It is thought that the lubricant, or its degraded products, residing in the upper reaches of the piston in a gasoline engine under certain conditions react with the fuel and air in the combustion chamber to cause unwanted and uncontrollable pre-ignition before the spark. This has become a growing problem with the development of high efficiency turbocharged gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines operating at low speed, so-called LSPI. Combustion events occurring before they are desired lead to large and rapid transients of pressure known as knock which can damage the mechanical components of gasoline engines, this is especially crucial for pistons and connecting rods which are rising when this downward combustion transient event occurs. In the most severe cases, LSPI can lead to broken piston rings, damaged pistons and bent connecting rods.
This project aims to adapt existing in-line lubricant sampling techniques developed in engine tribology research to an engine operating at/or close to LSPI conditions and then use a comprehensive suite of analytical techniques to identify chemical precursors to LSPI. The combined use of a closely controlled laboratory gasoline engine plus tribology and combustion laboratory simulators will provide novel insight into the actual mechanisms leading to this phenomenon. This could then be validated using production engines in engine test cells of the industrial sponsor.
The student will be supervised by Professor Martin Priest and Dr Malcolm Lawes of the School of Mechanical Engineering and an industrial supervisor based in the UK.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.
Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), or equivalent, in Mechanical Engineering. Must also have a strong background and interest in chemistry.
Value: The studentship, which is open to UK/EU students in the first instance, will pay the full tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (£3,975), as well as providing an annual maintenance of £13,863. Plus, an industrial top up of £3,000.