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Funded PhD Opportunity

Evolution of the race track / tire interface

Subject: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


Summary

This project considers evolution of the race track surface / tire interface as it changes over its life. A race track has surface texture at a range of scales from micro-scale roughness of the aggregate particles to larger macro-scale roughness created by combining aggregates of different sizes to form the asphalt layer. Tire rubber deforms or envelopes these track surface texture scales influencing dry and wet grip, tire wear / degradation; lap times etc. There is little published about this interface and how it evolves. Motor-sport has tended to concentrate on areas such as aero-dynamics, suspension setups and tire choice.

Whilst there is considerable interest in tire wear / degradation and grip there is little published on the race track surface which forms the other part of this interface. Meetings with representatives from motorsport i.e. the governing bodies, F1 teams and race-track owners have confirmed the need to know more.

This project builds on years of research at Ulster University into better understanding the performance of asphalt surface / tire interface related characteristics such as skid resistance, noise generation and rolling resistance. Roads and racetracks use the same types of surfacing material only the type and severity of trafficking differs. Following construction bitumen is worn away at the interface by the tire and the aggregate starts to polish. A racing line then develops in response to how the car / bike interacts with the race track surface. The race track will then develop a longer-term equilibrium condition with the tire / surface interface effected over shorter time periods by the effects of rain, temperature and tire rubber deposits. All of which effect the car / bike and its lap times.

Project aim:

To better understand evolution of the race track / tire interface.

Project objectives:

*Development of laboratory test methods that better predict how asphalt mixes evolve interface characteristics relevant to motorsport.

*Create new types of track surface / tire interface data that can be used to improve simulation models.

*Standardise measurement of the race track / tire interface in terms of grip and tire wear.

*Make recommendations to the motorsport governing bodies that allow all tracks around the world to be compared in a standardised way.

The project will involve collaboration with R3 Ltd and its contacts with motorsport around the world. It will involve race-team’s, tire manufacturers, race track owners and motorsport governing bodies. The project will impact motor-sport.


Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
  • Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Friday 7 February 2020

Interview Date
Week beginning 9 March 2020


Applying

Apply Online  


Campus

Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses


Contact supervisor

Dr David Woodward


Other supervisors

  • Dr Campbell Waddell

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