Structures are held together by frictional interfaces such as flanges and bolted joints. What is happening within a joint when a structure vibrates? The behaviour is very unclear and we still have much to learn. Understanding the friction within the joint is vital for structures which must take dynamic loads and may suffer from resonant vibration.  Indeed the energy dissipated by friction within a joint (damping) may be the only mechanism that is preventing destructive resonant behaviour. Read more Read less

Frictional interfaces hold structures together but their dynamics cannot be predicted. Examples of frictional interfaces are connections between components, bolted joints, cables and shafts. Our understanding is so poor that basic experiments are needed to fully appreciate how a joint behaves. Previous work has identified that in a joint there is a static contact patch which is then distorted during dynamic motion. Understanding the dimensions of this contact patch and the forces and motions in the frictional interface is the next stage. This PhD will focus on understanding static and dynamic contact patches and developing models. The overall objective is to develop suitable models that can be used in computer simulation. Currently no such models are available. This PhD is suitable either for students interested in fundamental research or for students who wish to work on model development. The student should have a good understanding of dynamics and stress. The research will be conducted in a fully equipped laboratory with technician support and workshop staff.

At a glance

  • Application deadline15 Oct 2019
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Duration of award3 years
  • EligibilityEU, UK
  • Reference numberPHDCDE03


Dr Hugh Goyder

Entry requirements

Applicants should have standard academic entry requirements for the University. (First or Second class honours in related area)


This is a fully funded studentship. The cost of the PhD programme, including tuition fees, will be met jointly by AWE and Cranfield University. The student will receive the standard EPSRC bursary (approximately £15000 per annum with no tax to pay). The PhD is expected to last three years.

Cranfield Doctoral Network

Research students at Cranfield benefit from being part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and all become valued members of the Cranfield Doctoral Network. This network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for our researchers to share ideas and collaborate in a multi-disciplinary environment. It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events, alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme (transferable skills training), provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities.

How to apply

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form. Please quote the following title and reference number: PhD in "Dynamics of Structures with Frictional Interfaces" with the reference number PHDCDE03. In addition to the application form, please attach a covering or motivational letter as well as a CV.

For further information contact us today:

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T: +44 (0)1793 785220