Project/Bachelor Thesis: Failure mechanisms in journal bearing of ship propulsion systems due to propeller-ice collisions – A systematic review

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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 occur in the polar regions. This leads to an increasing number of collisions between ship propellers and sea ice which results in high impulse loads on the propeller and thus on the journal bearings of the shaft. The influence of these loads on the bearing life is widely unknown.

This work therefore focuses on the evaluation of propeller-ice collisions as a cause for bearing damages and a classification of the occurring damage mechanisms.


  • Literature review of failure mechanism in journal bearings of ship propulsion systems with focus on abrasive and adhesive wear
  • Definition of the damage phenomenon ‘wiping’ in tribological terms.
  • Evaluation of propeller-ice collisions as a cause for bearing damages & classification of the damage mechanisms.
  • Identification of gap in current research and systematic presentation of the research potential.


  • Independence and reliability
  • English skills: fluent
  • Previous knowledge in MS Office
  • Interest in bearing technology

We offer:

  • Intensive support
  • Immediate start or by arrangement
  • Pleasant working atmosphere
  • Possibility of home office


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