PhD Studentship: Nonlinear Vibration in Vehicular Structures

University College London - Mechanical Engineering

Duration of Studentship Four Years

Stipend £16,290 per annum

This studentship provides an opportunity for a UK/EU candidate to join a 4-year study program in UCL's Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at UCL has an outstanding international reputation in research on energy and the environment, marine engineering and naval architecture and engineering for medical applications, with strong research collaborations with industry and universities in the UK, North America, Asia and the Far East and has excellent research and teaching facilities.

Studentship Description
It is an increasingly common practice to employ numerical simulations to quantify the noise and vibration performance of complex mechanical structures, such as road vehicles, aircraft and ships. However, nonlinearities inherent in the different components of a structure are often excluded from the mathematical models used to predict noise and vibration response. Hitherto, structural models of these complex structures were often overly simplified, partly to allow for acceptable simulation times but also a systematic means for manipulating and optimising features of nonlinear resonant response in mechanical structures is still lacking. For example, nonlinearity in the hinges of road vehicles is not normally included in the structural model and this leads to inaccuracies in the predicted natural frequencies. The ability to model the nonlinear resonant response of a vehicle will lead to a paradigm shift in the current practice of using full-scale prototype to assess noise and vibration performance, leading to a significant reduction in development cost of next generation vehicles.

This project will be carried out in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover and funded by the EPSRC. The research will explore innovative methods (through a combination of nonlinear dynamics, computational mechanics and optimisation) to incorporate the effects of nonlinearity in noise and vibration response of vehicular structures, at an acceptable computational cost. It is envisaged that the work will be useful to the automotive industry for making improved predictions of natural frequencies, vibration and noise in new vehicle designs.

Person Specification

Applicants must have a UK-equivalent first degree (at least 2.1 honours degree or predicted) in an appropriate engineering discipline (e.g. Mechanical or Automotive/Aeronautical Engineering), Physics, or Mathematics. Experience with ABAQUS/ANSYS (finite-element software) or measurement techniques is a significant advantage.

Prospective candidates are strongly encouraged to email Dr Ali Abolfathi ( for an informal discussion before applying. Please attach your CV and full transcript of exam results when making an enquiry.

Full tuition fees and stipend for up to 4 years. The current EPSRC stipend is £16,290 for 2016/17 (this will be adjusted for inflation annually).

Funding is for UK and EU passport holders only. You must be either be UK residents, or EU residents who have been living in the UK for 3 years prior to the course commencing (for education purposes is fine). EU residents who have not been living in the UK are eligible for fee only awards. Please see

Prospective candidates are strongly encouraged to email Dr Ali Abolfathi ( ) for an informal discussion before applying. Please attach your CV and full transcript of exam results when making an enquiry.

See for information. A CV, full transcript of results (listing all subjects taken and their corresponding grades/marks) and a cover letter stating how the project meets your research interests must be included.

Contact name Dr Ali Abolfathi

Contact details

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