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UK researchers pick up a pair of tribology awards

01 February, 2005

UK researchers pick up a pair of tribology awards

A prestigious award has returned to the UK for the first time in 19 years, with Professor Hugh Spikes of Imperial College being awarded the IMechE Tribology Trust`s Gold Medal by the Duke of Edinburgh in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The Silver Medal has gone to Dr Philippa Cann, a principal research fellow in Imperial College`s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The medals are awarded by the Tribology Trust, administered by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and recognise outstanding achievement in tribology - the area of science focusing on the study of friction, wear and lubrication. Since the global awards were instituted in 1972, the UK has now won the Gold award six times.

Professor Spikes is a world-renowned tribology expert whose findings are referred to in text books, and are applied widely in the additives and manufacturing industries.

Dr Cann is one of the UK`s leading experts in the field of grease lubrication. Her research focuses mainly on understanding lubrication mechanisms in rolling element bearings. "Despite the fundamental nature of this work," she says, "it has enormous practical importance, for example, in contributing to the development of design tools to improve bearing performance and extend operating life. It also provides, for the first time, a scientific basis for grease selection and the optimisation of lubricant properties."

The tribology section at Imperial College is one of the world`s largest, carrying out research into lubrication and into the mechanics, friction, wear, fatigue and damage of contacting mechanical components.

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