will primarily be registered at Sheffield with partner registration and access to facilities at Leeds.

We are a training and research facility for PhD students offering 3 year fully funded PhD projects which has been designed to provide the relevant tribology training to students with engineering and physical sciences background. We also provide professional skills training needed for either a successful career within industry or academia. The group is around 45 PhD students who are friendly and supportive team.

For further information on the Programme structure please refer to

For further information on the project please contact Prof Rob Dwyer-Joyce –


  • 1st or 2:1 degree in Engineering, Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Mathematics or other Relevant Discipline.
  • Funding is only available to cover the level of fees set for UK / EU applicants resident in the UK for at least 3 years immediately preceding the start of the course.

Please apply directly to the iT-CDT through the University online system:

Posted on 7th November 2019 in Job Opportunities in Acoustics