The ability to look inside objects without damaging them is fundamental not only to modern medicine, but also in many areas of technology, from aerospace to formula one racing. X-ray tomography is a popular approach to build up three-dimensional representations of internal object structures. It is used routinely in medical diagnosis and is increasingly used in many industries for non-destructive testing. Neutron tomography on the other hand is significant less common. The cost and complexity of neutron sources means that the technique remains largely restricted to dedicated national research facilities.
Due to the different physical properties of neutrons and x-rays, they interact differently with different materials and this means that they can provide complementary information. One modality is often suited to image certain materials, whilst the other modality is often more suited to image other materials.
In some applications, it would thus be desirable to use both x-rays and neutrons to image an object. For example, when imaging some multi material objects, either modality on its own is unable to measure all required object properties. X-rays might be completely absorbed along certain paths through the object whilst neutrons might not get absorbed at all along other paths. Either modality thus provides limited information on its own.
This PhD project will study the joint use of x-rays and neutrons for imaging in these difficult settings. The task will be to combining the dataset from an x-ray scanner with the data from a scanner that uses neutrons and to develop novel computational methods to estimate the internal object structure. This project is primarily computational, requiring you to develop new tomographic reconstruction algorithms. Whilst it is anticipated that data sets will be provided from related projects, there might also be the opportunity to collect some x-ray data in one of our x-ray scanners and neutron data from the IMAT neutron source at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford.
You will join a team of PhD students and Postdoctoral Researchers that work on a range of issues in x-ray tomographic reconstruction. You will have access to the University of Southampton’s world leading x-ray imaging centre and supercomputing facilities. Due to the nature of the funding this position is only open to UK nationals.
If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Thomas Blumensath, Signal Processing and Control research group, Email: [email protected] Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 3224.