Reliability Society Denver Section Joint Meeting with SME on Subsurface Measurement and its Applications to Manufacturing

On March 19th, the IEEE Reliability Society Denver Section held its first meeting of the year in Westminster, CO, jointly with the Denver Section of the Society for Manufacturing Engineers (SME).  Lively, informal technical discussion over dinner continued into the technical presentation by Yiming Deng, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at CU-Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus.

IEEE RS and SME have a lot in common, so the discussions centered around many current, overlapping concerns including solar power generation, power systems design, IEEE Greentech Conference, airline maintenance, and many other engineering related topics. At least one of the 12 attendees was both a member of SME and IEEE.

Yiming Deng, who is also the Director of LIIP at CU-Denver, presented some interesting details about his research and the many facets of work he accomplishes with his many graduate students. After explaining his background, the university resources available, and the basic concepts behind the topic, he proceeded to cover some of the cutting edge work he pursues.

  • Advanced Electro-Magnetic Imaging is useful for Nondestructive Evaluation, and Structural Health Monitoring, both key concepts within the energetic topic of Prognostics and Health Management (PHM).
  • Electromagnetic Nondestructive Evaluation involves magnetic sensors which must be calibrated carefully, and studied, usually with mathematical models, to assure a high probability of detection. I found it interesting to learn that while the operator is good at recognizing large features that are indications of problems, the software is better at identifying smaller features, so a combination of the two works best.
  • Sensors are optimized using a forward model. Because modeling can bring a much larger variety of test conditions and image features, engineers can optimize the sensor array size, configuration, lift off, operation frequency, and more to make sure the sensors are most sensitive. The trick is to avoid type I and type II errors in a way to reduce overall costs.
  • Yiming and his students are working on a novel use of microwave imaging called near field scanning microwave imaging (NFMW).  Because of the near field application, the resolution is not determined by the wavelength, which is too large to be useful, but rather determined by the aperture size, which can be easily controlled.
  • His team is also looking at a hybrid approach, combining microwave and ultrasound to gain the best of both methods.

The applications in this work to both reliability and manufacturing are both amazing, and nearly endless. PHM is well known to bring advantages to reliability by proactively identifying problems before they occur. And as a nondestructive evaluation technique, these methods can be applied to inspection points on the manufacturing line to find defects before shipment in some cases, and in re-manufacturing plants to assess the rehabilitation and repair necessary to make a product or system as good as new.

If you’re disappointed that you missed this talk, be sure not to miss the next one, tentatively scheduled for early May, with details to be given here.

About Rupe

Dr. Jason Rupe wants to make the world more reliable, even though he likes to break things. He received his BS (1989), and MS (1991) degrees in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University; and his Ph.D. (1995) from Texas A&M University. He worked on research contracts at Iowa State University for CECOM on the Command & Control Communication and Information Network Analysis Tool, and conducted research on large scale systems and network modeling for Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, and Survivability (RAMS) at Texas A&M University. He has taught quality and reliability at these universities, published several papers in respected technical journals, reviewed books, and refereed publications and conference proceedings. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and of IIE. He has served as Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Reliability, and currently works as its Managing Editor. He has served as Vice-Chair'n for RAMS, on the program committee for DRCN, and on the committees of several other reliability conferences because free labor is always welcome. He has also served on the advisory board for IIE Solutions magazine, as an officer for IIE Quality and Reliability division, and various local chapter positions for IEEE and IIE. Jason has worked at USWEST Advanced Technologies, and has held various titles at Qwest Communications Intl., Inc, most recently as Director of the Technology Modeling Team, Qwest's Network Modeling and Operations Research group for the CTO. He has always been those companies' reliability lead. Occasionally, he can be found teaching as an Adjunct Professor at Metro State College of Denver. Jason is the Director of Operational Modeling (DOM) at Polar Star Consulting where he helps government and private industry to plan and build highly performing and reliable networks and services. He holds two patents. If you read this far, congratulations for making it to the end!
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