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Dr Robert Hughes

Dr Robert Hughes

Dr Robert Hughes
EngD, MPhys

Lecturer in Non-Destructive Testing

Area of research

Electromagnetic Sensing and Manipulation

Office 1.57 Q.B.
Queen's Building,
University Walk, Clifton BS8 1TR
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 5738


Dr Hughes’ research focuses on electromagnetic sensing & control, with specific interests in resonant inductive sensing, array technology, complex-data processing and inversion modelling, with applications in non-destructive testing & evaluation (NDT&E) of industrial components. He also has a growing interest in magnetic particle manipulation in microfluidic environments with applications in diagnostic healthcare technology.  A summary of Dr Hughes’ active research areas are given below.

For potential collaboration, postgraduate or postdoctorate opportunities, please contact


Inductive Sensing / Eddy-Current Testing

Inductive sensing, also known as eddy-current testing (ECT), is a highly-sensitive electromagnetic inspection technique used to non-destructively evaluate the electrical and magnetic properties of materials. Commonly used to detect damage, monitor manufacturing tolerances or evaluate component quality, ECT is integral to ensuring the safety and longevity of many industries.

Advanced manufacturing techniques, materials and processes for producing the next-generation of stronger, lighter or more durable industrial components all come with their own unique and demanding inspection challenges that must be solved.  It is on these challenges that my research focuses.

Current research activities include the development of novel technology and data-processing methodology for:

  • Resonant sensing ECT – Near electrical resonance signal enhancement (NERSE)
  • Novel array sensors
  • Defect inversion modelling
  • Carbon-fibre composite inspection & structural inversion


Magnetic Particle Manipulation

Development of bespoke magnetic field environments for rapid trapping and manipulation of magnetically-labelled particles on-chip.


Dr Hughes received his MPhys from the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick (UK) in 2011, followed by an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) in 2016, carrying out research in the field of electromagnetic sensing for non-destructive evaluation (NDE), sponsored by Rolls-Royce plc (UK).  In 2015, he became a Research Associate at the University of Bristol, carring out research into electromagnetic sensing in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, as well as undertaking interdiciplinary research into on-chip magnetic particle manipulation through the Schools of Physics and ith collaborators in Biomedical Sciences. In 2019, Dr Hughes became a lecturer in NDE and continues to work on electromagentic sensing & particle manipulation technology for NDE and diagnostic healthcare applications.


  • Electromagnetic
  • Electromagnetic Propagation
  • Electromagnetic Sensing
  • Non-destructive Evaluation
  • Magnetic particle manipulation

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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