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Simon Hutt

Dr Simon Hutt


School of Engineering

+44 29225 11832
Queen's Buildings - South Building, Room S0.05, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Lecturer in Tribology within Cardiff University’s Tribology and Performance of Machines, Structures and Materials research group.

Tribology is the study of moving contacts (for example contact between gear teeth, or between a wheel and a rail) and the mechanisms of friction, lubrication and wear. My main activities in this field are:

  • Research into using Acoustic Emission techniques to provide insight into the mechanisms of gear lubrication and wear. This will help to develop health monitoring methodologies for high value gear transmissions (for example those found in wind turbines).
  • Expanding the capability of Cardiff University's state-of-the-art gear simulation software. This has been developed over several decades by successive researchers. It provides deterministic modelling of the lubrication conditions in heavily loaded gears where surface roughness effects are important.
  • The study of elastomer tribology, specifically, the factors affecting the performance of dynamic o-rings seals. This interest was initiated by a project investigating the failure of o-ring seals used in high voltage transmission equipment.
  • Collaboration with industry to undertake bespoke tribological testing. This often involves the design of novel test rigs and procedures. Previous industrial partners have included small start-ups as well as large companies such as SKF, Rolls Royce and National Grid.






Book sections




Research Interests:

  • Gear tribology:
    • Mixed elastohydrodynamic lubrication theory.
    • Surface wear mechanisms including running-in, micropitting and scuffing.
    • Physical experimentation using disk machines.
    • Deterministic numerical modelling.
  • Condition monitoring of moving contacts using Acoustic Emission (AE):
    • AE techniques for monitoring surface wear and asperity interactions in gear teeth contacts.
    • AE techniques for health monitoring of rolling element bearings.
  • O-ring and elastomer tribology:
    • The influence of tribological and material parameters on the performance of dynamic o-ring seals.
    • Viscoelastic material models for FEA.
  • Mountain bike tribology:
    • The performance of hydraulic disk brakes.
    • The performance of mountain bike tyres.

Current Projects:

  • Co-Investigator: Development of a journal bearing model for current, and future, large engine fuel pumps (funded by Rolls Royce).

Previous Projects:

  • 2019-2021: Novel o-ring designs (NORD) (funded by National Grid).
  • 2014-2019: The Acoustic Emission from mixed elastohydrodynamic lubrication (PhD) (funded by EPSRC).
  • 2016: Wear testing of ultra-hard bearing materials for use in a heart pump (Calon Cardio).
  • 2018: Tribological performance testing of a novel design of universal coupling (Punk Couplings).
  • 2018: Wear testing of novel plain bearing liners (SKF).


I teach in the following modules:

  • Tribology - 4th year / MSc
    • I lecture half the module, my topics include Reynolds' equation for fluid film lubrication, journal bearings, lubrication of non-conformal contacts (elastohydrodynamic lubrication), hydrodynamic squeeze films and seals.
  • Mechanical Power Transmission - 3rd year - Module leader
    • I am the module leader and lecture half the module, my topics include contact mechanics, bearings and vibrations in shafts.
  • Design - 2nd year
    • I provide design and FEA assistance to students undertaking their 2nd design group project. This is delivered in the form of regular design surgeries.

Additionally, I provide supervision for 3rd year and MSc students who are undertaking tribology related individual projects.



2021 - Lecturer in Tribology - Cardiff School of Engineering
2019 - 2021Research Associate - Cardiff School of Engineering

Honours and awards:

2018Peter Jost Travel Fund for CMMNO 2018
2017Maurice Godet Prize for the best paper and presentation by a young scientist at the 44th Leeds-Lyon Symposium on Tribology

Professional memberships

  • Associate Member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (iMechE).


I am interested in the supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Gear tribology
  • Numerical modelling of gears
  • Acoustic Emission techniques for moving contacts
  • Novel wear and friction testing
  • The tribology of elastomers and o-rings
  • Mountain biking tribology.