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Acoustic emission system for ship hull monitoring

ShipHullSHM: Bespoke acoustic emission system for real-time ship hull monitoring for all weather conditions


The European ship repair and maintenance industry suffers from outdated techniques, high labour costs and depressed prices: ship repair operations are inefficient because currently it is impossible to quantify accurately the extent of work required before the ship is in dock. More economic, less time-consuming, automatic and safer inspections of ship hulls are desired. The solution should be continuous in-service monitoring for early identification of damage.


The project aims to commercialise an innovative ship hull structural health monitoring (SHM) system based on acoustic emission sensors and instrumentation for use in noise-dominated dynamic and critical environments to improve the safety and profitability of the European ship industry.


The innovative technology will implement continuous monitoring of ships’ hulls to localise incipient failures, thus greatly increasing the efficiency of the ship repair process, guiding shipyard operations carried out by repair and maintenance providers and supporting vessel management by ship owners. ShipHullSHM has the capability to save the EU and other countries a total of €6Bn in lost revenue, ship replacement and insurance compensation, and installation of the ShipHullSHM could result in €1.2Bn per annum net savings to ship operators.

Project Partners

  • ETS Sistemi Industriali
  • Brunel University London

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Tat-Hean Gan
Professor Tat-Hean Gan - Professional Qualifications CEng. IntPE (UK), Eur Ing BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronics Engg (Uni of Nottingham) MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering (University of Warwick) MBA in International Business (University of Birmingham) PhD in Engineering (University of Warwick) Languages English, Malaysian, Mandarin, Cantonese Professional Bodies Fellow of the British Institute of NDT Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology Tat-Hean Gan has 10 years of experience in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and Condition Monitoring of rotating machineries in various industries namely nuclear, renewable energy (eg Wind, Wave ad Tidal), Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Construction and Infrastructure, Aerospace and Automotive. He is the Director of BIC, leading activities varying from Research and development to commercialisation in the areas of novel technique development, sensor applications, signal and image processing, numerical modelling and electronics hardware. His experience is also in Collaborative funding (EC FP7 and UK TSB), project management and technology commercialisation.

Related Research Group(s)

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Project last modified 18/05/2021