University: Strathclyde Course Director: Theodosia Stratoudaki and Simon Pickering


The use of new and advanced materials and manufacturing processes push performance limits to the extreme and NDE must keep up with progress. This is where optical methods are needed most: Light can be fibre coupled to access places of restricted access and lasers can sense remotely even in extreme environments. The use of optical and thermographic techniques allows subsurface structure and defects to be detected remotely and non-contactively. These characteristics can be used to control the fabrication process, find flaws as soon as they are produced, enable in-situ NDE, and these efforts are quickly progressing with the continuing advances in lasers, optical fibres, imaging sensors/detectors and computers.   

As the future research and industrials leaders in NDE, FIND CDT students are introduced to optics and thermography within the context of state-of-the-art techniques designed for NDE. The module includes lecture sections teaching Optics and Thermography and hands-on, experimental, consolidating exercises, where students are able to practice the Optics and Thermography concepts they learned, as well as a lab based Optics coursework activity and a two-way discussion with a guest, currently working in the industry, who is able to give them their view of how optics are currently being used for NDE and what will happen in the future.  


There are 3 pieces of coursework:  

Optics coursework: Students are given a practical example of building an experimental setup and are asked to comment on its suitability for a given NDE task and submit a 3 page document.  

Laser detection lab coursework: The students are asked to collect experimental data, in the lab, based on an optical based technique and within the NDE context. As part of the coursework, the students will process and analyse the data and submit a 4 page document.  

Thermography coursework: Students are asked to select an NDE scenario (e.g. relevant to their sponsoring/parent company) and evaluate the suitability and pros/cons of thermography for this application in a short 3 page report.