Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Nonlinear Thermal Mechanical Joints at Swansea University

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Funding providers: EPSRC and Swansea University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering

Subject areas: Structural dynamics, Nonlinear dynamics, Multi-physics, Experimental testing

Project start date: 

  • 1 October 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-September)
  • 1 January 2025 (Enrolment open from mid-December)

Project description: 

One of the major knowledge gaps in the study of complex aerospace systems is the frictional interface of jointed components. In the current state-of-the-art, only the nonlinear friction is considered. For the underlying physics, frictional energy dissipates energy via deformations (using current methods), heat (not considered and is the focus of this project), and sound (considered ignorable for most sliding situations). This project will focus on the understanding of the heat-based energy dissipation and the environmental effects on these frictional joints.

Swansea University is a member of the International Committee on Joint Mechanics. This is a multi-disciplinary committee focused on understanding and predicting jointed interfaces in assembled structures. The ICJM is a collection of academics, industrial researchers, and governmental bodies from across the world. This allows for knowledge transfer between industrial needs, current state-of-the-art, and relevant regulations. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to attend joint community meetings, where they can discuss and present their work, as well as attending and presenting at international conferences. 

This project will investigate the recently identified need (discovered by the ICJM) for multi-physics understanding and modelling. Specifically, this project will investigate the thermal-mechanical relationship in assembled structures. The student will utilise a newly acquired environmental chamber to understand these previously not investigated aspects of these nonlinear joints. In addition to the testing, the student will also work towards developing a novel temperature-dependent nonlinear joint model.


Candidates must hold an Upper Second Class (2.1) honours degree in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline. If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship (i.e. a student who is eligible to pay the UK rate of tuition fees) but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements. Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency.

English Language: IELTS 6.5 Overall (with no individual component below 5.5) or Swansea University recognised equivalent.

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

Please visit our website for more information on eligibility.


This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £18,622.

Additional research expenses will also be available.

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