Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy


David Hills Awarded Tribology Silver Medal

31 Oct 2023

Headshot of Professor David Hills, a man in glasses and a suit and tie

We are delighted to announce that Professor David Hills has been awarded the Tribology Silver Medal by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). The highest UK national award in tribology, it is bestowed upon those working or researching in the field of tribology for exceptionally meritorious contributions to the science and technology of tribology.

David said, "It is, indeed, an honour for me to receive this award, just as I step down from my full time post. The progress we have made over the past forty-five years has not been mine, alone, of course, and in receiving this it would be unfair if I did not thank, in turn, the contributions from many research students and academic colleagues, the latter including notably Tony Sackfield and Jim Barber, and the former including, in chronological order, David Nowell, Chris Churchman, Daniele Dini, Saravanan Karuppanan and Hendrik Andresen. A number of these have gone on to have distinguished academic careers in their own right. Visitors have also influenced and contributed, and among these are Michele Ciavarella, Eugenio Giner, Thibaut Chaise, Marco Paggi and Jesus Valeo. I thank them all for their stimulation and guidance. I hope that the things we have discovered will be of enduring and practical value."

In 1979, David was awarded the Tribology Bronze medal, an occasion that enabled him meet renowned figures in the field. In 1983, he expanded his knowledge at the University of Michigan, learning advanced analytical techniques under Jim Barber's guidance and establishing a long-lasting research collaboration.

In 1984, he was elected to a fellowship at Lincoln College, retiring last September after nearly 40 years. His research has primarily centred on fretting fatigue, with a focus on separating the physical aspects of slip and damage, leading to the exploration of 'partial slip.' Collaborations with European institutions and mentoring research students have made his work both enjoyable and constructive.

David continues to expand understanding in contact mechanics, and always seeking new, interesting, and practical discoveries.

(Thank you to the IMechE for contributing to parts of this article)

Where next?

  • Professor David Hills elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of EngineeringRead more