My experience of attending NDT 2017

Report by travel and attendance award winner Ruipeng Guo, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics 

The 56th Annual British Conference of Non-Destructive Testing took place from 5 to 7 September 2017 at the International Centre in Telford, UK. More than 150 delegates attended this conference, mostly from the UK but also from all over the world, from countries such as Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Iceland and so on.

The conference took the form of three parallel sessions, with prestigious plenary presentations. The content included digital radiography, composites, NDT in the wind energy industry, NDT of additive manufactured parts, ultrasonics, industrial applications, digital signal processing and modelling, quality and reliability in NDT, novel applications, electromagnetics and so on. More than 100 papers were presented over the three days of the conference.

At the same time, the Materials Testing Exhibition ran alongside the conference. More than 80 companies presented the latest products, technologies and services in the NDT market. Two sets of free talks, covering practical aspects of NDT and related technologies, took place simultaneously in the exhibition hall.

Personally, I chose some presentations to attend. Some of them had a direct relationship to my work, while others were not so relevant to this but were selected to broaden my horizons. All of the presentations were very interesting, especially those in which the speakers showed their research products. I found this to be lively and impressive. By attending the presentations, I learnt about the current state-of-the-art and the latest developments in different fields, some advanced methods and techniques, which can be used in our research work in the future, and some new ideas that inspired me. In short, I found the presentations highly beneficial.

My presentation, which is about the application of the laser ultrasonic technique for non-contact detection of high-temperature metal surface imperfections, was arranged for the morning of
7 September. Although I had prepared very well in advance, I still felt nervous; I worried that the presentation was not as good as I expected. Even so, Professor Jasson Gryzagoridis and Dr R Chapman gave me some very useful suggestions. Thanks to them for the help.

As well as the conference, I also visited the exhibition during the coffee and lunch breaks. Since my work is related to ultrasonics, I focused on various ultrasonic transducers. All kinds of transducer, both contact and non-contact, were shown by different companies and their application is very extensive. However, laser ultrasound instruments did not seem to appear in the exhibition, which is a pity.

The social programme was wonderful. It provided me with the opportunity to network and meet people from both academia and industry. I was very lucky to meet some famous scholars and have a deep conversation with them about our work. I also learnt more about the rich British culture through the social programme.

Finally, I would like to express my warm thanks to BINDT. Many thanks for awarding me the Annual Conference Travel and Attendance Award. The conference was a great success and I learnt a lot. This experience will help me progress further on the scientific research road.