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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L015587/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantitative NDE
Principal Investigator: Cawley, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Peyton, Professor A Lowe, Professor M Gachagan, Professor A
Newton, Professor K Drinkwater, Professor B Dixon, Professor SM
Scruby, Professor CB Somekh, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 April 2015 Ends: 31 March 2023 Value (£): 3,072,662
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design & Testing Technology Materials testing & eng.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2013 EPSRC CDT 2013 Interviews Panel C Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose an Industrial Doctorate Centre (IDC) in Quantitative Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) as an evolution from the existing successful IDC in NDE, operated through a Strategic Partnership between EPSRC and major end-user companies. The IDC is designed to meet a strong and rising industrial need for adventurous research and highly skilled engineers in a technology area underpinning some of the most important industrial growth areas in the UK economy.

The proposal is for a multi-university centre led by Imperial College and including the Universities of Bristol, Manchester, Nottingham, Strathclyde and Warwick, with focus on a new research challenge and expanded industrial engagement. The existing IDC has funding for cohort intakes up to October 2014 so that in line with EPSRC guidance the proposal is for 4 cohorts of 11 student research engineers (REs) with intakes between October 2015 & October 2018.

Advanced NDE technology is critical for new engineering challenges across a wide range of market sectors. Thus it is specifically identified within the Structural Integrity & Materials Behaviour priority area of Engineering but is also directly relevant to other priority areas within the Engineering, Manufacturing the Future, Energy & Physical Sciences themes. The need for more high level NDE engineers is increasing in many of these sectors, partly in order to increase skill levels to address new, high technology capabilities generated through successful research, and partly to deal with the ongoing issue of an ageing workforce in this field.

The new IDC will be based on increased industrial support: EPSRC funding is sought for 7 REs per cohort; industry and universities will fund at least 4 REs per cohort as well as centre management and outreach activities. Requested EPSRC support is reduced to 30% after allowing for significant leverage of industrial and university cash contributions and industrial in-kind support.

The IDC will be closely linked with the world-leading UK Research Centre in NDE (RCNDE) facilitating strong engagement with a wide range of industrial user and supplier partners to maximise the impact of the research, and provide a cohesive cohort experience for the REs. IDC research will be driven by the priorities identified by the RCNDE industrial partners' vision and will move to a new focus on quantitative NDE, imaging, inspection reliability, and permanent monitoring technologies to convert inspection data into decision-making information. This also requires a new approach by combining both PhDs & EngDs to cover the full Technology Readiness Level range and hence facilitate an effective technology pipeline for translation & exploitation.

Our aim is to provide a first-class cohort-based student experience with a broad sector-based training programme utilising world-class teams in leading universities. This will couple training in innovative research with a more formal programme of courses and events to deepen as well as broaden the REs' knowledge and understanding of NDE and related disciplines. The existing IDC has evolved a very successful approach for cohort building across multi-university partners with shared training, events and activities - and nurturing the vital experience of belonging to a thriving research group and to a large national research centre.

The academic partners together provide a critical mass of world-class academic supervisors spanning the range of multi-disciplinary NDE technologies required by the industrial partners, and also to provide a comprehensive NDE training programme. The Centre will be operated through a Management Board aligned with the RCNDE board, with an industrial Chair, industrial sponsors and academic members, and at least one student representative. The management team based at Imperial will work closely with the academic leads at the other universities to deliver an excellent student experience, high industrial impact & value for money.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk