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Manufacturing systems and human-in-the-loop approaches to manufacturing: Application to Friction Stir Welding (FSW)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Beamish
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

About This PhD Project

Project Description

In this PhD project we will take advantage of expert process knowledge and TWI’s advanced FSW instrumentation and facilities to create a process-monitoring framework for FSW, based on systems and control theory. Emphasis will be given to real-time modelling approaches, human-centric systems, robust assessment of the performance of the process and estimation – non-destructively – of the resulting weld quality. Specific research aspects of this work include: a) a simplification of the current ARTEMIS monitoring system and assessment of the process knowledge that can be extracted from the simplified version; b) the extraction of meaningful process performance indicators with or without the use of process experts/operators (semi-autonomous or autonomous operation) and the link to such process indicators to tool design; c) real-time capable modelling techniques that rely on data-driven approaches to intelligently ‘learn’ (machine learning) from process data; and finally d) a human-in-the-loop overall design philosophy for the monitoring system, to investigate aspects of efficient human-machine interaction (for process performance assessment) and linguistic-based feedback – of the performance monitoring results – to the process operators.

Preliminary work has shown the potential of using real-time capable model-based approaches to monitor and predict the welding performance with the use of the ARTEMIS monitoring system.

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.

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
Please direct general enquiries to: [email protected]

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