In this latest SINDRI researcher profile, we spoke to Dr Jefri Draup (CEng MIMechE), Senior Research Engineer from EDF R&D UK Centre / Nuclear / Structural Integrity.
In this Q&A, Jefri tells us about his role and his involvement with the SINDRI programme, plus his hopes for the project and the impact it will have.
Can you tell us about your career experiences to date?
After finishing a PhD in Materials Science, I joined an engineering consultancy. That was a great insight into how business meets industry and really opened my eyes about the challenges facing scientists and engineers.
In 2016, I moved to the EDF Energy R&D UK Centre, where I lead our activities on Structural Integrity. Our portfolio of activities mostly supports the lifetime extension of critical structures in UK AGR and French PWR technologies.
In particular, I have focused on weld residual stress prediction, fracture mechanics, and materials issues facing plant. In this role, I enjoy playing a small part in progressing the capabilities, skills, and knowledge within the nuclear sector. I have been fortunate to have been involved in several public funded consortium projects to develop digital technologies and infrastructure for the nuclear sector.
What is your role on the SINDRI project?
Having helped to develop the technical scope of activities during the project bid stage for the SINDRI project, I am now responsible for delivery of key activities linked to Work Package 1 and 3. My main priorities are the development of the Welding Workbench and integration of this tool within the SINDRI Toolbox. The Welding Workbench is an open source tool dedicated to weld residual stress prediction – you can read more about this in our news article, including how to get involved yourself.
Aside from developing the software, part of the work revolves around ensuring that the tool meets the end user needs, from both an industrial and academic perspective.
Another aspect is on providing support and training to the users of the tool. We want to help them upskill in weld modelling, which is a proactive effort to support the industry, as it is a useful skill but is in short supply owing to its complicated nature.
Finally, a key aspect is on supporting the end users to integrate their own ideas and ensuring that research outputs support industrial needs.
What is your ambition for the project; what do you want it to achieve?
As a group, we share common research and development interests, and I feel that we have genuinely developed a work programme which is mutually beneficial to industry and academia.
My ambition for this project is that we build a genuine user community for our tools, which are being developed in collaboration with all partners. They are attractive to researchers because they are scientifically oriented, open source, and robust. They are attractive to the business because they have the potential to lower operational costs.
From my experience within the sector, it is only as a collective that we will really help to drive forwards industrial capability and bring about a beneficial effect on society. If we can build a genuine community of users, we will be ensuring that research outputs directly impact on the industrial challenges facing the sector.
How does/will the SINDRI project link with other activities you are/have been involved in?
Our current activities supporting EDF Group include the development of open source numerical solvers and platforms for industrial usage. We are applying a lot of the learning from our experience in this field directly into how we design, develop, and deploy the tools that we are integrating into the SINDRI Toolbox.
The SINDRI project is very relevant to two consortium projects that I have been involved in previously. These are the 2016 Digital Reactor Design project, and the follow on project in 2018 to develop the Nuclear Virtual Engineering Capability.
Both of these have been funded by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy to support the development of the infrastructure required to deploy Digital Twin technologies within the UK nuclear sector.
Many of the issues that were addressed in that project are directly relevant to SINDRI. Since the pandemic, we are aware more than ever about the power of digital technologies to revolutionise our working practices.
The UK nuclear sector really needs a step change to its cyber physical infrastructure in order to really exploit the benefits of Digital Twin technologies. We are anticipating a funding call in this area, and I believe that our activities in SINDRI can really drive the direction of this infrastructure.