Frank Margetan

  • Associate Scientist

Main Office

Applied Sciences II
Ames, IA
Phone: 515-294-9747


Occidental College, Los Angeles, California, Physics, B.A., 1969 Iowa State University, Theoretical Nuclear Physics, Ph.D., 1978

Interest Areas

Ultrasonic Measurements and Modeling
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
Personal and Professional Goals:
Develop methods for ultrasonic determination of grain size and other microstructuralproperties in metals. Develop inspection simulation models for GPR analogous to those used in Ultrasonics.
Research Interests:
Various topics pertaining to the ultrasonic inspection of materials and structures, typically involving both practical measurements and theoretical model development. These include: Paraxial models for ultrasonic beam propagation in metals and structures. Characterization of the focusing properties of commercial ultrasonic transducers. Techniques for accurately measuring key ultrasonic properties of materials (sound velocity, attenuation, backscatter coefficients) How the microstructures of metals affect their ultrasonic properties. Optimizing ultrasonic inspections of metal components to better detect small or subtle internal defects (i.e., improving signal-to-noise ratios). Modeling ultrasonic inspections of composite structures and multilayer panels.

Brief Biography

Professional Academic Experience:
Frank Margetan is an Associate Scientist at the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation. He received a B.A. degree in Physics from Occidental College in 1969, served in the US Army during 1970-72, and then resumed his education at Iowa State University earning a Ph. D degree in Nuclear Physics in 1978.  The following year he was a NATO post-doctoral fellow at the University of Frankfurt, West Germany working on topics in theoretical nuclear physics.  After his return to the United States, Frank did further research in nuclear physics and taught in the Department of Physics at Iowa State University.  He joined the staff of the Center for NDE in 1986 and since that time has co-authored approximately 90 articles and technical reports pertaining to ultrasonic NDE.  Frank is now effectively 25% retired, working full time during the months of December through August each year, and at leisure during September-November.

Selected Publications

F. J. Margetan, D. Barnard, D. Orman, A. Feyginand B. Pavel “A Web-Based Tutorial For Ultrasonic Attenuation Measurement”, in Rev. of Prog. in QNDE, Vol. 33, (AIP, Melville NY, 2014), pp. 2127-2134. Frank J. Margetan, Cara A. Leckeyand Dan Barnard, “Modeling The Effects Of Beam Size And Flaw Morphology On Ultrasonic Pulse/Echo Sizing Of DelaminationsIn Carbon Composites”, Rev. of Prog. in QNDE, Vol. 32, (AIP, Melville NY, 2013), pp. 955-962