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Philip Egberts

Faculty Listing

Mechanical and Manufacturing

Philip Egberts


Assistant Professor, Associate Head (Graduate Studies)

(403) 220-7678

ME 514


Dr. Philip Egberts obtained his PhD from the McGill University in Montreal, Canada specializing in experimental condensed matter physics in 2011, while completing most of his research at the INM-Leibniz Institute for New Materials in Saarbrücken, Germany.  Following his PhD studies, he joined the Carpick Research Group in the Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics department at the University of Pennsylvania as a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada Post-doctoral Fellow (PDF).  He has been an assistant professor at the University of Calgary in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering since September 2013, where his current focus is on the atomic and nanoscale investigation of adhesion, friction, and wear with the goal of making physical and predictive models of friction and wear.  More recently, he has been expanding topics to include engineering tribology, to improve surface engineering for automotive applications and examine lubrication mechanisms for drilling in the oil and gas industry.  In July 2015, he was appointed as Associate Head (Graduate Studies) in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Cross Appointments and Affiliations:

Selected Awards:

  • 2015 – Excellence in Review for the journal Carbon
  • 2014 – Poster Prize, Gordon Research Conference Tribology: Coupled Challenges at the Moving Interface
  • 2011 – Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Post-doctoral Fellowship
Research Activities: 

Dr. Egberts’ research focuses on the study adhesion, friction, plasticity and wear at the nanoscale using atomic force microscopy (AFM).  These problems are investigated on simple materials, through which a physical determination of the fundamental physical mechanisms by which they occur can be found.  By approaching these complex engineering problems at the atomic-length scale, we can reduce the complexity of the problems significantly.  With these experiments, we hope to be able to predictively determine material parameters such as friction coefficients, plasticity/hardness, and wear rates, which will be critical in the development of the next generation materials and lubricants.

Selected Publications:

J. Resendiz, E. Graham, P. Egberts and S.S. Park, Directional friction surfaces through asymmetri- cally shaped dimpled surfaces patterned using inclined flat end milling, Tribology International, 91 67-73 (2015).

P. Egberts, G.H. Han, X.Z. Liu, A.T.C. Johnson, and R.W. Carpick, Frictional behavior of atomically- thin sheets: Hexagonal-shaped graphene islands grown on copper by chemical vapor deposition, ACS Nano, 8 5010-5021 (2014).

P. Egberts, Z. Ye, X-Z. Liu, Y. Dong, A. Martini, and R.W. Carpick, Environmental dependence of atomic-scale friction at graphite surface steps, Physical Review B, 83, 035409 (2013).

M. Mishra, P. Egberts, R. Bennewitz, and I. Szlufarska, Friction model for single asperity elastic- plastic contacts, Physical Review B, 86, 045452 (2012).

P. Egberts, and R. Bennewitz, Atomic-scale nanoindentation: Detection and identification of single glide events in three dimensions by force microscopy, Nanotechnology, 22, 425703 (2011).


Dr. Egberts is part of the Materials and Manufacturing subject area of the department. His teaching activities support the courses offered by the department in this area. He has taught the following courses:

  • ENME 421 – Materials I
  • ENME 619.53 – Introduction to Nanotribology
  • ENME 613 – Research Seminar I
  • ENME 713 – Research Seminar II

Post-doc, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania (2013)

PhD, Experimental Condensed Matter Physics, McGill University (2011)

MASc, Materials Science, University of Toronto (2006)

BASc, Engineering Science - Nanoengineering, University of Toronto (2004)


Graduate Program Affiliations: 

The Egberts Research Group is currently searching for highly motivated and dedicated students to join the group. Interest in designing novel experiments, building state of the art equipment, developing new computer simulations, or using microscopes to see individual atoms is highly desired. Please email Dr. Egberts if you are interested in joining, and include a description of your research background, a current CV, and a short one-page statement of why you want to study nanoscience and/or friction.  Please see the department guidelines to ensure that you will meet the requirements for admission to the department.