ASNT Iowa Section hosts Technical Talk

The American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) Iowa section hosted a technical talk on Thursday, April 4th. Six members of the Ames Fire Department spoke about thermography applications in firefighting, including somewhat recent cases involving the detection of faulty wiring and the detection of corn syrup and propane leaks after a train derailment. Twenty students in attendance were able to use a FLIR camera with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, which one of the firefighters said was not fast enough to sweep through rooms quickly. Several students were awarded one-year ASNT student membership. As a thank you to the crew for their time, the ASNT officers awarded them a $100 pizza gift card.

Katie Brinker – IEEE HKN Event Speaker

Katie Brinker former CNDE graduate student, currently Senior Nondestructive Evaluation Engineer at Pratt & Whitney, will be speaking at the IEEE HKN event on the “Realities of a Research Engineer” panel. This panel is focused on making the transition from being a graduate student to working in industry and what it’s like to have an industry career.  The IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society will also have a panelist in the “Level Up – Leverage your IEEE Technical Society Membership to Advance your Career” panel.

Pathways to Industry is a 3-day online conference geared towards students and young professionals.  There are technical talks, professional development sessions, a recruitment fair (which includes both companies and graduate schools), and networking sessions.  The conference is open to everyone, not just HKN or IEEE members, and registration will open up at the start of the conference on February 21.

ASNT Iowa Section Hosts February Technical Talk at CNDE


On the afternoon of Thursday, February 1st the American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) Iowa Section hosted their first technical talk of the year.  Luke Titus, who holds a PhD in Theoretical Nuclear Physics from Michigan State University, gave a presentation on the use of Mathematica software for solving ordinary and partial differential equations.  The hybrid talk, which was mainly attended by engineering graduate students, was hosted at the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE) with Mathematica pre-installed on computers so that audience members could follow along.  Iowa State University provides Mathematica to students free of charge.  After the presentation, attendees were also emailed the notebook files with examples used during the demonstration.

The next ASNT Iowa Section meeting will be held on Monday, March 4th more details to come!



Welcome ASNT to CNDE

The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) and the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE) at Iowa State University (ISU) have long served the nondestructive testing and evaluation (NDT&E) community, providing services, leadership, training, and vital research to many member organizations. ASNT and CNDE also have a strong history of collaboration to further benefit the NDT&E community.  Building upon this history, and to further strengthen the relationship between the two organizations, we are excited to announce that ASNT is the newest organization to join CNDE and its member organizations. This new relationship promises to bring about significant benefits for the broader NDT&E community and these two organizations.  We welcome you following both organizations as we work together in the days and years ahead.

CNDE Featured Researcher: Ron Roberts

Name: Ron Roberts

How long have you been at CNDE?  I began at CNDE in August 1989.

Area(s) of expertise: Ultrasound experiments and computational modeling.Ron Roberts picture

Who or what inspired you to pursue your career in NDE?  I had an interest in physical acoustics as an undergraduate physics major at Purdue University.  I heard in the cafeteria one day that the Air Force was substantially funding research in physical acoustics to transform ultrasound NDT into a science-based discipline.  I came to discover that Don Thompson, then at Ames Laboratory, was heading this Air Force program, and that the preeminent elastic wave theoretician in this program was Jan Achenbach at Northwestern University.  After completing my Ph.D. with Professor Achenbach, Don Thompson began an effort to convince me to come to Ames, and in 1989, after the establishment of CNDE, he succeeded.

Briefly describe one of your technical contributions to the NDE field.  A technical highlight of my career, and of CNDE in general, was the engineering of assured sensitivity inspection for jet engine materials, under the FAA-funded Engine Titanium Consortium.  This work pioneered model-based inspection design in which, given the noise scattering characteristics of a specific alloy microstructure, and the physical properties of the defect to be detected, a focused ultrasound inspection is engineered that assures detection of the defect.  This development represents the realization of the original Air Force goal, combining fundamental science-based understanding of ultrasound microstructure scattering, ultrasound scattering by defects, and the engineering of ultrasound transducers, to yield a specified defect signal-to-noise.  This activity was truly a team effort, calling on the broad technical expertise of numerous CNDE researchers.  My specific role addressed implementation of the engineered inspection using then-new phased array technology, for which phased array transducers were designed to generate a specified highly-focused ultrasound pulse throughout the inspection volume.

What advice would you give a researcher just starting out the NDE field?  Dig down to the fundamentals.  There is always time pressure to proceed superficially, using engineering principles you’ve been told, without fundamental understanding.  I advise taking the time to study in-depth, and derive it yourself from first principles.   There is peace of mind in truly understanding what you’re doing.  Of course, it helps if you work in an environment such as CNDE where this is appreciated, albeit perhaps often on your own time.

ASNT Iowa Section Hosts October Technical Talk at CNDE

The American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) Iowa section hosted a technical talk at the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation on the evening of Wednesday, October 18th. Gavin Dao,  Director of Business Development at AOS-NDT, discussed the adaptive total focusing method (ATFM) and other ultrasound techniques. A live demonstration followed the talk and students were able to move the probe and view real-time surface estimation and subsurface defects in an aluminum block.

Seventeen members and students were in attendance and one student was awarded a one-year student membership to ASNT as a raffle prize.

DemonstrationAttendees of the meeting




ASNT Iowa Section Technical Meeting – October 18th

American Society of Nondestructive Testing
Iowa Section
Technical Meeting

Learn about ultrasound (UT) for nondestructive testing and watch a demonstration of a phased array system using the adaptive total focusing method (TFM). Learn more ahead of time here:

Free food will be provided, and students can enter the raffle for a one-year ASNT student membership.


CNDE – Fall 2023 IAB Meeting

CNDE hosted its Fall 2023 Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) Meeting on October 2-4.

As usual, CNDE hosted a Pizza with Students event where our board members connected with students interested in working in the NDE community after graduation.

CNDE researchers presented updates on six research projects that started in August 2023.  Board members reviewed the project presentations and gave feedback on each project.

The Post-IAB Seminar was presented by John Aldrin (Computational Tools) where he spoke on “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in NDT – A Perspective on Progress, Challenges, and Future Directions”.

IAB members from ATI, Boeing, Cummins, GE Aerospace, Honeywell Aerospace, John Deere, Naval Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce were in attendance, as well as invited guests from three other industries.