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Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing

The Cambridge Tribology Course: Friction, Wear and Lubrication

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About the course

Intensive three-day programme offering an excellent opportunity to gain an overview of the field of tribology.

This highly successful course, now being offered for the 26th time, provides an insight into the principles which underlie this important topic. The course is run by the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering, a worldwide centre of excellence in the field. Tribology - the science and technology of friction, wear and lubrication - makes a vital contribution to almost every area of industrial activity and yet is often under-represented in the education of scientists and engineers.

What you will learn

The course consists of an intensive three-day programme delivered by leading experts. It offers an excellent opportunity to gain an overview of the field of tribology. Lectures, combined with informal discussion periods and a workshop session, will cover the key elements of the subject and will be complemented by case studies drawn from current industrial practice.

  • Provides a comprehensive and cost effective overview of this vitally important area
  • Introduces the theory and practice of friction, wear and lubrication in an industrial context
  • Combines lectures and informal discussion periods with practice in problem solving
  • Gives valuable, informal access to leading experts
  • Enables networking with professionals from other sectors to share ideas and practice
  • Provides a comprehensive volume of course notes and supporting material in electronic form for all participants

Course programme

Day 1

  • Structure of surfaces
  • Contact mechanics
  • Surface topography and surface contact
  • Rheology and lubricants
  • Fluid film lubrication (i)
  • Open forum

Walking tour of Cambridge

Day 2

  • Unlubricated friction
  • Fluid film lubrication (ii)
  • Surface engineering for Tribology
  • Lubricant chemistry
  • Introduction to sliding wear
  • Testing methods in tribology
  • Workshop session

Course dinner

Day 3

  • Wear by hard particles
  • Wear of polymers
  • Case studies in surface engineering
  • Case studies in lubrication or Case studies in nano-tribology (option)
  • Tribology in practice

Who should attend

  • Scientists and engineers who need an appreciation of the technical basis of the subject
  • Design and research engineers who have recently moved into the field and wish to improve their background knowledge and understanding

Individuals who have benefited from attending the course in the past include development chemists, research physicists, technicians, technical support engineers, sales managers, materials scientists, project engineers, technical and product managers, and research students.

Trust the experts

Ian Hutchings

Research interests scientific and technical aspects of inkjet printing and fluid-based manufacturing processes tribology, especially wear and the application of tribological principles to manufacturing processes history of tribology Background From 2001 to 2017 Ian Hutchings was the GKN Prof...


John A. Williams

Professor Williams' research interests include: Tribology: stresses, deformation and shakedown in rolling and sliding contacts Micromechanics of boundary lubrication Wear and surface damage of metals and non-metals Tribology of MEMS and micromachines Adhesion of soft materials Mechanics of meta...


Stephen Kukureka

Stephen Kukureka has interests in mechanical properties and the applied physics of polymers. This includes mechanical reliability of plastic electronics such as flexible displays and touch screens, thin-film transistors and flexible solar cells. Other interests are polymer tribology, especially f...


George Plint

Mr George Plint is Managing Director of a major supplier of tribology test equipment with special interests in experimental design of test instruments and tribological contact analysis. Experience Director Company Name Phoenix Tribology Ltd Dates EmployedMay 2002 – Present Employment Duration...


Nicholas Randall

Born in Birmingham, UK, Nicholas grew up and studied in England, the homeland of his watchmaker father. He came to Switzerland to complete his first professional training courses at the University of Neuchâtel’s Institute of Structural Metallurgy, then at the CSEM. This involved working with atom...


Michael Sutcliffe

Research interests Applying engineering principles to understanding natural materials and systems. I am interested in the link between microstructure and material behaviour, for example understanding the effect of collagen structure and material morphology on arterial and soft tissue mechanical ...


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