EngD student, 2012 intake
Research: Guided wave monitoring for defect detection and classification in pipelines
University: Imperial College
Sponsoring company: BP
Background: Undergraduate Masters in Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, June 2012. I had experience of research from my final year project and a summer working on renewable energy research for the Australian government, but no experience of NDE before joining the EngD program.
My research looks at a type of ultrasound known as guided wave, a technique widely used in the oil and gas industry for the inspection of pipework. The aim of the project is to use signal processing techniques to improve the analysis of data from this type of sensor, ultimately leading to better detection and classification of pipe defects.
Much of my work has focused on the use of independent component analysis to decompose guided wave signals into constituent signals. This decomposition, based on statistical measures of the data, separates defect signals from background noise. With a reduction in noise it is possible to detect defects at an earlier stage in their development and hence make more informed decisions on how they should be managed.
A secondary focus of my work is the interaction of guided waves with patches of distributed general corrosion. General corrosion causes scattering of guided waves, thereby reducing the sensitivity of a guided wave inspection and making interpretation of received signals more difficult. By understanding the link between scattering and the characteristics of a corrosion surface, procedures can be developed to minimise the effect of this scattering.
Ultimately the knowledge developed in this project will be used by manufacturers of guided wave sensors to improve the reliability and sensitivity of commercial guided wave inspections.