Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


The Non Invasive Measurement Sciences


Dr. Graham Walford


University of Tennessee


Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Dr. Franklin DuBose


Non-contacting radiation based measurements share many parallels with non-invasive measurements made of product during the course of its manufacture. While the sensor technologies may differ, the sensor-material geometry, interferences, uncertainties, sensing times, etc., all contribute to create a parameter measurement with an associated total measurement uncertainty. Knowledge of these aspects leads to product and process control in the industrial setting, and radionuclide control in the radiation setting.

Use of radionuclides and X-ray systems is common in both fields and can be the vehicle in which expertise applied in one field enables the penetration of a different application in the other. Respect of the need for quality assurance and control programs and the need to quantify uncertainty unify the non-invasive measurement sciences across interdisciplinary boundaries.

Dr Walford introduces one current development effort, where cameras embedded into gamma detector front-end assemblies aid in the quantification of fissile materials. After examination of the optimization of the detector field of view, the foray into the industrial scene is shown.

Experiences in pulp and paper systems, forest products and tire and expanded polymer manufacture are reviewed where radiation gauging systems, optical imaging and electric field perturbation measurement techniques are used in complement to optimize plant output and product quality.


Dr. Graham Walford, a research professor at the University of Tennessee, is a Subject Matter Expert in several demanding radiation-based and industrial measurement fields.

For radiation measurement technologies these include environmental, high performance counting, accident conditions and Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) in a variety of distributions. Engineered solutions include dedicated detection assemblies, stack gas and other gas monitors, liquid and solid waste monitors, package scanning and remote sensing. Some applications demand multiple sensor techniques. For example, radiation based measurements are overlaid with FTIR hyperspectral imaging for improved identification of explosive, chemical hazard and nuclear detection-identification potential for safeguards and non-proliferation situations.

These approaches have been extended into several industrial applications where radiation based measurements have been extended or replaced with sonic propagation, electric field perturbation and optical analysis. Examples include pulp and paper, other forest products systems, tire and polymer process control.

Current activities on behalf of The University of Tennessee (UTK) include leading a DTRA funded support project for UTK in collaboration with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFIT) and detector and systems development to support Fluor B&W Portsmouth, as well as related environmental technical studies.