Applications are now open for the following Future Innovation in NDE projects, starting in October 2019 (start dates are flexible). All positions will stay open until filled. For informal enquiries, please contact the supervisor of the project you are interested in.
Simulation of Ultrasonic Methods for the Inspection of Safety Critical Nuclear Submarine Components
University: Imperial College London. Supervisor: Prof. Michael Lowe. Sponsor: Rolls-Royce Submarines. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Start date: October 2019
The aim of this doctoral research is to develop new simulation tools for NDE techniques used for the inspection of safety critical components. It is expected that the research will primarily involve the use of hybrid finite element techniques for the simulation of ultrasonic wave scattering; however, the development of other techniques may also be appropriate.
The project is sponsored by Rolls-Royce Submarines. Rolls-Royce is responsible for the design, manufacture and maintenance of the nuclear power plants at the heart of these submarines. Safety critical reactor components are inspected both during manufacture and periodically in-service, using a range of non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques. This project will deliver simulation tools and results which will be directly used to aid in the verification and validation of these techniques.
The student will work at Imperial College London before relocating to Rolls-Royce Submarines in Derby for a significant portion of their studies, where they will work within the NDE Research team, with frequent trips to Imperial College. The student will work alongside engineers developing inspections and will have the opportunity to influence how inspections are justified. For more information, visit http://www.imperial.ac.uk/non-destructive-evaluation
Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at Imperial College London in order for their qualifications to be addressed by College Registry. The student will also be required to obtain UK security clearance.
Automated Sentencing for Complex Shaped CFRP Components
University: University of Bristol. Supervisor: Prof Robert Smith and Prof Paul Wilcox. Sponsor: Rolls-Royce. Contact: Robert.Smith@bristol.ac.uk Start date: October 2019
The Ultrasonics and Non-Destructive Group at the University of Bristol and Rolls Royce Aero-engines are seeking a top class candidate to undertake research leading to the award of an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) awarded by the University of Bristol. Rolls-Royce is responsible for the design, manufacture and maintenance of the power plants in civil and military aircraft used through the world. Safety critical components are inspected both during manufacture and periodically in-service, using a range of non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques. This project will deliver automated analysis techniques for inspections of the new composite fan blades that will provide game-changing capability for the company.
Carbon fibre material is increasingly being considered for aero-engine components. Such components are being designed to withstand high loads and to have more complex shapes, making inspection for material integrity both more important and more difficult. New analysis techniques are required and are being developed for defects such as porosity. However, such techniques create large data sets that become time consuming and difficult, or impossible, to interpret by a human inspector.
The aims of the project will include:
1. Investigation of new quantitative data analysis techniques for porosity detection in CFRP.
2. Development of data fusion methods to allow extraction and presentation of information from multiple data sources.
3. Automated interpretation of 3D data.
The student will work at the University of Bristol before relocating to Rolls-Royce in Filton (Bristol) for a significant portion of their studies, where they will work within the NDE Research team, with frequent trips to the University of Bristol. The student will work alongside engineers developing inspections and will have the opportunity to influence future inspection capability for aero-engine composite components. For more information, visit http://www.bristol.ac.uk/engineering/research/ndt/
Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form in order for their qualifications to be assessed.
Low-frequency Vibration Inspection of Sandwich Composites
University: University of Bristol. Supervisor: Dr Mahdi Azarpeyvand and Prof Robert Smith. Sponsor: Baugh & Weedon. Contact: email@example.com Start date: October 2019
One-sided in-service inspection of certain composite structures (honeycomb-, balsa- and foam-core sandwich) can be successful using a low-frequency vibration method but defect detection is limited, and classification of defects is not currently supported. Data-acquisition equipment had hardly advanced in 20 years, bar moving from analogue to digital, until the new ‘Bondcheck’ bond testing system from Baugh and Weedon. This offers full-waveform capture at every location, with the potential to expand to an array of sensors, opening up greater potential for structure analysis algorithms and comparison with modelled responses.
Prior work has showed the potential for improved pitch-catch probe design to enhance the resolution and frequency range, whilst the use of full-frequency capture offered the potential for defect classification, depth and size estimation. This project will use low-frequency vibration to classify defects in sandwich composites and determine their depth, location and size, based on comparison with the modelled low-frequency (5 kHz -100 kHz) responses of a range of structures with different defect types. Bristol has considerable experience of both acoustic modelling and inversion methods using modelled responses. For this project a database method coupled with multi-dimensional optimisation to invert the data and determine the type and 3D location of defects will be used initially, with potential for refinement of the method in a variety of ways.
