What is NDE?
Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) employs sensor and imaging technology to assess the condition of components, plant and engineering structures – both during manufacture and while in-service. More specifically, it involves a wide range of technologies from relatively simple visual techniques to advanced imaging with ultrasonic, electromagnetic and radiographic methods. This key technology area underpins the safe and sustainable future of a broad cross-section of UK industry including power generation, oil & gas, aerospace, defence and high-value manufacturing.
There have been significant advances in NDE technology in recent years – including major contributions from RCNDE – however radical new approaches to NDE are needed to provide greater integrity and safety performance required to meet the future ambitions of the industry. These capabilities will range from the inspection and validation of complex new materials used in manufacture, e.g. aerospace and power applications, through to inspection in hazardous and remote locations such as for deepwater oil exploration.
Find out more about the Research Centre for Non-Destructive Evaluation (RCNDE) and its role in steering world-class research in inspection technologies, and matching it to the needs of a wide range of industries.
The Research Centre for Non-Destructive Evaluation (RCNDE) is a collaboration between industry and the Universities of Bristol, Nottingham, Strathclyde, Manchester, Warwick and Imperial College London to coordinate the latest research on Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) technologies, matching it to the needs of industry – both now and in the future. The Centre was founded in 2003 and co-funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and its original 5 industrial members. Since then, the membership has grown to 14 full industrial members and more than 40 associate members, category introduced in 2005 to incorporate vital technology providers and the key players within the supply chain. The industrial membership of RCNDE is represented by the NDE Research Association (NDEvR) and RCNDE is governed by the RCNDE Board.
Founded on the guiding principles of world-class scientific research and industrial application, the Centre is uniquely placed to help industry to face ever more challenging requirements to achieve greater integrity and safety performance and adopt new approaches to inspection and quality control.
“Strong relationships with industrial partners have led to a successful centre that is internationally recognised” EPSRC
RCNDE has just entered its fourth phase, RCNDE4, with a renewed drive to continue delivering its original vision to be the world-leading centre of excellence in NDE research through an active partnership with the industrial user community. With the aim of transforming NDE into a fully integrated part of the engineering life cycle, RCNDE4 is constructed around a wide portfolio of activities from longer-term, higher risk adventurous research, through medium-term application research and short-term practical developments to technology transfer activities as well strategic leadership initiatives such astheNDTLeadership Forum, NDE 4.0 Working Group and various requirements-capture workshops in collaboration with the British Institute of NDT. In addition, RCNDE has a linked Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Innovation in NDE (FIND-CDT), which is co-funded by EPSRC and RCNDE’s industrial members and provides an excellent route for members to access arising technology and trained NDE engineers. This connection also establishes a technology transfer pipeline in which student projects further develop fundamental research originating from RCNDE towards industrial application.
- £4.5M grant
- Original universities: Imperial College, Bristol, Strathclyde, Bath, Nottingham, Warwick
- 5 full members at the start -> Airbus, RR, DSTL, RWE npower and NNL, formerly BNFL.
- Associate membership category created
- NDEvR is established to represent the industrial members of RCNDE.
- £9M grant
- 6 universities
- 14 full members average
- 9 associates members
- NDEvR embarks on a Strategic Partnership with EPSRC to promote and co-fund long-term research, postgraduate training and knowledge exchange in the field NDE.
- £10.5M grant,
- University of Manchester gets involved
- Bath University leaves the consortium
- 15 full members/29 associate members
- Portfolio of grants
- Expansion of activities
- Different TRLs
- 14 full members/ 42 associates partners