Development of a bearing staking calculation tool

Applications are invited from self-motivated and enthusiastic candidates, with a background in mechanical engineering, to apply for a funded full-time PhD Studentship. The studentship will be funded jointly by UWE Bristol and SFK Ltd. The PhD researcher will be primarily based at UWE Bristol but will be expected to directly engage with colleagues at SKF on a regular basis. Reference: 1920-JAN-FET08.
The expected start date of this studentship is 1 January 2020.
The closing date for applications is 20 October 2019.

About the Studentship

SKF Aerospace, Clevedon, manufactures a range of rod end and link components typically to customer designs. These are fitted with an SKF-manufactured self-lubricating bearing, often using a ‘staking’ method of deforming the staking groove radially to retain the bearing. This process needs to be better understood, in terms of material movement and impact on bearing parameters

This PhD programme will focus on the development of a novel calculation tool to determine optimal staking and pushout (failure) load for a given bearing and rod end design. To include the understanding of the key design features and their influence on the final product.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Dr Jason Matthews on


The studentship is available from 1 January 2020 for a period of three and a half (3.5) years, subject to satisfactory progress, and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £15,009 per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years (Home/EU rates only). International applicants will be required to cover the difference between Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates in each year of study. Please see our fees and funding web page for information.

Eligibility Criteria

A recognised English language qualification is required.


  • MEng in Mechanical, Automotive or Aeronautical  Engineering (merit/distinction)
  • One year of commercial experience in a design/manufacturing setting
  • Knowledge of numerical and finite element modelling


  • Knowledge of bearing design and application
  • Awareness and understanding of metal swaging and forging

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 1920-JAN-FET08.

Supporting documentation: you will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application, so please have these available when you complete the application form.

Referees: you will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references before you submit your application.

Closing date

The closing date for applications is Sunday 20 October 2019.

Further information

Interviews will be held in the week beginning 28 October 2019. If you have not heard from us by this date, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

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