Postdoc position: Remaining grease life model for rolling bearings

Postdoc position: Remaining grease life model for rolling bearings

Published Deadline Location
29 Jan today Enschede

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Job description

The goal of this 2-year project is to develop a model that makes it possible to determine the remaining grease life based on oil content, bleed properties, oxidation and rheology of grease samples taken from bearings that have been running in test rigs at SKF. This requires a thorough understanding of Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication (EHL), thin film lubrication properties of oils, and grease lubrication mechanisms. Given the nature of the project, it has a strong focus on theory and model development.

Bearings are the most widespread machine elements after nuts and bolts. There are more than 50 billion bearings operating in the world at any time. 80-90% of bearings are grease lubricated. The reliability or life of a grease lubricated bearing is dominated by the quality of the lubricating film that separates the rolling elements (balls or rollers) from the rings. Important properties of the film are the thickness and ‘lubricity’. Unlike oil lubrication in which the contacts are fully flooded, grease lubricated contacts are often ‘starved’ (with no lubricant in some regions of the contact). The film thickness is the result of a mass balance between supply to- and loss of oil from the contacts. Lubricity is related to the frictional properties, which may change due to lubricant polymerization.

Job description

For this project, we are looking for a Postdoc candidate with relevant expertise. The main task of the candidate is to develop the remaining grease life model. The main result of the model should be the quality of the lubricating film as a function of time. For this, it combines the technology/science of contact mechanics (kinematics, heat development, EHL), physics of complex fluids (oil separation, capillary flow, evaporation) and degradation.

This project is connected to several other running (PhD)projects from which results should be translated into models.

Although the centre is located at the University of Twente, it is possible to perform part of the work at SKF Research and Technology Development in Houten, The Netherlands


University of Twente (UT)


You :
  • hold a BSc + PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering or (Applied) Physics with excellent results. Experience in modelling in the field of lubrication or tribology is an advantage.
  • have good knowledge and demonstrated awareness of modelling using Python and/or MATLAB;
  • have a strong analytical mind, an eye for detail, and a critical attitude towards assessment of experimental results;
  • have strong written and verbal communication skills. Proficiency in English is required, both spoken and written. You need to provide IELTS test results (minimum score 6.5) or TOEFL-iBT (minimum score 90). The latter is not necessary for native speakers of English or whose MSc program was in English.

Conditions of employment

  • A 2 year postdoc position
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities.
  • Gross salary, depending on experience: ranging from € 3.877,- to € 5.090,- per month.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • A solid pension scheme.
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €3877—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1625


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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