My name is Fernando Ramonet, I am ESR 10 of this project, and I am doing my Ph.D. in TU Wien in Vienna. In March of this year, I submitted a 12-page summary of my Master’s Thesis titled “Design, manufacture, assembly, and synchronization of a mechanical system for ultrasonic tomographic inspection” for the Award “TENGO UN PROYECTO DE END”. This award aims to stimulate and promote the development of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) through a project based on new techniques, condition monitoring, structural health, research and new developments, sensors, industrial applications, reliability, and human factors on any NDT method.
On June 21st, 2021, a jury composed of members of the Spanish Association for Non-Destructive Testing (AEND) and scientist of the Institute of Physical and Information Technologies Leonardo Torres Quevedo (ITEFI) from the Spanish National for Research Council (CSIC) voted and designated two Master’s Thesis as winners of the second edition of the Award “TENGO UN PROYECTO DE END.” One of the winners was me, with a special mention of the award.
There is a previous thread in this blog announcing the jury’s decision. The award took place on November 24th, on the second day of the congress AeroEND 4.1, which took place on November 23 and 24 in Albacete, Spain.
Albacete is a small city with less than 200,000 inhabitants, one and half hours from Madrid on the high-speed train AVE (reaches 300 km/h). It was an adventure to get from Vienna to there.
On Friday afternoon, I departed from Vienna’s International Airport. After checking in, in the hotel, I arrived at a friend’s restaurant in Madrid where I literally listened to the Mariachi play at midnight (yes, like the “Are you with me” song from Lost Frequencies). I was welcomed with an hour and a half of live Mariachi to celebrate the award.
The following two days, I met my closest friends from Madrid. On monday, I did a first 4-hour-block of home-office, then I headed myself to the ITEFI institute to meet with some members of the research team G-CARMA. There I was shown the evolution of the prototype I designed and developed for my Master’s Thesis, which was used to characterize the columns of Conveto Do Carmo in Lisbon, Portugal, under the European Project Heritage Within.
You might be probably wondering (or not) what was my Master’s Thesis project. In case you do, I will be briefly describing what I did. I was asked to design and manufacture a mechanical equipment for the inspection of limestone blocks.
In my master’s thesis, I designed, manufactured, assembled, and synchronized an automatic system for ultrasonic tomographic inspection for the characterization of construction materials. The project was carried out within the research project of the R + D Challenges tender: “Generation of tomographic image for the evaluation of construction materials,” whose main purpose was the development of acoustic techniques and instrumentation that will allow to generate an image or representation of the building materials that are part of large structures.
The automatic inspection system consists of a mechanical and an electronic system. The mechanical system is made up of four linear motion subsystems arranged in a squared frame. Linear motion systems are used to perform automatic mechanical sweeps. The electronic system is responsible for moving the four linear motion systems according to the user’s needs, using Arduino boards to synchronize and control the four drivers.
The design of the mechanical system was carried out by means of conceptual design utilizing the inventive principles for the resolution of problems (TRIZ methodology) obtaining an optimal solution. The system has been designed in a computer-aided design (CAD) software, and several of its elements were designed to be manufactured by additive manufacturing (3D printing). Von Misses strain stress simulations were performed to validate the design of the main component.
The thesis was presented on February 25th 2020 at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Industriales (ETSII) of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) in Madrid, Spain and was awarded with honors.
Going back to the AeroEND congress, its objective was to bring together experts from the aeronautic industry, academia, policymakers, and the airforce. The congress aim was Non-Destructive Testing for the aerospace industry. The attendees were mainly from the aerospace industry, academics, students, and many colonels, captains, and generals from the Spanish Airforce.
The topics were diverse, from standardization and qualification of the technicians to neural networks and artificial intelligence. The first half of each day took place at the University of Castilla La Mancha, while the second was in the Albacete Airforce Base “Maestranza Aerea”. The part in the Maestranza had both conferences and stands. In the stands, there were NDT inspection equipment, 3D printing technologies for metal and concrete, a drone with a thermal camera, virtual reality glasses equipped with cameras for remote inspection and troubleshooting.
In the Airforce Base, you could also visit their NDT lab, where they inspect airfoils with automatic ultrasound equipment, fighting jets with x-ray computed tomography. Three Eurofighter Typhoons jets were open for the attendees to sit inside (of course, I sat on one in the pilot’s seat).
They say networking is always important. I met the other award winner the day before, a few Ph.D. students, a speaker, the technical and the certification managers of the AEND, some senior engineers from an NDT company, and a chief technical officer as well.
To sum up, it was a really nice experience. I have to confess that is the first award I have won. It was really nice to win a prize for a project that I put so much effort into.
What is next? Continue learning, developing new skills, attending relevant conferences, publishing some papers and, finishing my Ph.D.