Chemistry and models for Aviation Lubricant Degradation

Fully Funded PhD Studentship

Academic supervisor: Dr. Simon Blakey, The University of Sheffield

We are seeking an enthusiastic, motivated individual who wishes to study about underlying of thermal oxidative degradation of aviation lubricants. This is an interdisciplinary research project comprising of elements of thermofluids, chemical kinetics, quantum chemistry and computer programming. The project will use an automated reaction mechanism generator to develop the detailed mechanism for liquid phase autoxidation species representative of synthetic lubricants. The detailed mechanism will be reduced in size with appropriate mathematical methods including sensitivity analysis and species lumping. The reduced mechanism will be expanded with the chemical pathways pertinent to chemistry of antioxidants seen in lubricant compositions. Computational chemistry will be used to ascertain the rate parameters of the reaction steps. Consequently, the robustness of generated mechanism will be assessed with respect to low scale, dynamic lubricant thermal stability test device, and validated at a large scale on a lubricant degradation simulator.

We are offering an opportunity for a 3 year, fully funded PhD, starting in January 2018. This project would suit a candidate with a 1st or 2.1 Bachelor or Master degree in any of following: chemical engineering, chemistry and applied mathematics. Skills in organic reactions (design and data analysis in chemical engineering), numerical work and / or chemical kinetics (preferably using RMG package and programming with C++) are desirable but not essential. Relevant research background in organic chemistry and fuels is favourable. An interest in the development of sustainable aviation fuels is desirable.

The award covers the tuition fees for UK/European students and a stipend of £15,000 per year tax free. International students are also eligible to apply, if the additional cost of the international tuition fees can be met by the applicant.

If you are interested, please apply online at:
with your CV.

For further details, contact
Dr. Simon Blakey
Senior Lecturer
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD
Tel: 0114 2227819

Deadline: 31st August 2018