Airbus UK wins key national measurement award

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials

ISSN: 0003-5599

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



(2004), "Airbus UK wins key national measurement award", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 51 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Airbus UK wins key national measurement award

Airbus UK wins key national measurement award

Leading European designer and manufacturer of civil aircraft, Airbus UK, has won The Materials Award at the prestigious National Measurement Awards 2003.

Sponsored by National Physical Laboratory, the honour was given to Dr Eddie O’Brien who developed a post-nucleation fatigue damage measurement by remote crack growth detection and monitoring.

Dr O’Brien said, “As leader of the Experimental Mechanics Group within Airbus, I am committed to making physical analyses that help us understand stress which requires innovative techniques involving high quality measurements”.

He developed a sensitive measuring system with a robust procedure for identifying fatigue damage applicable to civil aircraft and offshore structures.

The system based on a modified acoustic emission principle, remotely detects and monitors stress waves emanating from crack growth within a safe fatigue life. An innovative procedure discriminates crack data from background noise.

It has monitored the fatigue testing of the new A340-600 aircraft, yielding valuable NDT and design data and is proposed for the new large A380 fatigue test and potentially for a flying Structural Health Monitoring System.

The NPL Materials Award (category five of the National Measurement Awards) recognises the development of new techniques for materials measurement and characterisation. The scope is focused on those technologies that are used in the determination of processing, properties, performance or characterisation of engineering materials.

The National Measurement Awards 2003, which are supported by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and managed by NPL, recognise outstanding achievement in the field of measurement and testing and highlight the crucial role that metrology plays in manufacturing.

This year the competition, which was co-ordinated by Doncaster based Beta Technology, attracted a record number of applicants from key innovators. Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Science and Innovation said, “The National Measurement Awards is an exciting demonstration of what can be done.

I look forward to an even greater flow of new ideas in the future to assist in the growth of the economy and help promote the reputation of the UK for Innovation.”

Several UK companies specialising in “measurement” were honoured at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the impressive new laboratory facilities at NPL in Teddington. The guest speaker at the awards was Red Dwarf’s, Robert Llewelyn, who gave an amusing talk on the benefits of the internet and his experiences.

The other award winners were as follows.

  • Jeff Willis of Rolls Royce won The Frontier Science and Measurement Award sponsored by ASAP Calibration Services. It acknowledges the development of ideas that will form the platform for future measurement technologies.

  • Dr Neville Freeman of Farfield Sensors won The Innovative Measurement Award sponsored by The Precise Group. It recognises those ideas that have developed past the demonstrator/prototype stage and are ready to exploit. York EMC Services received an honourable mention for this category.

  • Christopher Langridge of Riker Ltd won The Measurement Solutions for Industry Award sponsored by Fluke. It acknowledges those novel measurement solutions that have been successfully implemented in the industry and have resulted in significant benefit, particularly with regard to the creation of wealth.

  • Stuart Newstead of The Environment Agency won The Pioneers of Measurement Award sponsored by Serco. It acknowledges the work of individuals or organisations that strive to raise the profile of measurement best practice in the UK.

Application forms for the National Measurement Awards 2004 are currently available and for further details visit our Web site: details can be found at

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