Research news

Tribological Research on Surfaces and Contacts for Green Mobility

Publish Date: 02.02.2023

Category: Interdisciplinary research, Our contribution to sustainable development goals

Sustainable development goals: 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure, 12 Responsible consumption and production (Indicators)

Mobility GT: The largest project at the faculty of mechanical engineering of UL so far – CoFund project of Horizon Europe was awarded the Seal of Excellence, with which Prof. Mitjan Kalin, PhD, who will coordinate a project of 24 postdoctoral research projects worth 7.6 million euros.

The design of surfaces and interfacial layers is an interdisciplinary field requiring a broad and deep knowledge of engineering, chemistry, physics, and materials. Add to this the need for green and sustainable systems, and the research and solutions are beyond the capacity of any single research group or university, so green mobility requires a broader integration to succeed.

Mobility GT will fund 24 three-year postdoctoral research projects, 12 at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, and 4 each at the University of Leeds (UK), Luleå University of Technology (SE) and the University of Coimbra (P). The project involves 51 associate partners from 13 countries, including 11 major Slovenian automotive exporters such as Hidria, Kolektor, IM, Hella, Mahle, Unior, and other world renowed companies such as Volvo, Scania, SKF, Oerlikon, Cummins, Infineum, KissSoft, Hauzer, which will provide a mandatory 3-month training for postdoctoral researchers. Mobility GT represents the third phase of the evolving European TRIBOS platform, which, under the coordination of Prof. Mitjan Kalin, PhD, already manages the European master’s network Tribos+ and the doctoral network GreenTRIBOS.

The postdoctoral researchers will work with their mentors in innovative cross-cutting research areas based on international mobility, providing cutting-edge training in the tribology of materials, surfaces, and interfaces for the future of sustainable green mobility. Postdoctoral researchers will be exposed to a wide range of topics and areas of work, from green lubrication and surface nanotechnology to interfacial and tribiochemical films, lightweight composites, and lubrication modelling, as well as anti-wear and low-shear surface coatings. All of this is central to the European Green Deal and the need to reduce the almost unimaginable 20-25% of the world’s total energy production that is now used for friction. The programme includes an international selection committee for candidates and projects at the highest global level, half of which are recipients of the world’s highest tribology award (Tribology Gold Award). Mobility GT will pay special attention to gender equality and ethics in research, based on the European Charter and Code for the Recruitment of Researchers.

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