EngD student, 2012 intake
Research: Full Matrix Capture for Pipe Weld Inspection
Sponsoring company: BAE Systems plc (Defence & Aerospace)
Background: Undergraduate Masters in Physics, University of Warwick, July 2012. I worked on various topics in semiconductor technology for my Masters project and in industry before starting an EngD with the CDT at the University of Bristol in September 2012. Now based with sponsoring company at the BAE Systems Barrow-in-Furness shipyard in Cumbria.
My project is focussed on the development of a practical ultrasonic array weld inspection procedure for small bore (20-70mm outer diameter) thin walled (3-9mm) pipework capable of replacing radiographic inspection. The technique is based around the Full Matrix Capture (FMC) array data acquisition technique and the Total Focussing Method (TFM) imaging algorithm pioneered at the University of Bristol.
Radiographic inspection necessitates exclusion zones and shielding around an inspection site which can place a significant burden on any manufacturing process particularly in the confined working environments. There are thousands of pipe welds on board a submarine and an ultrasonic technique capable of replacing radiography would provide a huge cost saving and schedule benefit to the build process.
So far my work has resulted in the design of a more optimal array for thin-walled high frequency ultrasonic inspection which provides levels of defect detectability comparable to (and in some cases superior) to radiography for both volumetric and planar flaws in austenitic welds. I am currently working towards creating a procedure to display and analyse the large volumes of data acquired in the inspection technique to both simplify and speed up the sentencing and characterisation process.
Awards: Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 – Industrial Fellowship 2014