EXPECTED - PDEng position - Developing efficient monitoring strategies enabling condition based maintenance (DBM)

Expected PDEng position

Developing efficient monitoring strategies enabling condition based maintenance

Project description

Many sensors and condition monitoring techniques (e.g. vibration analysis, oil analysis, thermography), as well as several non-destructive testing techniques are available nowadays. However, applying these techniques and translating the collected condition monitoring data into effective condition based maintenance concepts for a complete complex system or plant provides some challenges:


Which (sub)systems should be monitored, based on bad actor list, integrity critical equipment, process safety critical systems and criticality analysis ?


What are the best techniques for each application ? What are the limits of application of the different inspection / monitoring techniques ?


How can a business case be made: does investing in CM / CBM provide sufficient benefits ?


How can the collected (raw) data be processed into useful maintenance information ? Due to the wide application of sensors in industry, this is in many cases a ‘Big Data’ problem.

Several practical approaches and methodologies available at present cover these topics partly (e.g. RCM and the method from a previous WCM project for selecting systems suitable for CBM). However, in the present project we aim to integrate all the aspects mentioned above.

This project aims to design a decision method that integrates all the aspects mentioned above. This will be done using case studies from industry, either focusing on a specific sector (e.g. process industry), or providing a broad overview in several sectors (e.g. process, transport, maritime, aerospace). The results will be a set of (practical) guidelines addressing the various challenges. The following project activities are foreseen:


Create an overview of available condition monitoring techniques, including their strengths and weaknesses;


Investigate how companies typically create bad actor lists, and how they determine which systems are integrity critical or process safety critical;


Create an overview of systems that are typically on such a list, and investigate what typical failure modes, failure mechanisms and loads on the systems are;


Design and develop a decision methodology that maps the failures (point 3) to the CM methods (point 1) to guide the proper selection of a CM method for a certain application;


For a number of CM methods, propose a method to translate the measured raw data into useful maintenance information (e.g. how to differentiate between misalignment and failed bearing from measured vibration data ?);


Design a framework to analyze and compare different scenario’s (e.g. with and without CM), incorporating costs and system performance (availability);

The deliverable of this project will be a validated methodology or decision tool that provides guidance in the selection of a condition monitoring technique for a given type of equipment. The tool will cover both the technical aspects and the economic effects.

Form and organization of the project

The project will be organized as a PDEng (Professional Degree in Engineering) project in the Maintenance PDEng program that is currently developed at the University of Twente. This means that a candidate (with an MSc degree) will be appointed at the university for two years. In this period he/she will do one year of courses, in this case dedicated to maintenance, and will perform a research (design assignment) for one year. As the student takes the courses, he/she will be aware of the current state of the art in maintenance, and will be able to report that knowledge and apply it in the research project. The educational and research parts of the project will be done in parallel, so both are divided over the whole period of two years. After finishing the program, a PDEng degree will be issued to the candidate.

Supervision will be provided by university staff, as well as by the companies involved in this project: Essent, Gasunie, Sabic and Sitech.

Your Profile

A sound theoretical background in Mechanical Engineering, Applied Physics, Materials Science or a similar topic at academic level (MSc degree), and preferably affinity with maintenance. We welcome ambitious candidates with strong communication skills who like to present their work at conferences and project meetings. Fluency in English is required. You need to provide IELTS test results (minimum score 6.5), TOEFL-iBT (minimum score 90) or Cambridge CAE or CPE. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure.

Information and application

This position is expected to be open in due time. Please check our website on a regular basis to see the status of this vacancy. As soon as it is officially open, it will appear on the UT vacancy site (http://www.utwente.nl/vacatures/), where you can apply then.

For more information on the research at the Twente is Maintenance Excellence (TIME) consortium in general, or the Dynamics based Maintenance group in particular, please visit http://www.utwente.nl/time and http://www.utwente.nl/ctw/tm/research/DBM. Additional information about this specific vacancy may be obtained from prof. dr. ir. Tiedo Tinga, t.tinga@utwente.nl.