How does it feel to get this award?
– Am glad and very honored being given this award. For me personally this is a sign that the hard work I conducted during several years has good quality and are being appreciated at several levels. Naturally, this feels very good.
In what way does the prize influence you and your research?
– The prize and the appreciation give increased energy to continue to deliver high quality research. Moreover, the prize also increased the awareness of the research we do in tribology at the division of machine elements and its relevance to the society.
What is the best part of being a researcher?
– I believe the best thing with research is that you get the opportunity to seek answers to questions that nobody has been able to answer before and in that way contribute to new knowledge. It is especially satisfying if the new knowledge is of practical importance to the society. The research conducted by me and others in tribology gives the opportunity to produce and develop products with higher efficiency and longer lifetimes. This contributes to lower energy consumption and less emissions which is of high importance in today’s society.
The Board's justification
Marcus Björling showed high ambition and knowledge already as a PhD student. He presented and defended his thesis “Friction in Elastohydrodynamic Lubrication” meritoriously in October 2014. Research in elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) is important for the understanding of lubrication of machine components like gears and rolling element bearings where the contact pressures can reach several gigapascals.
In his research thesis, Marcus investigated how friction could be reduced in these types of conditions to be able to increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption and emissions. Among other things, Marcus studied how a “Diamond-like-carbon” (DLC) coating could significantly reduce friction in EHL. This friction reduction had earlier been shown by a limited number of other researchers, but the mechanism was not fully understood and explained. Several researchers hypothesized that the reduction was due to the low surface energy of a DLC coating and solid-liquid slip at the interface between the coating and the lubricant. Marcus showed that the low thermal conductivity of the coating leads to a local decrease of the lubricant’s viscosity and therefore a reduction in friction. A ticker DLC-coating was shown to reduce friction more than a thinner coating as a result of different insulating effects. The findings have been published in a series of articles where on received “Best paper award” by the Surface Engineering Technical Committee for the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE). The results have also been summarized in Nature Research Highlights.
Marcus research has not only lead to an explanation of a previously not fully understood mechanism for friction reduction, but also the discovery of a new way to reduce friction in EHL, thermal insulation. His number of publications and citations are also very high for a young researcher. During hos time as a PhD-student, Marcus started to build a network of researchers both in industry and academia both nationally and internationally, which has given him opportunities for scientific collaborations at a high level.