The student will be based at the Ultrasonics and Non-Destructive Group at the University of Bristol before relocating to the Baugh & Weedon’s offices in Hereford. For more information, visit http://www.bristol.ac.uk/engineering/research/ndt/
Quantum Hall Effect Magnetic Sensors Investigating Defects in Metal Structures
University: University of Manchester. Supervisor: Prof Mohamed Missous. Sponsor: TWI Technology Centre Wales. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Start date: October 2019
The School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Manchester concentrates on its newly developed Quantum Well Hall Effect sensors to design and manufacture a range of advanced Electromagnetic sensing solutions. The technology has already unlocked an unrivalled performance which is displacing Silicon Hall sensors in high end, ‘conventional’ applications. The aim of the EngD research is to support the maturing of the technology – enabling highly innovative sensing techniques and systems leveraged on the quantum advantage and chip-scale fabrication. The planned research will ultimately lead towards the delivery of real time monitoring of materials microstructure in the form of high resolution BHN magneto-imaging.
During the 4 years you will spend approximately 9 months on advanced technical and professional development courses – usually spending the first year at Manchester University and the remaining time at TWI Technology Centre, Wales. TWI Technology Centre Wales is a state-of-the-art facility offering research and development in cutting edge inspection technologies vital to industrial structural integrity management. For more information, visit https://www.eee.manchester.ac.uk/research/themes/
Successful applicants will need to complete and submit The University of Manchester’s online application form.
Coded Excitation of Ultrasound for improved signal acquisition in pipeline inspection robots
University: Imperial College London. Supervisor: Dr. F. Cegla, Prof Mike Lowe. Sponsor: NDT Global. Contact: email@example.com Start date: October 2019
Project objectives: (1) investigate the effect of the sequence design on SNR and Dynamic Range of the measurements under the constraints of realistic robot operation conditions, e.g., travel speed and received signal power, (2) explore the effect of the number of transducers that can be simultaneously used with the particular sets of coded sequences and the resulting opportunities to improve robot speed and/or transducer density in an ultrasound module on the robot. (3)assess the type of electronics hardware that is required to build an effective acquisition system.
Ultrasonic Inspection for Complex Geometry
University: University of Bristol. Supervisor: Prof Anthony Croxford and Prof Paul Wilcox. Sponsor: Rolls-Royce. Contact: A.J.Croxford@bristol.ac.uk Start date: October 2019
Many of today’s inspection issues are due the geometric constraints, restricted access and anisotropic material properties. Near net shape manufacturing creates complex geometric components where in-service inspection can be very challenging. Good examples are single crystal turbine blades and additive manufactured parts. In-situ inspection of such components is constrained by access issues affecting the ability to detect defects. Ultrasonic inspection methods are required where direct line of sight to the defect does not exist. New ultrasonic imaging techniques have recently been developed with potential for inspecting such awkward geometry, such as multi-mode array imaging. However, there are several challenges that remain to transfer the ideas to real components. The project will include delivering an assessment of existing concepts to image defects where line of sight does not exist and coping with both anisotropic and isotropic material properties. The student will work at the University of Bristol before relocating to Rolls-Royce in Filton (Bristol) for a significant portion of their studies, with frequent trips to the University of Bristol. The student will work alongside engineers developing inspections and will have the opportunity to influence future inspection capability for aero-engine components.
Measurement Interpretation for Guided Wave Testing
University: Imperial College London. Supervisor: Prof Mike Lowe and Prof Peter Hithwaite. Sponsor: GUL. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Start date: October 2019
The ongoing development of Guided Wave Testing of piplelines is increasingly generating large amounts of measurement data that needs to be interpreted. This includes change detection from repeat measurements acquired from permanently-installed transducer equipment, the automation of the interpretation of routine measurements, and the assessment of complex signals to extract image or critical parameter information. The pressure to develop software tools to aid these tasks is amplified by the increasing availability of the large quantities of raw data via cloud communications. The EngD project will work on developing methodologies and implementing these in software tools to address these needs.