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PhD Studentship - Artificial Intelligence for Ultrasonic Characterisation of Complex Materials

University of Southampton

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 1st December 2023
Closes: 31st August 2024
 

Supervisory team: Dr. Michal Kalkowski, Dr. Thomas Blumensath

Project description

Explore the space where physics-based modelling and artificial intelligence meet! We seek applicants for a fully-funded 3.5-year research on developing new methods for ultrasonic non-destructive characterisation of complex materials.

We invite you to join the Dynamics Group within the University's Institute of Sound and Vibration Research. You will contribute to developing the exciting capability in AI-powered non-destructive evaluation (NDE), working alongside researchers using acoustics to interrogate and characterise structures and materials of different scales and complexities. We are a member of the UK's Research Centre for Non-Destructive Evaluation (RCNDE - rcnde.ac.uk) and run projects in both ultrasonic and X-ray imaging (including EU-funded iWeld - iweld-euratom.org).

This PhD project tackles a long-standing challenge in ultrasonic non-destructive testing – characterisation and inspection of complex materials, such as castings and thick weld sections. These materials are safety-critical in various industries, e.g. nuclear energy. However, they are notoriously difficult to inspect because their complex microstructure deviates and scatters ultrasound. Up to now, we can only learn about the grain layout destructively which is holding the industry back in reliable asset management. This project aims to push the boundaries of characterisation, allowing for in-situ characterisation accounting for likely uncertainties in sensor positions, geometry and alike. To achieve this, we will explore various artificial intelligence tools combined with physics-based modelling and inversion.

The project will involve algorithm development and testing, numerical and analytical ultrasound simulation, and examination datasets processing. You will have access to IRIDIS - our powerful high-performance computing cluster- and muVIS (www.southampton.ac.uk/muvis) advanced material characterisation facilities in the School of Engineering. You will also benefit from interactions with our industrial and academic partners in the UK and Europe, including ultrasonic measurements on industry-relevant samples.

Feel free to contact Michal Kalkowski from the Dynamics Group (m.kalkowski@soton.ac.uk) for an informal chat about the project and pursuing a PhD in Southampton. We look forward to hearing from you!

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Funding: Funding for tuition fees and a living stipend are available on a competitive basis. Funding will be awarded on a rolling basis, so apply early for the best opportunity to be considered.

How to apply

Apply online: Search for a Postgraduate Programme of Study (soton.ac.uk). Select programme type (Research), 2024/25, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, next page select “PhD Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Michal Kalkowski

Applications should include:

  • Research Proposal
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Two reference letters
  • Degree Transcripts/Certificates to date

For further information please contact: feps-pgr-apply@soton.ac.uk

The School of Engineering is committed to promoting equality, diversity inclusivity as demonstrated by our Athena SWAN award. We welcome all applicants regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or age, and will give full consideration to applicants seeking flexible working patterns and those who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy, onsite childcare facilities, and offers a range of benefits to help ensure employees’ well-being and work-life balance. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and has been awarded the Platinum EcoAward.

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