Bachelor-/Master Thesis: Hot or Not? – A model-based determination of tempera-ture in propeller-shaft bearing during propeller-ice collisions.

Webseite Institut für Maschinenelemente und Systementwicklung

The Institute of Machine Elements and System Engineering researches the fundamental structural and tribological behavior of machine elements and represents them in experimentally validated model descriptions. These model descriptions are used to analyse and design the functional, loss and noise behavior of entire technical systems with a focus on drive technology. The developed models are also used to research and develop methods of Model Based Systems Engineering as a central element of future inductive product development processes.

Due to the progressive climate change, new shipping routes open up in the polar regions. This leads to an increasing number of collisions between ship propellers and sea ice which results in high loads on the propeller. The influence of these loads on the propeller-shaft bearings is widely unknown. A common bearing damage in ships is the so called ‘wiping damage’. Here, the bearing material melts due to excessive heat development.

This work therefore focuses on the determination of the temperature in the bearing to answer the question.


  • Literature review of heat transfer modelling for bearings
  • Design of heat transfer model (in Matlab or Python) of the propeller shaft bearing of the SA Agulhas II on the basis of the energy equation.
  • Determination of resulting bearing temperature for given Propeller-ice loads.
  • Validation of temperature model by means of given temperature measurements


  • Independence and reliability
  • Interest in heat transfer modeling
  • First experience in Matlab or Python

We offer:

  • Intensive support & mentoring
  • Flexible work focus
  • Immediate start or by arrangement
  • Pleasant working atmosphere


We look forward to your application by email:

Markus Gilges, M. Sc. RWTH
Institute for Machine Elements and Systems Engineering

Schinkelstraße 10, 52062 Aachen

Um sich für diesen Job zu bewerben, sende deine Unterlagen per E-Mail an