RCNDE Early Careers Event – 25-26 November 2020

The 2020 Early Careers Event was held virtually and was open to all PhD students and researchers from RCNDE member universities. The agenda included technical presentations from other delegates (with prizes for the best ones, as voted by delegates), information sessions from members of the RCNDE Management Team and talks from industry. The event was also a chance to network and get to know each other – during one breakout session delegates were challenged to find a number of objects and see how many they could hold! Feedback showed the the event was well-received by delegates, and we thank Dr Yashar Javadi from University of Strathclyde for putting together an engaging and fun agenda, particularly given the restrictions of a virtual event.

Screenshot of Robert Smith's presentation "NDE and COVID-19"

Screenshot of Robert Smith’s presentation “NDE and COVID-19”

Screenshot of presentation on automation in NDT

Screenshot of presentation on automation in NDT

Delegates enjoying a breakout session

Delegates enjoying a breakout session

1851 Industrial Fellowship Oct 2020

Congratulations to Euan Rodgers (EngD Research Engineer with Imperial College and Rolls-Royce) who has become the tenth CDT student in recent years to be awarded a prestigious 1851 Industrial Fellowship. Euan is working with Rolls-Royce to develop a new monitoring system for complex components used in the nuclear industry. The project has the potential to revolutionise monitoring of complex materials and large industrial components, representing significant cost savings for associated industries. Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851 (royalcommission1851.org)


Welcome back

RCNDE are delighted to welcome Maria Arias back after her maternity leave! Maria returns as RCNDE Centre Manager from October 2020, working alongside the rest of the RCNDE Management team.


We are hiring!

RCNDE are looking for a Deputy Director. The post, which will focus on NDE 4.0 strategy, is available on a part-time basis, potentially on secondment from a member company. Find out more about the role and how to apply here. The closing date is 30 November 2020.


NDT 2020 Webinar week – 14-18 September 2020

The British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) hosted the inaugural NDT 2020 Webinar Week as a virtual conference, featuring plenary presentations, Q+A sessions and presentations on the latest advances in NDT and related technologies. RCNDE International Advisory Group member Dr Martin Spies opened the event with the Roy Sharpe Prize Lecture and delegates also enjoyed presentations from over 20 CDT students during the week.

Due to COVID-19, the 59th Annual Conference of the British Institute of NDT (BINDT) will be held in 2021.


NDT 2019 – RCNDE Showcase & conference awards September 2019

The 2019 Annual Conference of the British Institute of NDT (BINDT) was held in Telford. This year one whole session throughout the conference featured an RCNDE Showcase, with 28 papers and also demonstrations of RCNDE research at the linked Materials Testing 2019 exhibition.  Once again RCNDE and student researchers were recognised with best paper awards. The overall conference best paper award went to a  paper involving a large team at the University of Strathclyde –  ‘Flexible robotic cell for in-process inspection of multi-pass welds’ (D Lines, Y Javadi, E Mohsani, M Vasilev, C MacLeod, R Vithanage, Z Qiu, R Zimmerman, C Loukas, E Foster, G Pierce and A Gachagan). James Watson (NDEvR ICASE PhD student with Manchester and BAE Systems)  was  awarded the W E Gardner prize for the best paper by an early stage researcher for his presentation  ‘Magnetic field frequency optimisation for MFL imaging using QWHE sensors’ (J Watson, C Liang, J Sexton and M Missous).

Photos ( courtesy BINDT): Left – Robert Smith introducing the RCNDE Showcase in a plenary presentation; Centre – David Lines receiving the  Annual Conference Paper Award; Right – James Watson receiving the W.E.Gardner Award.

Annual RCNDE and CDT conferences Manchester 30 April – 1 May 2019

The annual conference for our Doctoral Training Centre was held at The Technology and Innovation Centre, Glasgow this year on 30 April. Presentations were given by second and fourth year Research Engineers (REs) covering a wide range of  projects which were as usual well received by the academic and industrial audience.

Students from the CDT in Quantitative NDE

This was followed on 1st May by the RCNDE annual research review event with around 120 attendees present to hear about the current Core Research programme   These events always provide an excellent opportunity for networking, providing inputs to the ongoing research and identification of potential  exploitation options.


New intake for the CDT in Quantitative NDE Nov 2018

Members of the fourth intake of Research Engineers in the  Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantitative NDE undertook their introductory training course in November 2018 to provide an overview of NDE technologies and of  the business context for NDE research. The course included a number of industrial visits – including visits to Rolls Royce, Airbus and EDF Energy.


NDT 2018 Conference awards September 2018

The 2018 Annual Conference of the British Institute of NDT (BINDT) was held in Nottingham where  RCNDE and CDT researchers were recognised with best paper awards. The overall conference best paper award went to a collaborative paper involving the Universities of Strathclyde, Nottingham and Bristol ‘Laser-induced phased arrays for remote ultrasonic imaging of additive manufactured components’ (T Stratoudaki, D Pieris, Y Javadi, W Kerr, PD Wilcox and M Clark). Don Pieris (EngD research engineer with Nottingham and Rolls-Royce) was involved in this paper and was also awarded the W E Gardner prize for the best paper by an early stage researcher for his presentation of another paper – ‘Spatially resolved acoustic spectroscopy for additive manufacturing – towards online inspection’ (D Pieris, R Patel, P Dryburgh, M Hirsch, W Li, SD Sharples, RJ Smith and M Clark).

