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Research Associate in Intelligent Robotic Inspection of Nuclear Assets Full Time

at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow (Published at 21-05-2020)

Salary: £32,817 per annum
FTE: 1

Term: Fixed (18 months)
Closing Date: 21 June 2020
The Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering (EEE) at the University of Strathclyde seeks to recruit a Research Associate to participate in an innovative research project on automated structural inspection / Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE). You will work within a team of around 20 members developing novel automated inspection systems using mobile robots, fixed arm robots and aerial drones. The project is funded by Strathclyde?s Advanced Nuclear Research Centre (https://www.strath.ac.uk/research/advancednuclearresearchcentre) which is a £5M collaboration between industry and EPSRC focusing on infrastructure and management of nuclear installations.
Existing in-service inspection robots have extremely limited mechanical probe articulation which makes the effective inspection of complex-shaped components difficult. For such scenarios, where the inspection need important enough to justify it, the conventional approach is to produce a custom inspection system. These work well, but are extremely expensive to design, construct and certify, are slow to deploy and are not well suited to reuse. There is a need for a general purpose highly articulated inspection robot, which can be achieved by mounting a small 6 DOF ARM onto a magnetic crawler. Such a system should enable precise probe placement in an in-situ setting, even on complex geometry such as pipes, nozzles and saddle welds inspection.
This project will feed into several areas of state of the art research in robotics, NDE and sensor fusion running in at Strathclyde. These includes projects covering applications such as the visual inspection of wind turbine blades from drones, 3D model generation to aid engine remanufacture and a system for creating photorealistic models of the internal geometry of industrial pipework.

To be considered for the role, you will be educated to a minimum of PhD level in a relevant subject (e.g. Electrical or Software Engineering); or have significant relevant experience in addition to a relevant degree. You will have demonstrable capability in algorithm development in Matlab or similar. You will have a strong background in algorithm development, linear algebra and optimisation. You will have an ability to conduct individual research work, to disseminate results and to prepare research proposals. You will have excellent written and verbal communication skills, with an ability to listen, engage and persuade and to present complex information in an accessible way to a range of audiences. You will have the ability to work as part of a team, integrating with existing research team members and collaborating effectively with both academic and industrial partners.
You will be based in the Centre for Ultrasonic Engineering (CUE), which is an interdisciplinary research grouping with an international reputation in structural inspection. CUE has a unique range of facilities, with a broad portfolio of ultrasonic research encompassing Ultrasonic Transducer and Array Technology; Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE); Robotic Systems; Mathematical Modelling of Ultrasonic Devices and Ultrasonic Transducer Materials. CUE is a founding member of the EPSRC funded UK Research Centre for Non-Destructive Evaluation (RCNDE, www.rcnde.ac.uk). The University of Strathclyde is one of the leading internationally renowned research universities in the UK. The EEE Department at Strathclyde was ranked 1st in Scotland in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework and 3rd, in the UK rankings. Moreover, the University of Strathclyde has recently been awarded two Times Higher Education accolades: UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2013/14 and UK University of the Year 2012/13 and 2019/2020.
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Gordon Dobie at gordon.dobie@strath.ac.uk
Initial interviews have been scheduled for 29 June 2020.

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