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

Webseite Institute of Machine Elements and System Engineering

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 fields in the bearings to answer the question: Do propeller-ice collisions cause wiping damage in the bearings of ships?


  • Literature review of temperature modelling for bearings
  • Design of TEHD model in Abaqus/AVL Excite power Unit of the propeller shaft bearing of the SA Agulhas II
  • Determination of resulting temperature fields in the bearing for given Propeller-ice loads.
  • Evaluation of propeller-ice loads regarding wiping damage in the bearing


  • Independence and reliability
  • Interested in simulative work
  • First experiences with simulation methods in mechanical engineering (e.g. FEM, MKS, CFD) beneficial

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

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