EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S001565/1
Title: Predictive Modelling in Complex Uncertain Environments: Optimised exploitation of physics and data
Principal Investigator: Cross, Professor EJ
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL Los Alamos National Laboratory Prowler.io
Ramboll Group Safran Landing Systems UK Ltd Siemens
Swiss Federal Inst of Technology (EPFL) University of California, San Diego
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship - NHFP
Starts: 29 June 2018 Ends: 28 January 2022 Value (£): 579,374
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design & Testing Technology Mech. & Fluid Power Transmiss.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
10 May 2018 EPSRC UKRI CL Innovation Fellowship Interview Panel 8 - 10 and 11 May 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project aims to improve the current techniques used to assess the condition and safety of offshore and aerospace structures.

The platforms used by the Oil and Gas industry in the North Sea were designed to operate for around 25 years in total. Over 600 of these platforms have now reached the end of their design life and the decision must be taken as to whether they can continue to be used safely or whether they should be decommissioned. For new offshore wind turbines, it is critical to have a good understanding of current structural condition so that maintenance can be planned optimally - unscheduled maintenance and downtime is extremely costly, owing to the difficulty of accessing these structures. Equally, in the aerospace industry, the ability to follow a condition-based maintenance strategy will save much time and money in avoiding unscheduled/emergency repair work.

This project brings together researchers from the University of Sheffield, who are experts in Structural Health Monitoring and nonlinear system modelling, with industry experts who are leading the way in the monitoring and assessment of offshore and aerospace structures. The aim of this collaboration is to develop the most accurate means possible of assessing structural condition using monitoring data.

The approach that will be taken here will combine the latest developments in artificial intelligence with more traditional methods that exploit understanding of the physics at work. Predictive models based on well-understood physics can often fall short of being able to explain complex behaviour, such as the loading an offshore structure will experience in a changing sea-state. This is where learning from measured data can be used to augment the model and improve prediction at times when the physics doesn't explain the behaviour captured by the sensors.

The combination of physics and data-based models will be used to improve the prediction of the forcing a structure experiences from a changing environment. An accurate quantification of this enables one to calculate the stresses a structure has undergone, which leads to a prediction of its current condition. A similar modelling approach will be used to help make predictions about the structure itself.

Finally, as well as improving the accuracy of the methods used to assess structural condition, the project aims to quantify the amount of uncertainty inherent in the models and algorithms that will be implemented. This approach acknowledges the fact that it is not always possible to make an accurate prediction of structural condition at a given time, but allows a confidence level to be assigned to each assessment made. To make responsible and optimal decisions concerning the repair or decommission of a structure, understanding the level of confidence one has in an assessment of structural condition is absolutely key.

Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk