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Automatic defect classification algorithms and systems for improving ultrasonic testing method

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  • Full or part time
    Dr F Haggland
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Ultrasonic Testing (UT) is a common method to evaluate the integrity of components without having an impact of their future usefulness. Commonly, components are inspected using manual encoded solutions (conventional UT or Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT)) and the data is then analysed by a skilled operator. As such is dependent on the operator’s testing experiences and as this could potentially lead to errors, there is an industry wish to develop a system employing Automatic Defect Recognition (ADR) algorithms to be integrated alongside inspection systems deployed.

The overall objective of this PhD is to develop data analysis algorithms for the interpretation of detected signals within welds or bonds and to enable these to be classified according to the relevant acceptance criteria. This will necessitate the development of software capable of picking up data from the resulting data file outputs of the phased array equipment in use, analysing this according to the ultrasonic data analysis algorithm principles, displaying the results and producing a simple “accept/reject” of the component.

The algorithms will be developed for a general selection of welds and bonds but specifically evaluated on selected material and joining techniques. Specifically, the plastic pipe welding sector has a demand for an ADR technology. Therefore the developed methods will foremost be evaluated on this type of joining.

The software developed will be validated on a library of typical flaws and integrated into existing inspection devices. Following the full system will undergo laboratory and field trials. The candidate selected will undertake training in phased array ultrasonic inspection as necessary.

A number of fully-funded PhD scholarships are available for suitable candidates with a strong interest in fundamental and applied research in the area of structural integrity. Scholarships cover an amount to £16,000 per annum for 3 years, Home/EU tuition fees and support for research. Overseas applicants are welcomed, with total funding capped at £20k/year.

Candidates should have a relevant degree at 2.1 minimum, or an equivalent overseas degree in mechanical, Electrical/Electronics or Civil/Structural Engineering, Material Science, Metallurgy or Physics. Candidates with suitable work experience and strong capacity in numerical modelling and experimental skills are particularly welcome to apply. Overseas applicants should also submit IELTS results (minimum 6.5) if applicable.

NSIRC will be a state-of-the-art postgraduate engineering facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI, working closely with lead academic partner Brunel University, the universities of Cambridge, Manchester, Loughborough, Birmingham, Leicester and a number of leading industrial partners. NSIRC aims to deliver cutting edge research and highly qualified personnel to its key industrial partners.

For more information about The National Structural Integrity Research Centre, visit

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