Photos ( courtesy BINDT): Left – Teti Stratoudaki and Don Pieris receiving the Annual Conference Paper Award; Right – Don Pieris receiving the W.E.Gardner Award.

The Armourers and Brasiers’ Company Awards July 2018

Congratulations to Jonathan Riise (EngD Research Engineer with Strathclyde and TWI) who has won the award for ‘Best Final-Year PhD Student’. The Armourers & Brasiers’ Company is a Livery Company of the City of London. Founded in 1322 as the Guild of St George of the Armourers, it was awarded its first Royal Charter in 1453 from King Henry VI.  In 1708 the Armourers joined with the Brasiers and the Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers received its current charter from Queen Anne.   Since the 19th Century, the main focus of the company has been its charitable giving.  In partnership with The Welding Institute, The Armours & Brasiers continues to support and champion excellence and endeavour in the fields of education and research in materials science and metallurgy through awards for achievement and travel grants for young scientists.  Awards are made annually and presented at The Welding Institute’s Annual Awards Dinner in July. The purpose of the awards is to stimulate interest and raise the profile of materials science and metallurgy with a view to engaging young people and promoting the industry.

RCNDE Early Stage Research Network Event 25-27 June 2018

An event for Early Stage Researchers across the RCNDE network was held in Nottingham, aimed at building relationships between research students, post-doctoral researchers and new academics. Each year a different university organises the event which includes a mix of technical, team building and social activities.   This years’ event included poster presentations by all participants, workshop sessions with academic and industrial NDE challenges and a visit to the national videogame arcade.


Annual RCNDE and CDT conferences Manchester 1-2 May 2018

The annual  conferences were held at the Manchester Conference Centre in 2018, which were very well attended by  academic and industrial members and invited guests.

RCNDE technology transfer event Jan 2018

A Technology Transfer event for RCNDE members and Associate members was held in London on 31st Jan 2018, which included overviews and demonstrations of emerging RCNDE technologies by the university teams.

Rolls-Royce Engineering Doctorate Network Dec 2017

The Rolls-Royce Engineering Doctorate Network held its fourth annual conference in Derby in December 2017, building on the success of the previous events.  Delegates from universities and Rolls-Royce plc were brought together, with representatives from across the UK and internationally, to explore how the Engineering Doctorate (EngD) scheme drives the progression of research and technology and why it is vital to the continual success of the company. Three of our EngD researchers in NDE (Richard Phillips, Roy Brown and Naomi Shipway) were members of the Rolls-Royce EngD Committee which organised the event.  The Network was founded in 2012 by three of our previous EngD researchers –  Oliver Nowers, Maria Felice and James Pettit –  with the aim to make the barriers to collaboration between EngD researchers more transparent, and to promote awareness of the EngD scheme and the benefits that it brings to Rolls-Royce.


Photos – Rolls-Royce


Introductory talk by Naomi Shipway; project presentations by Paul Dryburgh and Don Pieris

IMG_4775      172902016


1851 Industrial Fellowship Oct 2017

Congratulations to Joshua Elliott (EngD research engineer working with Imperial College and Rolls Royce) on the award of an 1851 Industrial Fellowship to support his work on super-resolution ultrasonic imaging. Joshua was presented with the award at an 1851 event in London on 4 October 2017. We have now had 9 awards of this prestigious Fellowship in recent years. https://www.royalcommission1851.org/integrated-ultrasonic-imaging-for-the-inspection-of-near-surface-defects-in-safety-critical-components/

J Elliott 1851 photo

Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition July 2017

RCNDE was selected to provide an exciting stand at this year’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in London  from Tuesday July 4th to Sunday July 9th. It was entitled “Safe and Sound – the Hidden World of Engineering Safety Testing”  and incorporated hands-on demonstrations with explanations about the use of NDT in major engineering applications. The exhibition was open to the public and a large number of visitors attended including many school students.  Details of the exhibit can be found at   https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2017/summer-science-exhibition/exhibits/safe-and-sound/

Innovation accolades Dec 2016

Professor Bruce Drinkwater, Professor Paul Wilcox and Dr Anthony Croxford at Bristol won the Business and Economy category of the University of Bristol Vice-Chancellor’s Impact Awards in December 2016. The citation highlighted how their research has impacted on the way imaging and sensing techniques are used in industry, and how these techniques have made more than £100M contribution to UK economy and made structures safer to operate.

