Postgraduate research opportunities Automated Hybrid Eddy Currents and Ultrasound In-Process Inspection of Additive Manufactured Components, and Multi-Sensor Data Fusion and Interpretation

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Key facts

  • Opens: Tuesday 20 April 2021
  • Deadline: Tuesday 31 August 2021
  • Number of places: 1
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Funding: Home fee, Equipment costs, Travel costs, Stipend

Overview

This is an exciting 4 years fully-funded PhD, supported by EPSRC through FIND CDT focusing on the robotic deployment of electromagnetic and acoustic sensors for non-destructive evaluation of additively manufactured (AM) components during the manufacturing process.
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Eligibility

A summary of the project can be accessed through the FIND-CDT website.

The applicant should meet the EPSRC student eligibility criteria:

  • Possess a first or upper second-class honours degree in engineering, mathematics or a physical science BEng Honours or MEng degree in relevant engineering (Electrical, Mechanical etc.) or physics-related subject
  • familiar with NDE techniques such as ultrasonic and eddy currents inspection
  • have some experience in C#, C++ and MATLAB coding

Non-UK students meeting the academic requirements are also welcome to apply if they are able to self-fund the four-year programme.

For more information regarding the FIND-CDT and EPSRC student eligibility criteria please visit their websites.

Candidates with a preference for practical industry-focused experimental research would also be desirable.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Project Details

The Wire Additive Manufacturing (WAM) technology offers high deposition rates allowing to manufacture of large-scale near-net shape components within shorter lead-times. The components often serve in high sensitivity applications in aerospace and defense industries where the demands for quality and integrity standards are markedly high. Therefore, the WAM components should be examined by Non-Destructive Evaluations (NDE) techniques to qualify for certification. This project aims at robotic deployment and delivery of the NDE during the manufacturing process providing early intervention opportunities for repair and remediation of the components.

Ultrasound (UT) and eddy current testing (ECT) are both well-established NDE methods that are frequently used in the industry, and each offers unique opportunities for inspection of WAM components for potential deposition defects. This Ph.D. aims to investigate the possibility of using a robotically enabled combined NDE approach consisting of ECT and UT sensors for improved sensitivity to surface defects and strong capability of bulk coverage in a WAM inspection, respectively. However, forming a bi-sensor inspection unit and merging the sensors data for a better detectability requires overcoming some challenges such as sensors integration, robotic programming, and signal fusion and interpretation.

The project is relevant to the many industrial sectors transforming their production strategies to reduce costs by adopting AM technology for manufacturing of components – (Aerospace, Marine, Defence & general High-Value Manufacturing). It also has cross-cutting applicability to other arc-based welding processes which are routinely used and accepted by Nuclear and Oil & Gas industries.

The studentship is incorporated in the FIND CDT, giving you access to a wide range of training and networking opportunities. The training covers both technical and transferable skills. The networking includes an annual student conference as well as technology transfer workshops with industry. The project will make extensive use of the £2.5 million cutting-edge Robotically-Enabled Sensing (RES) hub at the Centre for Ultrasonic Engineering (CUE). The student will have access to RoboWAAM cell (the first commercial WAM deposition cell) at the manufacturing and research facilities of the National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland and Lightweight Manufacturing Centre.

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Funding details

Funding is provided for full tuition fees (Home/EU applicants only), along with a very competitive stipend and significant equipment and travel funds for the duration of the project.

  • £17,000 per annum living stipend (tax free)
  • Payment of all (home) tuition fees

A substantial consumables and travel budget to support additional specialist research training courses, secondments, purchase of specialist equipment and travel to international conferences, seminars and workshops.

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Supervisors

The project supervisor will be Dr Ehsan Mohseni, Lecturer at the Centre for Ultrasonic Engineering (CUE). His research interests include electromagnetic and acoustic non-destructive evaluation, robotic inspection, and data fusion.

The secondary supervisor will be Professor Gareth Pierce, Spirit AeroSystems/RAE Research Chair and the lead of a multidisciplinary NDE team.

Dr Ehsan Mohseni

Lecturer
Electronic and Electrical Engineering

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Professor Stephen Pierce

Electronic and Electrical Engineering

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Apply

Candidates requiring more information should email Dr Ehsan Mohseni (ehsan.mohseni@strath.ac.uk).

Following the review of the application submissions, selected candidates will be invited for an interview.

The application submission deadline is 31 August 2021.

The project will start on 1 October 2021.

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