Blog posts

An upside to lockdown

While pandemic lockdowns and travel bans are having a severe impact on spontaneity and creativity in research, they have induced a high level of ingenuity to achieve the final objective of the DIMES project, which is to conduct prototype demonstrations and evaluation tests of the DIMES integrated measurement system.  We have gone beyond the project brief by developing a remote installation system that allows local engineers at a test site to successfully set-up and run our measurement system. This has saved thousands of airmiles and several tonnes of CO2 emissions ...  We are about to stretch our capabilities further by conducting a remote installation and evaluation test during a full-scale aircraft test at the Aerospace Research Centre of the National Research Council Canada in Ottawa, Canada. ...  

This blog post appeared on April 14th, 2020, on

Out of the valley of death into a hype cycle?
The capability to identify damage and track its propagation in structures is important in ensuring the safe operation of a wide variety of engineering infrastructure, including aircraft structures. ...   This blog post appeared on February 24th, 2020, on
Most valued player performs remote installation
In the DIMES project we have developed an innovative system for detecting and monitoring the propagation of damage in aircraft structures, and prior to the pandemic, we were planning to demonstrate it on a full-scale test of an aircraft fuselage section at Airbus in Toulouse. ... We designed a communication system that included a headset with camera, microphone and earpieces so that our colleague in Toulouse could be guided through the installation of our system by engineers in Germany, Switzerland and the UK. ...   This blog post appeared on December 2nd, 2020, on
My Engineering Day
Today is ‘This is Engineering’ day organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering to showcase what engineers and engineering really look like, celebrate our impact on the world and shift public perception of engineering towards an appreciation that engineers are a varied and diverse group of people who are critical to solving societal challenges.  You can find out more at  I have decided to contribute to ‘This is Engineering’ day by describing what I do on a typical working day as an engineer. ...   This blog post appeared on November 4th, 2020, on
Turning the screw in dentistry
Two weeks ago, I wrote about supervising PhD students and my own PhD thesis.  The tedium of collecting data as a PhD student without digital instrumentation stimulated me to work subsequently on automation in experimental mechanics which ultimately led to projects like INSTRUCTIVE and DIMES.  In INSTRUCTIVE we developed  low-cost digital sensors for tracking damage in components; while in DIMES we are transitioning the technology into the industrial environment using tests on full-scale aircraft systems as demonstrators...   This blog post appeared on September 30th, 2020, on
Condition-monitoring using infrared imaging
f you have travelled in Asia then you will probably have experienced having your health monitored by infrared cameras as you disembarked from your flight. ... In the DIMES project, we have implemented a low-cost sensor system that integrates infrared and visible images with information about applied loads from point sensors, which allows the identification of initiation and tracking of damage in aircraft structures... This blog post appeared on June 17th, 2020, on
When seeing nothing is a success
...A few months ago, Airbus delivered a section of an A320 wing to the labs of EMPA who are our project partner in Switzerland, and the team at EMPA has been rigging the wing section for a simple bending test so that we can use it to test the integrated measurement system which we are developing in the DIMES project. ... This blog post appeared on December 11th, 2019, on
Same problems in a different language

... My research group is working on how we demonstrate the fidelity of predictions from models, how we establish trust in both predictions from computational models and measurements from experiments that are often also ‘models’ of the real world.  The issues are similar whether we are considering the structural performance of aircraft [as in DIMES], the impact of agro-chemicals, or the performance of fusion energy and the impact of a geological disposal site.... This blog post appeared on October30th, 2019, on

Joining the dots
...I gave a short briefing on DIMES to a group of Airbus engineers last month and it was good see some excitement in the room about the direction of the project.  And, it felt good to be highlighting how we are building on earlier investments in research by joining the dots to create a deployable measurement system and delivering the complete picture in terms of information about the condition of the structure. This blog post appeared on July 10th, 2019, on
Finding DIMES
...To quote our EU documentation, the overall aim of DIMES is ‘to develop and demonstrate an automated measurement system that integrates a range of measurement approaches to enable damage and cracks to be detected and monitored as they originate at multi-material interfaces in an aircraft assembly’.... This blog post appeared on February 6th, 2019, on

DIMES on Twitter

Project Review Meeting

Another #DIMES_project web meeting, this @cleansky_ju @EU_H2020 project starts today with its RV6 meeting. All partners from @airbus, Dantec, @Empa, Strainsolutions and @UniLiv are present. This meeting's goal: Plan the final steps of the project and discuss probable extended collaborations.
Camera systems monitoring the engineer and a speckle pattern

Cockpit test: DIMES system ready to go

The @cleansky_ju, @EU_H2020 #DIMES_project concluded 2020 with the successful installation of the complete system, again with the help of our @Airbus Topic Manager on site, remotely guided by @UniLiv! We're ready to go.
(Tweeted on 26 Jan 2021)
Camera systems monitoring the engineer and a speckle pattern

Project Review Meeting

Instead of meeting at @UniLiv campus, this RV5 #DIMES_project meeting progressed smoothly online today. We were planning @Airbus cockpit test, @Airbus wing test and @Empa panel test and reviewed our progress, to successfully finish this @cleansky_ju, @EU_H2020 project next year.
(Tweeted on 19 Nov 2020)
DIMES team tiled up during the project review meeting.

Remotely guided DIMES installation

With sight through a head camera; Strainsolutions Ltd, @UniLiv and @Empa successfully guided the Topic Manager through the installation of our sensors at @Airbus cockpit test remotely! This will help our @EU_H2020 #DIMES_project within @cleansky_ju and @EU_H2020 to go live soon. (Tweeted on 03 Nov 2020)
A fibre Bragg grating sensor is installed in a cockpit in Toulouse.

On line progress meeting

@EU_H2020 #DIMES_project within @cleansky_ju and @EU_H2020 accelerates activity post-COVID with sensor verification at @UniLiv, component testing @Empa, while planning full scale testing @Airbus (Tweeted on 9 Sep 2020)
DIMES Team met online due to travel restrictions caused by the Corona pandemic

Wing-section installed in test bench

The EU Horizon 2020 Clean Sky 2 Project DIMES is on track with the successful installation of a wing-section in the test-bench  #DIMES (Tweeted on 29 Nov 2019)
DIMES team gathering around the Test wing.

RV6 team photo (Version 1.0)

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Panel test bench

Test bench design
Sensor installation
Test results

Wing test bench

Test bench
Sensor installation
Test program
Crack detection