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PhD Studentship (3 years) High energy orbital oscillations induced in an artificial gravity system (rotational energy harvesting)

College of Engineering & Physical Sciences - Studentships

Location:  Aston University Main Campus
Basis:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours GMT on Tuesday 01 February 2022
Reference:  R210504
Release Date:  Wednesday 24 November 2021

Applications are invited for a three-year Postgraduate studentship, supported by the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and EPSRC DTP, to be undertaken within the Smart Systems Research Group at Aston University.  

The position is available to start in April or June 2022.

Financial Support

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the Home fees rate, plus a maintenance allowance of £15,609 in 2021/2 (subject to eligibility). This application is only available to Home students.

Background to the Project

This PhD project aims to better understand and control the high energy orbital oscillations from a given resonator placed within a rotational environment that is subjected to high levels of centripetal acceleration manifesting as artificial gravity. 

The mechanical world is abundant with kinetic energy that can be harnessed to power modern technologies in a decentralised manner. The current state of the art already comprises of several successful translatory vibration harvester technologies. Meanwhile, rotational systems remain a relatively untapped environment due to the presence of high g centripetal forces which adversely suppress motion. Wheels in cars, blades of wind turbines and rotors in engines can all experience upward of hundreds of g (where 1-g is 1 earth gravity).

In a previous paper by the PhD supervisor of this proposed project, a new dynamics mechanism was theorised and conceptualised where the artificial gravity within high-g rotational systems can be harnessed, instead of previously being perceived as something to avoid. This PhD project will develop this novel concept, and for the first time, attempt to experimentally validate the theory.

Outcomes of this project has industrial and societal implications by enabling self-powered sensors and smart systems within automotive wheels, wind turbines and any rotational engineering systems to improve their operational efficiencies, reduce running costs and cut down carbon footprints.

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have been awarded, or expect to achieve, a Masters degree in a relevant subject with a 60% or higher weighted average, and/or a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution) in Mechanical Engineering or related disciplines.   Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of MATLAB, CAD and FEA.

Contact information

For formal enquiries about this project contact Dr Yu Jia by email at

Submitting an application

Details of how to submit your application, and the necessary supporting documents can be found here.  

The application must be accompanied by a “research proposal” statement. An original proposal is not required as the initial scope of the project has been defined, candidates should take this opportunity to detail how their knowledge and experience will benefit the project and should also be accompanied by a brief review of relevant research literature.

Please include the supervisor’s name, project title, and project reference in your application.

If you require further information about the application process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions team at 

Email details to a friend

Further particulars and application forms are available in alternative formats on request i.e. large print, Braille, tape or CD Rom.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact HR via

Aston University is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.



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