Context – High performant and power-dense electromechanical systems (e.g. weaving looms, compressors, gearboxes, drivetrains, …) need oil lubrication to reduce friction and resulting wear in rolling element bearings 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 in bearings, by means of in-situ thermal conditioning of the lubricant and the bearing surfaces, as well as control of mass flow rates.

Your tasks – The envisioned Ph.D. focuses on the development and implementation of an active thermal control system in an existing bearing test rig with the aim of real-time control of lubrication. Besides the design and implementation of the hardware, also digital twin strategies must be developed acting as virtual sensors for control purposes.

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 and thermal engineering
  5. You have good programming skills for instance with Python and Object-Oriented languages
  6. 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
  7. You have an open personality and are willing to contribute to the team and participate in didactic projects
  8. You have excellent communication skills in English, both orally and written

How to apply

To apply, please complete the application form at . Your application will be taken into consideration on the condition that all fields in the application form are completed properly.

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