Graeme West

Graeme West
University of Strathclyde · Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE)

PhD, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde (2003); 1st Class BEng (Hons) Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, University of Strathclyde (1998)

About

57
Publications
3,899
Reads
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172
Citations
Introduction
My research is in the area of industrial informatics. This encompasses a broad range of fields including artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics and signal & image processing and focuses on delivering useful, actionable decision support to industry. I specialise in intelligent decision support systems for through life management of energy assets, particularly for nuclear power generation. Through my research I have developed and delivered software systems to the nuclear industry which supports operational decisions for continued operation and lifetime extension for both the UK's fleet of Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors and for Canada’s CANDU reactors.
Additional affiliations
July 2001 - December 2013
University of Strathclyde
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (57)
Article
Full-text available
Visual inspection is one of the most ubiquitous forms of non-destructive testing, being widely used in routine pipe inspections. For small bore pipes (centimetre diameter), inspectors often have a restricted field of view limiting overall image and inspection quality. Stitching multiple unwrapped images is a common inspection technique to provide a...
Article
Full-text available
Used in many industrial applications, centrifugal pumps have optimal operating criteria specified at design. These criteria may not be precisely adhered to during operation which will ultimately reduce the life of the asset. Operators would therefore benefit from anticipating how often the design point is deviated from and hence how much asset degr...
Article
In critical infrastructure applications, timely and consistent fault detection and diagnosis is an increasingly important operational process, especially in the energy sector where safety is of the utmost importance. To realise this, engineers have to manually analyse data acquired from several assets using predefined diagnostic processes, but this...
Chapter
In critical infrastructure, such as nuclear power generation, constituent assets are continually monitored to ensure reliable service delivery through pre-empting operational abnormalities. Currently, engineers analyse this condition monitoring data manually using a predefined diagnostic process, however, rules used by the engineers to perform this...
Article
Remote visual inspection is a common approach to understanding the health of key components and substructures within nuclear power plants, particularly in difficult to access and high dosage areas. Interpretation of inspection footage is a manually intensive procedure and challenges arise in localizing and dimensioning defects directly from a video...
Article
Full-text available
The creation of unwrapped stitched images of pipework internal surfaces is being increasingly used to augment routine visual inspection. A significant challenge to the creation of these stitched images is the need to estimate the pose and position of the camera for each frame, which is often alleviated through the use of a mechanical centralizer to...
Article
A common opportunity for nuclear power plant operators is ensuring that routinely collected data is fully leveraged. Exploiting data analytics can enable improvements in anomaly detection and condition monitoring by identifying previously unseen data trends and correlations without major financial investment. One such opportunity is in facilitating...
Article
Remote Visual Inspection (RVI) of reactors in nuclear power plants allows station operators to assess the health and condition of their plant. In the UK, most nuclear stations are of the Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) design. During planned periodic outages, a representative portion of each AGR core is inspected using specialist tools equipped w...
Article
This paper outlines a new framework for applying Structure-from-Motion (SfM) to challenging, feature-poor environments such as those observed during AGR fuel channel inspection. Deriving structural information from Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) inspection footage is challenging due to several key issues: lack of discriminative salient features...
Article
This paper summarizes a novel approach to improved localization of fuel defects by fusing existing data sources and methods within a neural network model to make accurate and quantifiable identification earlier than existing processes. The approach is demonstrated through application to a CANDU reactor and utilizes a small, manually labeled set of...
Article
A common challenge at nuclear power plants is to ensure that routinely-collected data is fully utilised. Data analytics provides an opportunity for improvements in prognostics and health monitoring by identifying correlations in related datasets without major capital investment. This paper describes work focused on improving the fuel defect identif...
Article
Integrity of industrial pipework is ensured through routine inspection. Internal visual inspection tools are capable of characterising degradation in the form of corrosion, pitting, erosion and cracking. The accuracy of such inspection systems has a direct impact on decisions regarding the remaining lifetime of the asset. By minimising error margin...
Article
One of the major life-limiting factors of an Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) nuclear power station is the graphite core as it cannot be repaired or replaced and therefore detailed information about the health of the core is vital for continued safe operation. The graphite bricks that comprise the core experience gradual degradation during operati...
Article
Objective: This paper presents a novel soft tissue elasticity measurement technique based on the fusion of Magnetic, Angular Rate, and Gravity (MARG) sensors and fixed tactile sensors. This work is intended both as a stand-alone technology, and as an extension of traditional tactile imaging of the breast to allow for accurate diagnosis of breast le...
Article
Full-text available
