EPSRC I-CASE Studentship in Aero-Engine Rotordynamics

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Nottingham, SCOTLAND
Deadline: 30 Jun 2022

Closing Date
Thursday, 30th June 2022

Modelling and Understanding Rotor-Stator Interactions in Aero-Engines. 

Start Date

February 2023


University of Nottingham: Prof Seamus Garvey (Primary)

Rolls-Royce: Dr. Punitha Kamesh, Mechanical Integrity Specialist


The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham and Rolls-Royce plc are seeking an enthusiastic and self-powered student with both excellent analytical skills and a good sense of what is practicable to undertake a PhD in Aero-Engine Rotordynamics. Rotordynamics invariably plays a central role in modern aero-engine design and there is a tremendous opportunity for a new generation of approaches as the old rule-based design methods fade away and as an outgoing generation of rotordynamicists is retiring. 

The present PhD position will be one of three positions running concurrently on related but definitely distinct topics. One of the other two will be exploring the capability of (cylindrical-rotor) electrical machines integrated with gas turbine engines to provide additional measures of rotordynamic control. Another will continue some work that was well begun through the excellent work of a former Rolls-Royce engineer who studied squeeze film dampers in great detail.

The present PhD study will address the detailed characterisation of rolling-element bearings in engines. The key research objectives of this PhD study are:

  • Developing methods for modelling the force-deflection characteristics of rolling-element bearings for use within rotordynamics models of aero-engines. These methods will need to be very compact (condensed) models that are very efficient to run whilst still capturing the full dynamics details. 
  • Elucidating the importance of bearing clearance within multi-spool engine environments and developing clarity around what other parameters affect the effective bearing clearance for rotordynamics modelling.
  • What limits should be set on bearing misalignments and how should these limits be integrated into the design process.
  • Discovering how vibration diagnostics can be informed by all of the above study elements. 

The research will be conducted at the University of Nottingham within the Gas Turbines and Transmissions research centre – a research group with ~50 people. It will be supported actively by experts from Rolls-Royce.   The project is especially timely at present because a new generation of aero-engines is being engineered that will have more critical speeds within the range of normal running speeds. As such, there is significant scope for this work to make a real difference to future designs.

The student will gain a broad range of experience and skills spanning the development and use of dynamic models, the design processes involved with critical hardware, some experimentation and modern techniques in data analysis. 


Applicants should have a high (1st or 2:1) Honours Degree in mechanical engineering. Excellent organisational and communication skills are required, along with a keen interest to engage in industry focussed research. The applicant should be a UK or EU student.

For any specific enquiries about the project, please email Prof Seamus Garvey (seamus.garvey@nottingham.ac.uk ). Please do not write for the purpose of promoting an application.

To find out if you are a suitable and eligible candidate contact Prof Seamus Garvey (seamus.garvey@nottingham.ac.uk ). Please include your CV and quote the advert reference starting with ENG in your email. Do not submit your application via the My Nottingham platform without having contacted Prof Garvey first.

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