PhD Studentship Automatic defect seeking and geometry characterisation by intelligent beam forming and scanning of ultrasonic arrays

Centre of Applied Digital Signal and Image Processing (ADSIP) Research Centre

Reference Number: RS/13/17

Applications are invited for a full-time PhD studentship in the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences funded by BAE SYSTEMS Maritime – Submarines. The studentship is tenable for up to 3.5 years for a PhD (via MPhil route) [subject to satisfactory progress].  The studentship will cover the cost of tuition fees for UK/EU residents plus a maintenance grant of £18,120 for 3.5 years.

The successful applicant will start on 1 January 2014. Restricted to Home/EU students only due to security reasons.

Project Title: Automatic defect seeking and geometry characterisation by intelligent beam forming and scanning of ultrasonic arrays.

Project Description

An opportunity is available for a postgraduate studentship as part of a collaborative project to develop techniques for automating the non-destructive evaluation of welds with ultrasonic array transducers. The aim of the project is to develop potentially world first intelligent ultrasonic non-destructive evaluation system for inspection of welds by automating some of the more laborious aspects of the inspection process.  

The work undertaken at UCLan will be to develop pattern recognition and machine learning algorithms to be employed in an automated intelligent software controller for data acquisitions made using an ultrasonic array transducer. 

The objectives are to develop a system with the following capabilities:

  1. Automatic detection of targets (defects) embedded in a previously unknown material sample presented to the system.
  2. Intelligently scan detected target(s) to arrive at the best available characterisation of the target(s).  This is achieved through recursively scanning target(s), with decisions regarding the current scan parameters extrapolated from internal database of prior learned behaviours in conjunction with feedback from the earlier scans.
  3. Provide preliminary analysis of the output data, specifically classification and geometrical characterisation of the detected defect(s).

The successful candidate will develop machine intelligence algorithms and control software for automated data acquisition and analysis using an ultrasonic array transducer.

Applicants should have, or expect to receive a minimum of UK 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in electronic engineering or a cognate discipline, and exceptional technical and interpersonal skills. Postgraduate experience, although desirable, is not essential.

Informal enquiries may be directed to Stephen James Mein email:  Tel 01772 892705

Requests for an application pack (quoting the reference number RS1317) should be directed to the Research Student Registry. Tel: 01772 895082 or email:

Closing Date: 29th November 2013

Proposed Interview Date: 12th December 2013


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