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The University of Southampton

Rolling contact fatigue research honoured with Mission of Tribology Prize

Published: 17 March 2020
Mostafa presented with the prize
Mostafa El Laithy is presented the prize by IMechE president Professor Joe McGeough.Image credit: IM

Postgraduate research student Mostafa El Laithy has been presented the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) 28th Mission of Tribology Prize for his investigation into rolling contact fatigue at the University of Southampton.

Mostafa is focusing on subsurface microstructural alterations as he analyses the conditions that lead to bearing failure. His findings could impact engineering applications in the automobile, aerospace and marine industries.

Researchers from across the UK delivered presentations on friction, wear and lubrication processes at the Tribology Day at the IMechE in London, ahead of the prestigious Donald Julius Groen Lecture.

An expert panel selected its winner, together with silver and bronze prizes, based on the quality and clarity of the research.

“I am honoured to be recognised by the IMechE with this award which has provided extra motivation to pursue high quality results during my PhD,” Mostafa says. “There were many high quality presentations at the event so winning this prize feels like a great achievement.”

The 28th Mission of Tribology Research event also featured a presentation from Southampton’s Go Tatsumi on the effects of lubrication on tribological properties of polymeric materials.

Mostafa is advancing his research at the national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS) under the supervision of Professor Ling Wang, Dr Terry HarveyProfessor Philippa Reed and Dr Bernd Vierneusel of Schaeffler Technologies. The project is funded by the Schaeffler Group.

He started his PhD in 2018 and is exploring alterations in steel bearings such as dark etching regions and white etching bands.

“Better understanding the material behaviour of bearings during operation can help enhance and better predict the bearing life, which would be a valuable tool for industry,” he says. “This can have a positive impact in multiple applications.”

Mostafa continued onto his PhD after completing a BEng Mechanical Engineering degree and an MSc in Sustainable Energy Technologies at Southampton. During his master’s research project, he worked on investigating the operating conditions leading to white etching cracks in gearbox bearings of wind turbines.

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