Pressure tubes are critical components of CANDU reactors and other pressurized heavy water–type reactors because they contain the nuclear fuel and the coolant. Manufacturing flaws as well as defects developed during in-service operation can lead to coolant leakage and can potentially damage the reactor. The current inspection process of these flaws...
Article
Full-text available
Pressure tubes within CANDU reactors are subject to frequent ultrasonic non-destructive examination to identify and characterize any defects that pose a risk of initiating Delayed Hydride Cracking (DHC), a well-known problem that occurs in zirconium components that are subject to high mechanical and thermal stresses. The analysis of the ultrasonic...
Article
Gas circulator (GC) units are an important rotating asset used in the advanced gas-cooled reactor design, facilitating the flow of CO $_2$ gas through the reactor core. The ongoing maintenance and examination of these machines are important for operators in order to maintain safe and economic generation. GCs experience a dynamic duty cycle with per...
Conference Paper
The interior visual inspection of pipelines in the nuclear industry is a safety critical activity conducted during outages to ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of plant. Typically, the video output by a manually deployed probe is viewed by an operator looking to identify and localise surface defects such as corrosion, erosion and pit...
Article
Full-text available
This paper considers factors which influence the visual motion estimation of a sensor system designed for visually mapping the internal surface of pipework using omnidirectional lenses. In particular, a systematic investigation of the error caused by a non-uniform 2D spatial distribution of features on the resultant estimate of camera pose is prese...
Article
Full-text available
Non-destructive testing refers to a range of technologies that are used to evaluate the properties of components and structures without causing damage to the component or structure. Perhaps the most basic form of non-destructive testing is visual inspection, in which cameras are used to collect optical images to detect and characterise features of...
Conference Paper
The interior visual inspection of nuclear pipework is a critical inspection activity required to ensure the continued safe, reliable operation of plant and thus avoid costly outages. Typically, the video output from a manually deployed probe is viewed by an operator online with the task of identifying and estimating the location of surface defects...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The interior visual inspection of pipelines in the nuclear industry is a safety critical activity conducted during outages to ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of plant. Typically, the video output by a manually deployed probe is viewed by an operator looking to identify and localise surface defects such as cracks, corrosion and pitt...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Steam turbines are an important asset of nuclear power plants (NPPs), and are required to operate reliably and efficiently. Unplanned outages have a significant impact on the ability of the plant to generate electricity. Therefore, predictive and proactive maintenance which can avoid unplanned outages has the potential to reduce operating costs whi...
Article
Inspection and monitoring of key components of nuclear power plant reactors is an essential activity for understanding the current health of the power plant and ensuring that they continue to remain safe to operate. As the power plants age, and the components degrade from their initial start-of-life conditions, the requirement for more and more det...
Article
Visual inspection of fuel channels is important for assessing the health of the UK’s fleet of Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor (AGR) power plants. For each fuel channel inspected, any defects found must be classified and assessed by a panel of experts and documented before the plant can return to service. Part of the current inspection process involves...
Article
Installation of new monitoring equipment in Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) is often difficult and expensive and therefore maximizing the information that can be extracted from existing monitoring equipment is highly desirable. This paper describes the process of combining models derived from laboratory experimentation with current operational plant da...
Conference Paper
The use of Condition Monitoring (CM) in the power industry is well established, with traditional manual analysis increasingly giving way to intelligent, automated analysis. Further, there is a growing interest in the extension of such CM systems to derive prognostic information for asset management. It is common however for CM applications to be re...
Conference Paper
Effective asset management benefits from accurate information about the current health and expected future health of each asset. This information can be supplied by diagnostic and prognostic systems respectively, utilizing data from condition monitoring systems and inspections to derive status and likely future behavior. However, new prognostic tec...
Article
In the UK, there is the desire to extend the operation of the Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) power plants beyond their initial design lifetimes of 35 years. As part of the justification of extended operation, an increased understanding of the current and future health of the graphite reactor cores is required. One measure of the health of the AG...
Article
As the nuclear power plants within the UK age, there is an increased requirement for condition monitoring to ensure that the plants are still be able to operate safely. This paper describes the novel application of Intelligent Systems (IS) techniques to provide decision support to the condition monitoring of Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) reactor cores...
Article
An increasing number of civil nuclear reactors world wide are approaching, and have in many cases exceeded, their original design lives. In order to satisfy regulatory requirements and ensure that the reactors are safe to operate, whilst maximizing availability and ensuring economic viability, the volume of installed condition monitoring has increa...
Article
This paper presents a self-tuning framework for the diagnosis of routine alarms in steam turbine generators utilizing a combination of inductive machine learning and knowledge-based heuristics. The techniques provide a novel basis for initializing and updating time series feature extraction parameters used in the automated decision support of vibra...
