Research Associate in Ultrasonic Inversion for Non-Destructive Evaluation

Imperial College London

United Kingdom


Job Summary

The Salary structure is subject to change effective from 1st April 2019, please see full details on our salary structure reform.

The rise of high speed computer simulations has provided new opportunities for detecting and quantifying damage within safety-critical components such as jet engines, oil pipes or aeroplane wings. While simulation tools have traditionally been used to produce ultrasonic data for a given geometry and defect, this project on ultrasonic inversion for non-destructive evaluation is about the opposite – given a measured data set, find out by modelling what defect (if there is one!) could have caused this. This has the potential for huge impact within NDE by significantly improving the detection and characterisation of defects.

The successful applicant will be joining a world-renowned research group, within one of the world's foremost research universities. The NDE group has an excellent record in fundamental and applied research, from the theoretical foundations through to technology transfer to industry. It is well funded by many industrial partners and public grant bodies. The group developed the high speed finite element package Pogo ( which is becoming increasingly widely used in academia and industry, and the job will make extensive use of this expertise.

Duties and Responsibilities

You will develop algorithms to invert ultrasonic data. In this you will need to

  • Develop a thorough understanding of the literature
  • Formulate the theory behind suitable inversion techniques for the finite element method with ultrasound
  • Implement the theory using suitable computational tools
  • Test the algorithms with perfect data initially, then using different models
  • Ultimately acquire experimental data, potentially collaborating with our network of industrial partners to obtain real test specimens, and using this to test
  • Develop solutions to fix any issues which may arise.

Essential Requirements

A PhD (or equivalent, or near completion of PhD) in an area pertinent to the research subject i.e. Non-Destructive Evaluation and a first degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering or Physics.

In addition some background in numerical modelling of waves is essential, ideally with the finite element technique.

Knowledge of inversion techniques and imaging (particularly tomography) is highly essential.

Further Information

This is a fixed term position until the 31st May 2020 in the first instance.

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £33,380 - £35,061 per annum.

Please note this is a re-advertisement; previous applicants need not apply.

Due to the nature of this role we will be shortlisting candidate as applications are received. We therefore reserve the right to close this vacancy as soon as a suitable candidate has been appointed. It is therefore advisable that you submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Queries relating to the position should be directed to Dr Peter Huthwaite at

Our preferred method of application is via our website. Please click “APPLY NOW” to go through to the online application form. Should you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Miss Helen Stoneham at

For technical issues when applying online please email Please ensure that you include the job reference number in any correspondence.


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