Exit Menu

Poisson Effect in Squeeze Film Levitation

Brunel University London (BUL) is recruiting to EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) PhD studentships effective 1 October 2020.   Applications are invited for the following specific project called “Poisson Effect in Squeeze Film Levitation”.   Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of £17,285 plus payment of their full-time home tuition fees for a period of 36 months (3 years).  Applicants must be eligible for home tuition fees either through nationality, residency (living in the UK for at least three years and not wholly for educational purposes) or other connection to the UK. 

The successful applicants will join the internationally recognised researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.    Squeeze-film levitation (SFL) is a means of separation and non-contact movement of one surface over another, e.g. conveying and bearings. Consequently, there is no wear, almost no friction (except for fluid drag) and high accuracies of surface separation can be achieved. The load-carrying capacity is derived from the pressure within the fluid film, which can be generated by the relative motion, or squeeze motion, of the surfaces.   The academic team have built physical test rigs for SFL that are driven by piezoelectric actuators and recently developed a new working principle based on Poisson's effect. The objective of this project is the investigation of meta-materials use to enhance the SFL performance, as well as developing multi-physics models representing the material, fluid and actuator elements.   

The applicant will participate in a project allowing their development in many areas due to the multidisciplinary nature of the tasks, focused on theoretical concept development, and having the support of existing experimental rigs allowing the verification of the obtained results. 

Please contact Dr Cristinel Mares at cristinel.mares@brunel.ac.uk or Professor Mark Atherton at mark.atherton@brunel.ac.uk for an informal discussion about the studentship.


Applicants will have or be expected to receive a first or upper-second class honours degree in an Engineering, Computer Science, Design, Mathematics, Physics or a similar discipline. A Postgraduate Masters degree is not required but may be an advantage.   

Experience in FEA and/or CFD, Structural and Fluid Dynamics, Programming using MATLAB or Python is an advantage.  In addition, applicants should be highly motivated, able to work independently as well as in a team, collaborate with others and have good communication skills.

How to apply

Please submit your application documents (see list below) by Noon on Friday 26 June 2020 to cedps-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk   Interviews will take place in July 2020.

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • Your personal statement (300 to 500 words) summarising your background, skills and experience;
  • Your Undergraduate/Postgraduate Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Evidence of your English language skills to IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent, 6.0 in all sections), if appropriate;
  • Contact details for TWO referees, one of which can be an academic member of staff in the College.

Remember to state the title of the project at the top of your personal statement.