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News from the Institute Branches 

| West of England Branch
Visual inspection of Brunel's Other Bridge

Annabel Bowker-Dance reports

On Saturday 17 July, a visit was made to Brunel’s Other Bridge with Bob Watkins and Geoff Wallis of

to carry out an internal visual inspection of selected areas of the internal structure of the bridge. Supporting them were Neil Hall and Richard Day from RWE Generation UK using remote visual inspection (RVI) equipment to access the internal tubular and triangular sections along the top and bottom of the bridge, as seen in Figure 1.

Overall, the survey was successful in giving an indication of the condition of the internal structure of the bridge, which had not been viewed since it was fabricated over 170 years
ago; disappointingly, no Victorian graffiti or treasure was seen.

The top sections appear to be in remarkably good condition, with the internal stay bars and locking anchor points being intact and in good condition. The stay bars were one of Brunel’s cunning designs to limit the bridge bending while keeping the weight to a minimum. What appears to be a protective paint system (possibly red lead) is evident on the internal surfaces (see Figure 2). The bottom triangulated section of the bridge has not fared so well, with internal corrosion evident; however, this was anticipated due to corrosion evident on the external surfaces and the location being subject to localised flooding over the decades. Bob was very pleased with the results, which will allow the restoration team to target specific areas of the structure for carrying out further non-destructive testing (NDT) and performing structural assessments.

A subsequent Branch meeting, the Summer Outing, took place on 16 August and gave all Branch members the opportunity to witness the next phase of the project – namely the pulsed eddy current (PEC) inspection courtesy of Baugh & Weedon to measure the plane flat and curved surfaces (without the rivets). This was followed with a visit to a local pub. News of the PEC inspection will follow in a future issue of NDT News.

| Early Careers Branch
Committed to inspiring the next generation of NDT professionals

Sam Cunningham reports

In July’s edition of the ‘Update on Apprenticeships’ I focused on the launch of the BINDT Early Careers Branch and I now want to provide feedback on the success and continued support that the Branch has subsequently received.

The first Early Careers Branch presentation set the scene and focused on an overview of the main aims and objectives that form the Branch’s core beliefs before going on to discuss the up and coming presentations that are taking place over the year. Ranging from talks by Responsible Level 3s about their career journeys and Q&A sessions with the current President of BINDT to NDT quiz nights and social events, the Early Careers Branch calendar is packed with fun and educational learning topics designed to enhance individuals’ careers in NDT and to inspire them to go on and develop. David Gilbert, CEO of BINDT, then went on to provide the background of the Institute and where it is focusing in terms of outreach and engagement. There are many objectives that BINDT is aiming to carry out over the coming years to engage with individuals who are looking for a career in NDT in order to secure the sustainability of the industry, which is fantastic to see.

The Early Careers Branch is open to anyone who is new to or interested in the field of NDT, condition monitoring (CM) and structural health monitoring (SHM). Since the launch of this Branch there have been a number of requests to join from individuals throughout the UK and further afield, showing that there is a keen appetite for this type of support network. Over 50 individuals are now part of the Early Careers Branch and this is growing every single week. If the Branch can benefit you or anyone you know then please get in touch for more information and to join.

August’s presentation brought some fascinating stories from similar Early Career Groups, which shared their stories of success and development. These stories certainly inspired the group members and shed light on the various career and membership possibilities available and also the developmental possibilities of the Early Careers Branch itself. Presentations were conducted by the Young Rail Professionals, The Welding Institute’s Younger Member Network and Young ICorr, who have all developed supportive and informative processes to inspire, promote and develop the individuals in their associated industries. Short extracts below give an introduction to each group and I can certainly see how a collaborative approach with these and other related groups could certainly benefit individuals in their early career by enhancing their knowledge of related industries and enabling continued professional development.

Young Rail Professionals brings together people from all aspects of the industry, whether they are involved in engineering, asset management, train operations, strategic planning, maintenance, franchising, regulation, marketing, human relations or otherwise.

The Younger Members of The Welding Institute are dedicated to developing our next generation of engineers. They do this by participating in outreach activities and by promoting the benefits of professional development through professional membership and registration. Young ICorr intends to link the network of younger professionals who are either working in or interested in the field of corrosion.

September’s presentation will be given by Caroline Bull of AWE, who will talk about her fascinating career in NDT and the path that she took to become President of BINDT (2017-2018) and a successful NDT Level 3 Engineer. Caroline will also be around to answer any questions that members of the Early Careers Branch may have in relation to their career and professional development activities. Please visit the BINDT website for information on how you can attend this presentation.