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PhD scholarship in Computational stress and damage modelling for rolling contact fatigue - DTU Mechanical Engineering

A PhD scholarship is available at DTU Mechanical Engineering, Section for Solid Mechanics, in the field of fatigue and wear in rolling and sliding contacts, with focus on computational stress and damage modelling. The department has well-established research activities in this field. The present scholarship is partly funded by the Danish Centre for Knowledge based Engineering for Improved Reliability of Critical Wind turbine Components (REWIND)  supported by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.

Project description
Wind turbines are huge structures that are subjected to highly dynamic loads arising from the complex interplay between the varying wind field and wake from other turbines, the rotation of the rotor as well as the transmission and the electric generator in the drivetrain inside the nacelle. An important consequence of this is that most components in a wind turbine are experiencing highly dynamic loads resulting in wear or fatigue of the components.

The aim of the project is to analyze the influence of stress field variations with the cyclic loading in the material near contact points in bearings and in gears, for different possible materials and for different surface treatments. Some analyses will use methods of plasticity and damage mechanics in combination with micro-mechanics modeling. This will require finite element analyses, with a need to write own programmes. The onset of cracks may take place at inhomogeneities in the material, which results in the fatigue cracks starting as sub-surface cracks that grow towards the surface. Inclusions in the material may cause local stress concentrations affected by the local differences in material properties. Continuum damage mechanics will be applied in the development of models describing the initiation and evolution of fatigue cracks.

The following topics have been identified as the most important

  • Continuum mechanics
  • Finite Element modeling
  • Writing own finite element programs
  • Damage mechanics
  • Fatigue models
  • Plasticity

The expected starting date is 1st September 2011.

Candidates should have a master's degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering. Strong skills in Solid Mechanics and Finite Element programming in Fortran are required. Furthermore, fluency in speaking, reading and writing English is needed.

Approval and Enrolment

A scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Viggo Tvergaard, tel: +45 45 25 42 73.

You can read more about DTU Mechanical Engineering on

We must have your online application by 30th June 2011. Apply online at Please open the link "apply for this job online" and fill in the online application form and attach your application, CV and information about academic grades. Together with the application please fill in the excel sheet from DTU's homepage with conversion of your grades to Danish grading system, both for your bachelor degree and (the finalized part of) your master degree (see the PhD Guide).

Candidates may apply prior to ob¬tai¬ning their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Mechanical Engineering covers the fundamental engineering disciplines within Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering, Energetics, Solid Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Control and Engineering Design, Hydrodynamics, Structural Engineering and Materials. It has a scientific staff of about 100 persons, 50 ph.d. students and a technical/administrative support staff of 50 persons.


Harsha Tirumala's picture

I am Sri Harsha T R, currently in my final year of study of the degree
Bachelors of Technology in Mechanical Engineering with Industrial &
Production Engineering as Major. in a university ocated in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh in India. I will be completing my degree in May, 2012.Can I apply ?

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