PhD Student in Machine Elements, Lubrication systems for devices on Mars

The Division of Machine Elements, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics at Luleå University of Technology (LTU) are looking for a PhD student for graduate studies in a project carried out in cooperation with the Division of Space Technology, LTU. The project will be conducted at the Division of Machine Elements (Luleå campus) and the Division of Space Technology (Kiruna Campus).

This project aims at developing a new lubrication model which provides lubricants onto rubbing surface from existing materials in atmosphere through tribo-chemical reactions. Martian atmosphere (rich in carbon dioxide with dust composed of iron oxides) will be considered to show the feasibility of this model. Laboratory tribo-tests under simulated Martian atmosphere will be conducted in this project. Under these conditions, the production of iron carbonate is expected from our previous works. Room-temperature ionic liquids will be also employed to improve the tribological properties and to accelerate the tribo-chemical reaction. The utility of room temperature ionic liquids in tribology is also one of our previous achievements. This project mainly focuses on the mechanism of lubrication and tribo-chemical reaction. For the purposes, tribo-testing in an environmental chamber and chemical analysis are the major implementations. The four-year project is composed of three work packages, screening of materials, screening of lubricant stability, and analysis of tribo-chemical reaction. The significance of this project is to develop a new concept of lubrication model, so-called “on-site lubricant preparation.” This can lead revolutionary improvements in lubrication systems under harsh conditions such as space. As the initial stage of research and development, this project is a scientific approach to tribo-chemical reaction and lubrication mechanism. This definitely contributes the science and technology of lubrication.

See also the general curriculum for education at post-graduate level in energy engineering: General curricula for the Board of the faculty of science and technology


Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or similar. The division conducts teaching in both English and Swedish, good knowledge in both languages is therefore considered an advantage.


If you have any further questions, please contact:

Ichiro Minami, Division of Machine Elements, Professor of tribo-chemistry,

Javier Martin-Torres, Division of Space Technology, Professor,

Mattias Grahn, Division of Chemical Engineering, Associate Professor,

Union representatives:

SACO-Daina Dagis , (+46)920-493880

OFR- Lars Frisk,, (+46)920-491792


We prefer that you apply for this position by clicking on the apply button below. The application should include a CV, personal letter and copies of verified diplomas from high school and universities. The personal letter shall contain a clear statement and motivation concerning why you are interested in this position. Mark your application with the reference number below. Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English.

Reference number: 1476-15

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