Bristol imapct award photo Dec 2016

Also, at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2017 in February, a consortium, comprising the RCNDE members the University of Strathclyde, NNL, Sellafield Ltd and Inspectahire, and Glasgow-based Wideblue, was shortlisted for the Multi-Party Collaboration Award for the Innovate UK-funded ‘Mosaicing for Automatic Pipe Scanning’ (MAPS) project. The project’s aim is to develop a system combining optical hardware and advanced image processing techniques for interactive 3D remote visual inspection (RVI) of pipe work in the nuclear industry. On the day, the MAPS team lost out on the first-place award, but the judging panel emphasised the high quality of the three shortlisted groups.

Scottish Knowledge Exch awards Feb 2017

FREng recognition 2016

Congratulations to Professor David Hutchins (University of Warwick) who was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2016. His work has been applied to biomedical ultrasound, non-destructive evaluation, and a range of other fields often performed in close collaboration with industry.

D Hutchins FREng photo

ASME competition winner Aug 2016

Blyth robotics competition winner Aug 2016

William Blyth (EngD Research Engineer with Imperial and Phoenix) has won first place in the international ASME student mechanism and robot design competition (graduate division) held at the ASME15 AM3D & IDETC/CIE conference in Charlotte, USA 2016. William was one of 6 shortlisted finalists invited to the conference and won the competition for his design entitled:   ‘A Reduced Actuation Mecanum Wheeled Pipe Inspection Robot’.  This is an excellent achievement by William and a notable recognition of his EngD project.

World class: International awards 2016

RCNDE colleagues were recognised in a number of the latest ICNDT awards which are  presented every 4 years at the World Conference in NDT. The 19th World conference was held in Munich during June 2016 and congratulations to the following:

RCNDE Targeted project funding

EPSRC has awarded funding for a further two RCNDE Targeted Research Projects:  ‘Improving Inspection Reliability through Data Fusion from Multi-Modal Array Inspections’ (Imperial College and University of Bristol  with industrial partners Rolls Royce and AMEC Foster Wheeler, BAE Systems, EDF and Hitachi Europe) and ‘Stochastic Ultrasonic Scattering from the Tips of Rough Cracks’ (Imperial College with industrial partners BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce,  EdF, NNL and AMEC Foster Wheeler.

Selection of older News:

Third intake for the CDT in Quantitative NDE Nov 2017

The third intake of Research Engineers in the Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantitative NDE undertook their introductory training course in November 2017.

CDT induction 2017

CDT Induction 2017


RCNDE Early Stage Research Network Event 26-28 June 2017

The 2017 event was held in Bristol.  As well as conference style and workshop sessions, the  event included quickfire introductions, a flash talk competition, and a ‘locked-room’ team building experience – see photos below.

ESR event 2017 ESR event 2017 a

Second intake for the CDT in Quantitative NDE Nov 2016


1851 Industrial Fellow 2016

Arnau Garriga Casanovas (EngD research engineer working with Imperial College and Rolls Royce) was presented with the award  4 October 2016. The Fellowship provides extra funding including travel funds to support Arnau’s EngD project on development of a snake-robot capable of deploying probes inside aircraft engines. https://www.royalcommission1851.org/development-of-snake-robots-for-in-situ-inspections-of-aircraft-engines/

Arnau 1851 fellowship photo

MT 2015

RCNDE participated in the British Institute of NDT Material Testing 2015 Exhibition in Telford by providing demonstrations of  a number of  technologies emerging from RCNDE research.

IMG_0621 IMG_0626IMG_0631

Many RCNDE researchers and CDT students also presented papers at the related Annual BINDT conference. The MT Exhibition is held every two years and RCNDE will be exhibiting again at MT17 also in Telford to be held 5th-8th September 2017.

Strategic Partnership

EPSRC and NDEvR (the organisation representing industrial members of RCNDE)  signed an agreement in November 2014 to extend their Strategic Partnership for a further six years, reflecting the importance of NDE to both industry and the research community. The aim of the Partnership is to promote and co-fund long-term research, postgraduate training and knowledge exchange in the field of NDE. Activities include the RCNDE and CDT in Quantitative NDE programmes, ICASE studentships and input to UK government consultations.

BBC “100 Women” accolade

Misty Haith, an EngD research Engineer in our CDT working with Imperial College and BP from  2012 to  2016 was selected as one of the 2014 BBC 100 Women.  The list each year includes inspirational and influential women to act as role models for the future. Misty also won a prestigious 1851 Industrial Fellowship in 2014.

Misty Haith receiving her Industrial Fellowship from Rt Hon Greg Clark MP Minister for Universities, Science and Cities

Misty Haith receiving her Industrial Fellowship from Rt Hon Greg Clark MP Minister for Universities, Science and Cities

FREng recognition 2014

Congratulations  to Professor Mike Lowe (Imperial College) on his election to Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

RCNDE  research funding announcement

Speaking at the Mission-Oriented Finance for Innovation event at the House of Commons on 27 July 2014, UK Business Secretary Vince Cable  announced £5.4M EPSRC funding for RCNDE research over the  6 years 2014-2020. This will be matched by funding from the industrial membership and will enable the centre to undertake leading edge research aimed at meeting the long term industry need for new inspection technology. The full EPSRC press release can be found a