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UCL Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences


PhD studentship: Nonlinear Vibration in Vehicular Structures

Application deadline:
30th September 2017 (Available to start October 2017 and will remain open until filled.)
UCL Mechanical Engineering
Directly funded
Dr Ali Abolfathi:
Ali Abolfathi
UK/EU students
Dr PJ Tan:
PJ Tan

Nonlinear Vibration in Vehicular Structures

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 ( ) and Dr PJ Tan ( for an informal discussion before applying. Please attach your CV and full transcript of exam results when making an enquiry. Dr Ali Abolfath (profile)

Funding Notes

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.

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