The research in this doctoral opportunity will develop a failure model that can represent the combined effect of surface and bending failures in gears to perform reliable health prognostics.

Lack of representative failure models for gear failures causes difficulties in their useful lifetime prediction. Critical operational parameters such as loading, speed and lubrication affect the physics of gear meshing zone in a very complex manner and lead the modelling to an imperfect zone of assumptions. These complexities allow the researchers to use approximations for useful lifetime calculations.

Based on modelling approximations and assumptions, several models have been introduced in academic research domain. But still the models are failure specific and have considered surface failures (i.e. scuffing and pitting) and bending fatigue separately. Practically, there is a very high possibility that a gear is operated under an influence of both types of failures and hence reaches to its breakage well before the life estimated by a failure specific model.  Due to this, a model considering the theoretical aspects of both types of failures can reflect more practicality of gear meshing and can provide more good estimation of useful life.

In this research, a theory will be postulated for the combined mode of gear failures. The theory will be supported by the basic gear failure mathematics and preliminary validation will be done by comparing the results with the existing failure theories. The theoretical mathematical representation will further be used to develop a gear testing simulation. This simulation will test the model on different combination of critical operational parameters. Finally, experimentation will be performed on real gears for the validation.

About Cranfield

Cranfield is an exclusively postgraduate university that is a global leader for transformational research and education in technology and management. Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF) has recognised 81% of Cranfield’s research as world leading or internationally excellent in its quality. Every year Cranfield graduates the highest number of postgraduates in engineering and technology in the UK (Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency Ltd). Cranfield Manufacturing is one of eight major themes at Cranfield University.

The manufacturing capability is world leading and combines a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates design, technology and management expertise. We link fundamental materials research with manufacturing to develop novel technologies and improve the science base of manufacturing research.

The Through-life Engineering Services (TES) Centre are among the world leaders in through-life approaches for high value systems, Condition monitoring, Damage tolerance, Asset management. TES was developed with the support of EPSRC grant of £ 11 million with the aim to develop research excellence and address the research problems in the sector of Through-life Engineering services. TES Centre is providing its state of the art academic and research services to industrial clients such as Boeing, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Meggitt, Thales, MOD, Bombardier, QinetiQ, Thales, Network Rail, Schlumberger and Alstom.

At a glance

  • Application deadlineOngoing
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Duration of award3 years
  • EligibilityUK, EU, Rest of world
  • Reference numberSATM446 & SATM447

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area (e.g. aerospace, automotive, mechanical, and  manufacturing) with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 6.5).

Also, the successful candidate is expected to:

  • Have excellent analytical, reporting and communication skills
  • Be self-motivated, independent and team player
  • Be genuine enthusiasm for the subject and technology
  • Have the willing to publish research findings in international journal.



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

Before completing the application documentation please contact Dr Muhammad Khan for an initial informal discussion about this opportunity.

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form below.

Start date Application deadline  
 30th September 2024  24th July 2024 Apply now 
 27th January 2025  27th November 2024 Apply now

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