Article
A major life-limiting factor of the UK's Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs) is the condition of the graphite core. Installation of new measurement equipment is difficult and expensive, therefore maximizing the information gained from existing equipment is highly desirable. The main approach to determining the health of an AGR core is through perio...
Article
Existing Condition Monitoring at the UK's fleet of Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors includes analysis of refuelling data in order to derive information about the structural integrity of the core. This regular analysis is used to complement relatively infrequent core inspections, which occur every two to three years. The analysis itself depends on an in...
Conference Paper
The graphite core is the critical component which dictates the life-time of an AGR (Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor) in a nuclear power station. To ensure the continued safe operation of an AGR nuclear plant, it is vital to closely monitor the condition of its graphite core to maintain its integrity for the economic life of the reactor. This paper pres...
Article
Unplanned outages can be especially costly for generation companies operating nuclear facilities. Early detection of deviations from expected performance through condition monitoring can allow a more proactive and managed approach to dealing with ageing plant. This paper proposes an anomaly detection framework incorporating the use of the Hidden Ma...
Article
This paper describes the design, development and deployment of the British Energy Trace Analysis (BETA) condition monitoring system that performs automated analyses on reactor refueling data to help support the continued safe operation of Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors (AGR) in the UK. The system performs automated analyses of a particular set of ref...
Article
Full-text available
A critical component of an advanced-gas cooled reactor (AGR) station is the graphite core. As a station ages, the graphite bricks that comprise the core can distort and may eventually crack. As the core cannot be replaced the core integrity ultimately determines the station life. Monitoring these distortions is usually restricted to the routine out...
Conference Paper
Condition monitoring (CM) systems monitor the health of expensive plant items such as turbine generators. They interpret turbine parameters by signaling an alarm when pre-defined limits are breached. Often these alarms have no further operational consequence but still require investigation by an expert. This is a time consuming and laborious proces...
Conference Paper
A common issue with case-based reasoning (CBR) systems, particularly those that are distributed over a network, is the time required to determine the closest match to the current case. Research has been carried out in this area to try to improve the situation by distributing some of the calculation to the client side thereby reducing the burden on...
Article
This paper describes a case study for a knowledge management project carried out in conjunction with two major UK electrical utilities. The focus of the work is on the design of protection schemes for electrical power transmission systems. A brief overview is provided of the traditional protection system design processes implemented within both com...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The paper describes a research project carried out in conjunction with two major UK utilities, focusing on the introduction of knowledge management and intelligent decision support to the existing protection design and application processes operated within both companies. A brief overview is provided of the generic design process, and the developme...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper focuses on collaborative research activities conducted with two major UK utilities, describing the development of a web-based, Design Engineering Knowledge Application System (DEKAS). This system offers automatic intelligent decision support to engineers responsible for the design and application of protection schemes associated with EHV...
Conference Paper
This paper describes a research project focusing on the provision of 'intelligent' engineering support facilitating two major UK utilities in the design of complex protection schemes associated with electrical transmission networks. The development and functionality of the Engineering Design Knowledge Application System (DEKAS) is described within...
Article
Full-text available
As a graphite core ages, there is an increased requirement to monitor the distortions within the core to permit safe continued operation of the station. In addition to existing monitoring and inspection, new methods of providing information relating to the core are being investigated. Two systems are described in this paper to support the use of Fu...
Article
Full-text available
Condition monitoring of rotating plant items in the energy generation industry is often achieved through examination of vibration signals. Engineers use this data to monitor the operation of turbine generators, gas circulators and other key plant assets. A common approach in such monitoring is to trigger an alarm when a vibration deviates from a pr...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction It is impossible to repair or replace the graphite core of an AGR, and therefore the graphite core is one of the main components that determine the operational life of a nuclear station. The reactor core is composed of hundreds of hollow graphite bricks. The graphite ages because of neutron irradiation and radiolytic oxidation causing...

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
During planned statutory outages of CANDU reactors, selected fuel channels are ultrasonically inspected. The gathered ultrasonic data is assessed and any identified flaws are manually sized and classified. We have developed a prototype system, ADAPT (Automated Data Analysis of Pressure Tubes), which aids in the sizing and classification of data of pressure tube defects using codified knowledge elicited from analysts. The ADAPT system aims to provide a robust, repeatable and reliable method for analysing pressure tube inspection data, providing time saving on the critical outage path and freeing analysts time to focus on the difficult, hard to quantify defects rather than the routine, well understood ones.