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

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New intake for the CDT in Quantitative NDE Nov 2017

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

CDT induction 2017

CDT Induction 2017


1851 Industrial Fellowship

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/

RCNDE Early Stage Research Network Event 26-28 June 2017

An event for Early Stage Researchers across the RCNDE network was held in Bristol, 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 events.   As well as conference style and workshop sessions this years 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


Annual RCNDE and CDT conferences Bristol 9-10 May 2017

The annual  conference for our Doctoral Training Centre was held at the interesting Watershed venue in Bristol this year on 9th May. Presentations were given by second and fourth year Research Engineers (REs) covering a wide range of  projects which were well received by the academic and industrial audience. Use of the Watershed cinemas for the conference provided the largest screens we have used to date so that even the smallest of slide lettering was readable.


This was followed on 10th May by the RCNDE annual research review event with around 120 attendees present to hear about the current Core Research programme   These events always provides an excellent opportunity for networking, providing inputs to the ongoing research and identification of potential  exploitation options.

Innovation accolades

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

RCNDE technology transfer event Jan 2017

A Technology Transfer event for RCNDE members and Associate members was held at the University of Warwick  on 30th Jan 2017, which included overviews and demonstrations of emerging RCNDE technologies by the university teams.


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

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:

2016 intake for the CDT in Quantitative NDE 

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

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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 at: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/newsevents/news/cableadvancedmaterialsnondestructiveevaluationresearch/