Ground-breaking research collaboration between UWTSD and TWI leads to KESS 2 PhD success

Congratulations to Dr Ewan Hoyle, a KESS 2 PhD student at University of Wales Trinity Saint David who has successfully defended his doctoral thesis titled “Virtual Source Aperture Ultrasonic Imaging for Non-destructive Testing” and is now a Project Leader at TWI Technology Centre (Wales), in Port Talbot.

Dr Ewan Hoyle

Ewan joined TWI Ltd and UWTSD to pursue his PhD, funded by the European Social Fund under the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS 2) programme, undertaking research into advanced ultrasonic imaging techniques for non-destructive testing (NDT), specialising in advanced virtual source aperture imaging, a new, rapid Ultrasonic NDT imaging technique.  This work is part of an ongoing collaboration between UWTSD and TWI Technology Centre Wales into this vital area of applied research.

The new technique makes use of advanced computer hardware and post processing algorithms to produce fully focussed imagery that is superior to traditional Phased Array physical beamforming. This results in easier to interpret images, improving the ability of the user to detect and characterise defects, without compromising scanning speed.

Supported by his academic and industrial supervisors, Ewan has presented his research at numerous international conferences, as well as publishing in internationally recognised peer reviewed journals.

Ewan said: “I am very grateful to KESS, the University and to TWI for giving me the opportunity to undertake cutting edge research within industry. This experience has been of great benefit with regards the transition to my career.”

Professor Peter Charlton, Professor of Applied NDT and Director of Studies for Ewan at the University’s Wales Institute of Science and Art said, “It has been a great privilege working closely with Ewan, who has had a first-class attitude throughout his period of research.  This has helped further strengthen and maintain UWTSD’s working relationships with one of the region’s important strategic partners in the area of NDT, as highlighted in the Welsh Government’s Reid Review of funded research and innovation in Wales”

This is further echoed by Ewan’s second supervisor Professor John Rees, who added “This is a significant advancement of work pioneered between Professor Charlton and TWI.  It offers real benefits to non-destructive testing in improvements in the speed and applicability of ultrasonic imaging.  Ewan and the research team were a joy to work with, and I am enormously pleased to see his work come to fruition”.

Ewan’s industrial supervisor at TWI, Dr Mark Sutcliffe who had previously completed both his undergraduate and doctoral studies at UWTSD stated, “Ewan’s research is of great interest within NDT and he has been exceptional in both his academic and industrial output. The success of this work under the guidance of UWTSD demonstrates the strengths of the university in providing collaboration with an industrial focus. It has been an honour to have been a part of the supervisory team to have worked so closely with the university”.

In addition, Professor Ian Cooper, TWI Technology Fellow and Professor of Practice at UWTSD also added, “TWI Wales has become a world leading centre for Research and Development in NDT. TWI would like to congratulate Ewan on successfully completing his PhD in this vital area of research, which will further add to TWI Wales’ reputation for developing leading edge NDT solutions to challenging applications across a range of industries. What makes us stronger in such a challenging market is the ability to draw upon the skills and knowledge of our academic partners, and in particular, the close collaboration we have with Professor Charlton’s NDT research group at UWTSD.”

Barry Liles, OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Skills & Lifelong Learning) & Head of WISA said: “Ewan’s achievement exemplifies the University’s USP in supporting ground-breaking applied research linked to the needs of industry and employers indigenous to the University’s geographical footprint. Ewan has benefitted from the support of zealous supervisors who continually push the boundaries of research in their field of expertise. I congratulate Ewan on his achievement and look forward to observing his future career in TWI.”

Originally published on 28.09.2020 by the UWTSD press office: