PhD-scholarship in abrasion

Job omschrijving

The Tribology research group at Soete Laboratory ( in the Department of Mechanical Construction and Production of Ghent University is seeking to appoint a highly motivated PhD-student who will develop abrasive wear models for soil engaging components. The research group at Ghent University has a first class track record in tribology and machine elements and is embedded in the Metal Structures Centre ( that hosts over 200 researchers and technicians active in tribology, fracture mechanics, fatigue, plasticity, stability of structures, joining techniques and corrosion.

The aim of the project is to gain knowledge on impact abrasion of steel grades used in soil engaging components. The fundamental knowledge will be used to improve material characteristics and thereby increasing the lifetime or/and to reduce investment cost of soil engaging components. The research activities will be performed in a consortium of research institutes and industry including Ghent University (Belgium), Technische Universitat Braunschweig (Germany), RWTH Aachen (Germany), VTT (Finland) and OCAS (Belgium).


The proposed project aims to characterize the friction and wear properties of steel grades used in soil engaging components. In the process of tribological characterization, test methodologies is to be developed for impact abrasion condition. Beside conventional variables the research will define the parameter characteristics (morphology, topography) for ranking the wear properties in impact abrasion. The PhD-job offered mainly aims at developing experimental macroscopic wear models. The input and output parameters to wear characterization is to be studied from the real components. Hence the set variables for lab scale testing are expected to be close to field conditions of soil engaging components that will have to be inventoried prior to defining the test program. High-end techniques such as in-situ monitoring of moving surfaces is to be implemented for understanding the particle generation process in impact abrasion. The obtained experimental data will then be correlated to real scale testing and microscopic models that will be developed in partner institutes. Integrating both models should allow to draw conclusions about the influence and role of steel microstructure on its abrasive resistance.


• A highly motivated candidate with a strong academic record and a ME degree in the field of Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering or MSc/MPhil in Physics.

• Equally important is that you show a true passion for technology and engineering.

• Previous research experience and/or demonstrations of out-of-the-box thinking are a plus.

• Since we are an international team, English is the main language and proficiency in written and spoken English is crucial.



Job aanbod

We offer a full-time PhD position in a high-level international team at the University of Ghent, including an attractive salary and benefits package. Most importantly, we offer the opportunity to do cutting edge scientific research in an international environment.

Hoe solliciteren

For more information about this job opportunity and submitting your application, please contact Prof. Patrick De Baets ( Please mention "PhD position in abrasive wear" in the subject line.


The deadline for this job application is 15th July, 2015.

Online solliciteren

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