New Imaging Systems for Advanced Non-Destructive Evaluation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering


The science of non-destructive evaluation (NDE) involves the integrity testing and monitoring of components and structures to improve reliability and safety. It is therefore an essential activity to maintain the quality of life in any advanced society. Requirements for NDE exist in the supply chain for almost all industrial and consumer products, and an increasingly vital role for NDE is to assure the safe operation of ageing infrastructure (for example in both fossil fuel and nuclear power stations). As such, there exists an enormous application range, spanning the aerospace, nuclear, oil and gas, chemical, transport and building industries. While NDE is of critical strategic importance to all of these industrial sectors, it must be appreciated that for the end user, it represents an additional overhead and consequently, there is a continuous requirement to provide improved inspection at lower cost. Given the global demands of aging infrastructure, there is an urgent need for improved technology. The funding requested from EPSRC will assist the applicants in establishing an integrated research centre for NDE imaging technologies at Strathclyde University. Active areas of research will include: robotic vehicles in the form of autonomous, remote sensing agents (RSAs); new types of ultrasonic and electro-magnetic array transducers; biologically inspired array processing; new imaging technologies for microscale NDE and new methods for magnetic imaging. The equipment and support infrastructure (supported through The University of Strathclyde) will also be utilised to facilitate industrial technology transfer through a new model currently being implemented at Strathclyde and supported financially by Scottish Enterprise. An important strategic consequence of this vision will be the eventual creation of a dedicated laboratory containing state-of-the-art, multi-technology scanning equipment for rapid NDE of different structural components, ranging in size from microns to metres. Some of the required equipment is available commercially, but other components will need to be customised and the end product will constitute a globally unique range of research infrastructure. The laboratory will enhance and integrate research capability across a wide range of academic disciplines, spanning engineering, materials science, information technology and mathematics. It will also provide a prototype testing laboratory for some extremely important sectors of UK industry and will through time become a focus for applied research, thereby providing solutions for some very real and difficult problems.


10 25 50
Description Development of new ultrasonic imaging procedures, with applications to non-destructive testing and medical. New approaches for robotic sensor deployment.
Exploitation Route In developing new inspection procedures for aerospace, civil, oil and gas and power structures.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Education,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

Description Equipment grant has been used to underpin new research and funding across a wide range of Non Destructive Testing disciplines.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Education,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

Description AURA
Amount £900,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2012 
End 01/2014
Description Autonomous Manufacturing
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N018427/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2016 
End 04/2020
Description Large Area Metal Additive - LAMA
Amount £5,886,209 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R027218/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2018 
End 06/2023
Description VIEWS
Amount £30,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 113040 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2014 
End 06/2016
Description NNL 
Organisation National Nuclear Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Consultancy work evaluating electromagnetic and ulrasonic inspection of AGR fuel pins
Collaborator Contribution Technology and procedures for inspection
Impact Technical findings, new inspection techniques and capabilities
Start Year 2014
Description SPIRIT 
Organisation SPIRIT Aerosystems
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Partnership on ATI Innovate UK VIEWS program on new technology
Collaborator Contribution Developing integrated robotic NDT and metrology cell
Impact New inspection capabilities
Start Year 2013
Description Silverwing 
Organisation Silverfit
Country Netherlands 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Licensing of software for robotic control of crawler platform
Collaborator Contribution Software and knowhow
Impact New techniques for inspection coverage
Start Year 2014
Description VICON 
Organisation Vicon Motion Capture
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Developing new calibration procedures for 3D metrology photogrammetry
Collaborator Contribution Software and algorithm development
Impact New calibration technologies
Start Year 2012