Postgraduate Research Opportunity

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for NDT

Details

Title: Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for NDT

Funding: Full time Home fees and a standard tax-free stipend for three years equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,285 in 2020-21). EU and international students are welcome to apply, but the funding will only cover the cost of overseas tuition fees and the applicant need to self-fund their living cost for three years.

Application deadline: 21st June 2021.

Start date: October 2021

Duration: 3 years (full time)

Location: Colchester Campus

Based in: School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

Overview

The School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex in collaboration with The Welding Institute (TWI) is pleased to announce a PhD studentship in “Artificial Intelligence for NDT - Development of AI systems for robotic path planning and automated defect detection”.

This project seeks to continue the advancement of the robotic inspection cells in TWI (Intacom) by introducing additional methods such as eddy currents and laser ultrasound.

New challenges brought by Industry 4.0 include the development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems for robotic path planning and automated defect detection, the use of cooperating robots (Cobots) to perform tasks alongside human engineers without the use of dedicated safety cells, and the acquisition and management of very large data sets on-site acquired using free standing robotic manipulators linked to metrology systems.

The Intacom 2 robot cell was developed to enable the inspection of large objects such as fan cases and wing spars. This generates large amounts of Phased Array Ultrasound Test (PAUT) data that are time consuming to analyse.

The project

This project will aim to develop software that is able to extract flaws, characterise and size them and sentence the part by reference to a list of stored parameters. The application will be deployed for assisting with defect detection for both PAUT and digital radiographic (DR) data.

  • Desktop literature review to establish the state of the art.
  • Validation of algorithms via experiment with reporting of findings.
  • Development of ADR for FMC data for metallic components (AM)
  • Development of ADR for Radiography/CT of metallic components
  • AI for NDT Scanning of Unknown Geometries using Collaborative Robots

Funding

This project is funded by the University of Essex and TWI.

The funding covers:

  • the cost of Home tuition fees. EU and international students are welcome to apply, but the funding will only cover the cost of overseas tuition fees and the applicant need to self-fund their living cost for three years. Fees for 2021-22 TBC.
  • a standard tax-free stipend for three years equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,285 in 2020-21).

Criteria

The successful candidate would be expected to speak fluent English and meet our English Language requirements and will have a good in. They would also need to possess the following qualifications and experience:

Essential

  • BSc or BEng degree (1st, 2:1, or equivalent) in computer science, Electric Engineering, Robotics, Mechatronics, or a related subject
  • Strong analytical and mathematical skills
  • Advanced knowledge of MATLAB, Simulink
  • Experience in skill acquisition or modelling
  • Experience in industrial robots and metrology systems for inspection (NDT)
  • Experience in design and deployment of data driven and model predictive control.

Desirable

  • Peer reviewed publication(s) in robotics, mechatronics, and control
  • Experience in Python, TensorFlow and/or Pytorch Machine Learning libraries
  • Experience in inspection/maintenance robotic applications
  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in computer science, Electric Engineering, Robotics, Mechatronics or a related subject

Note: Overseas applicants should also submit IELTS results (minimum 6.5) if applicable.

How to apply

You can apply for this postgraduate research opportunity online.

Please upload your CV, personal statement, and transcripts of any undergraduate or masters programmes.

The deadline is Monday 21st June 2021.

Instruction to applicants

When you apply online you will be prompted to fill out several boxes in the form:

  • For "Course title" please put "PhD Computer Science".
  • For "Proposed research topic or area of research" please put the title of this studentship “Artificial Intelligence for NDT - Development of AI systems for robotic path planning and automated defect detection (Ref: CSEE/TWI-Oct2021-01)”.
  • For "If you have contacted a potential supervisor..." please put the name of the Essex supervisors (Jinya Su, Ali Kafash Hoshiar).

If you have any informal queries about this opportunity please email the supervisors, Dr Jinya Su (j.su@essex.ac.uk), Dr Ali Kafash Hoshiar (A.KafashHoshiar@essex.ac.uk), and Dr Ian Nicholson (ian.nicholson@twi.co.uk).