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Dr Rachael C Tighe

Rachael Tighe

Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

Qualifications: MPhys (Hons) Physics; MSc Environmental Technology; PhD University of Southampton

About Rachael

Rachael graduated from the University of Lancaster with a Masters of Physics and swapped over to the dark side for her PhD in Engineering from the University of Southampton (Thesis: Development of Infrared Techniques for Practical Defect Identification in Bonded Joints). Rachael worked as a Research Fellow in Faculty of Engineering at the University of Southampton 2014-2016, worked for the UK Ministry of Defence 2016-2018 before emigrating to New Zealand and the University of Waikato in 2018.

Rachael is Chair of the Thermomechanics and Infrared Imaging Technical Division within the Society of Experimental Mechanics and is on the Conference Committee for Manufacturing, Design and Entrepreneurship NZ. and for Image and Vision Computing New Zealand (IVCNZ 2021). Rachael is a member of the Waikato Robotics, Automation and Sensing (WaiRAS), Centre for Advanced Materials and Manufacture (WaiCAMM) and Resilience, Infrastructure and Sustainable Construction (WaiRISC) Research Groups.

Throughout her career Rachael has worked on a wide range of sensor development and implementation problems from implementation in extreme environments to high volume inspection and data processing. Rachael's main research areas are:

Non-destructive evaluation: adapting existing and developing new techniques and methods to a variety of materials, components and structures. Working on the physical implementation of thermography alongside other techniques focusing signal/data processing developments and data integration.

Structural health monitoring: Development of longer term monitoring approaches including identifying complimentary techniques to obtain more complete information on the health of a structure.

Sensors for environmental measurement: Rachael is working with colleagues in the School of Science to develop systems to aid in environmental measurements and monitoring.

Rachael is continually looking for new collaborations with both academia and industry to work with, looking at advancing existing techniques, finding new applications and tackling current inspection challenges.

Rachael has also lead outreach efforts from the School of Engineering since 2019 including E2, technical school visits and other activities.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised

PhD Researchers

Larissa Kopf - Full field imaging techniques for characterisation of additively manufactured materials, University of Waikato (Chief supervisor, In progress)

Xutao Sun - Natural frequency-based crack detection: the use of the roving spring-mass system, University of Waikato (Co-supervisor; In progress)

Geir Olafsson - Non-destructive examination (NDE) of composite to steel joints for condition monitoring in the marine environment. University of Southampton, UK. (Co-supervisor; In progress)

Matthew Seabright - Occlusion prediction for kiwifruit yield estimation, University of Waikato. (Co-supervisor; 2020)

Masters Researchers

Ding Yi Huang - Thermographic inspection to provide quality assurance for reinforced 3D printer filaments, University of Waikato (Chief supervisor; 2020)

Larissa Kopf - Formula SAE Wesmo car suspension dynamics, University of Waikato (Co-supervisor; 2020)

Research Interests

Rachael’s research interests are in the fundamentals of sensing and inspection technologies, particularly non-destructive evaluation of materials, components and structures. Such inspection applications range from online manufacturing quality control to in-service through life inspections. Research to date has largely focused on the use and development of using imaging techniques such as pulse phase thermography (defect detection), thermoelastic stress analysis (stress distributions) and digital image correlation (displacements/strain) to gather such information. Interest lies in coupling such imaging techniques with other sensing systems to reveal complimentary information to build more complete understanding. The overall aim is to build from detecting defects towards assessing the impact of those defects on the component, i.e. there is a defect, now do we care? Current work looks at a variety of traditional and advanced materials, manufacturing and structures.

Stress distributions around a weld under vibration loading, measured using TSA.

Ongoing projects:
  • Thermographic assessment of polymer and metallic additive manufactured materials
  • Inspection and assessment of surface coating health and corrosion using thermography
  • Predictive maintenance informed by infrared thermography
  • Development of an underwater profiling device for remote measurements
Past projects:
  • Non Destructive Evaluation of adhesive bonds in composite aircraft using thermography
  • Online inspection of reinforced 3D printing filament
  • Measuring the colour of water - a self orientating platform for multi-sensor data collection
  • Online seal inspection in multi layer packaging
  • Plastic recycling and reuse - reducing the waste from 3D printing
  • Cars vs. Clams - measuring the impact of beach traffic on Toheroa population

Recent Publications

  • Olafsson, G., Tighe, R. C., Boyd, S. W., & Dulieu-Barton, J. M. (2021). Development of an integrated sacrificial sensor for damage detection and monitoring in composite materials and adhesively bonded joints. Structural Health Monitoring. doi:10.1177/1475921721989041 Open Access version: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14131

  • Kramer, S. L. B., & Tighe, R. (Eds.) (2020). Thermomechanics & Infrared Imaging, Inverse Problem Methodologies and Mechanics of Additive & Advanced Manufactured Materials, Volume 7 Proceedings of the 2020 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics. Springer Nature.

  • Olafsson, G., Tighe, R., Boyd, G., Trumper, R., & Dulieu-Barton, J. (2020). Assessing composite joints on ships. IOM3. Retrieved from https://www.iom3.org/

  • Kramer, S. L. B., & Tighe, R. (Eds.) (2020). Thermomechanics & Infrared Imaging, Inverse Problem Methodologies and Mechanics of Additive & Advanced Manufactured Materials, Volume 7 Proceedings of the 2020 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics. Springer Nature.

Find more research publications by Rachael Tighe

Keywords

Engineering; Materials and Processing; Mechanical; Physics; Remote Sensing


Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: EF.2.01
Phone: +64 7 838 4109