Dr Maria Felice
EngD student 2010-2014
University: University of Bristol
Sponsoring company: Rolls-Royce plc
EngD research: Ultrasonic Array Inspections for Complex Defects
During my EngD I contributed to the ultrasonic modelling capability of my University and applied it to issues relevant to industry.
The motivation behind my EngD was stress corrosion cracks which are complex-shaped cracks that can develop in service. They can grow quickly and are challenging to detect, making them very dangerous. Ultrasonic arrays are a good choice for detecting stress corrosion cracks when there is no access to the surface from which the cracks initiate. Ultrasonic simulations can be extremely useful for optimising an array design. However, such simulations are often slow and unrealistic. For my project, I developed a method of obtaining real stress corrosion crack shapes from X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) images. I inputted these into an efficient ultrasonic model developed at the University of Bristol, thereby achieving more realistic results than when cracks are assumed to be slot-like.
I spent most of my final three years at Rolls-Royce in Bristol and during this time, as well as working on my EngD, I used the efficient model to develop a technique for sizing sub-millimetre surface-breaking cracks using the Half-Skip Total Focusing Method.
Current role: Research Engineer in Metrology and NDT at the Manufacturing Technology Centre.
I am now a Research Engineer in Metrology and NDT at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), which is one of seven High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres. The aim of these centres is to facilitate the adoption of novel technologies by the manufacturing industry. Here at the MTC, the NDT team mainly focuses on developing NDT techniques for novel manufacturing processes, especially for powder metallurgy manufacturing. We work closely with our Metrology colleagues to deliver complete inspection solutions.
At the MTC we work on cutting-edge projects and always need to deliver to the highest quality and on time to our customers. Therefore, I have found the academic rigour and industrial exposure of my EngD have helped me immensely to settle into this job and to perform well.