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Machine Learning Surrogate Modelling of Structural Health Monitoring Systems

College of Engineering and Applied Science

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Dr Joseph Corcoran No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
CincinnatI USA Applied Mathematics Artificial Intelligence Civil Engineering Data Analysis Data Science Mechanical Engineering Probability Statistics Stochastic Processes Structural Mechanics

About the Project

About the project

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems are permanently installable sensors that are used to monitor the presence and progress of damage in engineering assets. Understanding the detection capabilities of SHM systems is crucial if they are to be relied on in safety-critical situations (eg nuclear power generation). The response of SHM systems to damage is dependent on many different parameters, most notably the relative position of the damage relative to the field-of-view of the sensors. High fidelity finite element modelling of sensor physics is possible but can be computationally expensive. Evaluating the large parameter space can therefore be infeasible. It is proposed a machine-learning surrogate modelling approach is used instead. A small subset of finite element solutions are used to train a surrogate model. The surrogate model can then replace the finite element model and can generate approximate solutions in a fraction of a second. The ability to uncertainty quantify the detection capabilities of SHM systems will be transformative in their industry adoption and widespread use.

Candidate requirements

You should have at least a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline such as Applied Mathematics, Engineering, Data Science, or Physics. Applicants should have a first class degree or GPA of at least 3.5. If English is not your first language then an IELTS score of at least 6.5 is expected.

About the University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati Center for Nondestructive Evaluation ( is a world leader in nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring (SHM) research. High achieving researchers are sought to expand the Centers research portfolio. At UCNDE you will be part of a supportive and successful team of researchers and benefit from intensive one-on-one supervision. The Center covers a wide range of research areas and will work with you to advance state-of-the-art techniques and technology.

The University of Cincinnati is a leading R1 university (the highest level of research activity), based in a city campus in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA ( At the University of Cincinnati you will have access to world class research facilities and supervision, in addition to world class recreation facilities.

About the PhD program

The PhD program is typically four years full time. The PhD program includes roughly one year of taught courses. UCNDE is part of the Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics department. While research projects do not necessary focus on aerospace applications, the researcher will typically be enrolled in either the Aerospace Engineering or Engineering Mechanics PhD program. Please see for more details on the programs.

How to apply

Please send a cover letter, relevant transcripts and a copy of your CV to [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

The applicant will receive a tuition waiver and receive a $26,000 per year stipend.

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