CNDE sponsored event led to NDE minor student’s new career

CNDE hosts their Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) meeting twice a year, over three days.  During each meeting, CNDE sponsors an event, Pizza with Students, where students get the opportunity to engage with our members in an informal setting.  They hear about what each industry has to offer and could even lead to the success one NDE Minor student, Tyler Hall, had this past October.  He shared his experience with us below:

“When Professor Wendt announced to the class that there would be a CNDE sponsored event, I was on the fence about whether I would attend or not. I was looking forward to taking my girlfriend out to dinner that evening, but this ‘free pizza event’ seemed like something I wanted to attend. Ultimately, I decided to step out of my comfort zone, get some free pizza and talk to at least one employer. At the time, I had no idea that I was making a life-changing decision. Upon arrival at the event, I found a seat and met some students that were also taking classes for the NDE minor. It was refreshing to be in a room full of students and professionals in the NDE community because about 90% of the time, people don’t know what I’m talking about when I tell them that I’m pursuing a minor in NDE. I enjoyed listening to representatives from companies such as Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, John Deere, Delta Airlines, and NASA talk about their companies and their application of NDE to their industry.

There was one company that I had never heard of before, ATI, that caught my attention. When David, a metallurgical engineer at ATI, spoke about the company, I was shocked that I had never heard of this company before. ATI produces titanium and nickel alloys and components for aerospace and defense. This was right up my alley as a materials engineer specializing in metals. After grabbing a slice of pizza, I introduced myself to David and asked him more about what he does as a metallurgical engineer. We talked for a few minutes, and I became enthralled with what ATI does. They do everything from producing specialty alloys component manufacturing to nondestructive inspection. At some point during the conversation, I expressed my interest in moving out west, and David introduced me to his colleague, Todd. Todd is a level III nondestructive inspector at the Albany, Oregon, location. The three of us chatted briefly and they told me they were hiring for their Early Career Leadership Program (ECLP). I loved the idea of traveling around the country and exploring different career paths as an engineer at ATI. I thanked them for the information, and they gave me their business cards in case I had any other questions.

That night, I applied for the ECLP program. To my surprise, I got a call back from their talent acquisition team the next day! After making it through a virtual interview (by the way, they saw a ton of value in the NDE minor), I went for an on-site interview in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I got to tour their forged products facility where they produce helicopter rotors, jet engine discs, and armored roof hatches for tanks. I knew after seeing this facility that I had found my dream job. I was elated to get the job offer and was so glad I decided to attend the event. Although I had to postpone our dinner date, the career opportunity resulting from that small sacrifice was well worth it!

I want to thank everyone involved with organizing the CNDE sponsored event and providing an opportunity for students like myself to network with professionals in the NDE community. I’d also like to thank Scott Wendt for encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and attend the event. I wouldn’t have known about such an opportunity without him spreading awareness. This informal event is a great environment for students in the NDE minor to chat with professionals, ask questions, learn about how NDE fits into industry, and seek career opportunities. I hope many more students will take advantage of this great networking opportunity. You never know; you might make a connection that will open the door to your future.”

The next Pizza with Students event will be held on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at 5:30pm – Student Innovation Center, Room 2221

Katelyn Brinker awarded her Ph.D. degree and receives the Research Excellence Award in the ECpE Department

Katelyn Brinker, a Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was awarded her Ph.D. degree during the December 2022 commencement ceremonyDr. Brinker defended her dissertation entitled “Chipless RFID Tag Design, Measurement, and Sensing for Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) Applications” in November 2022.  Her dissertation was recently published.

Dr. Brinker was also the recipient of the Research Excellence Award in the ECpE Department.

“The purpose of these awards is to recognize graduate students for outstanding research accomplishments as documented in their theses and dissertations. These students are also expected to be academically superior and able not only to do research, but also to develop a well written product. The intent of this program is to recognize “the best of the best” graduating students who have submitted theses and dissertations.” Research Excellence Award

For the nomination package, she provided two sample works to demonstrate the creativity and impact of her research: “Application-Adaptable Chipless RFID Tag: Design Methodology, Metrics, and Measurements” and “Corner Reflector Based Misalignment-Tolerant Chipless RFID Tag Design Methodology.

Dr. Brinker has begun her career as a Senior NDE Engineer at Pratt & Whitney, currently focusing on developing eddy current inspections.



Trent Moritz awarded CNDE Graduate Research Assistantship

Congratulations to Trent Moritz, the first CNDE-GRA recipient!  This prestigious award, recognizes our best graduate students at ISU who are pursuing a Ph.D. degree in an area directly related to NDE and who perform their research at CNDE.   The CNDE-GRA appointment will provide him up to three years of support (stipend, fringe benefits, tuition, and additional supplementary funds).


Details of the CNDE-GRA, for students interested in pursuing.

Donald O. Thompson plaque unveiled at CNDE

A dedication and plaque unveiling for Donald O. Thompson was recently held in the Applied Sciences Complex II lobby.

Don worked tirelessly to promote NDE and his perseverance peaked with the development of the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE) at Iowa State University.

Several speakers were on hand at the dedication to say a few words about Don.









From left to right: Reza Zoughi – Center Director, Don Palmer, and Ann Thompson


New Terahertz continuous-wave spectrometer acquired by CNDE

Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE) has just acquired a new terahertz (THz) continuous-wave (CW) spectrometer, manufactured by Bakman Technologies (  This spectrometer employs precisely-tuned, fiber-coupled semiconductor lasers, photo-mixing source and detector, and digital control hardware and software to provide a fully turnkey THz spectroscopic system.  Starting at a minimum of 75 GHz, it can sweep over 1.8 THz bandwidth in a single scan. The best frequency resolution of 100 MHz is a significant improvement over the existing THz pulsed systems.  The CW nature of the photo-mixing source efficiently concentrates the THz power at the frequency of interest, yielding excellent signal-to-noise ratios (S/N) up to 70 dB across the scan range.  The system is also portable, lightweight, and compact with book-size footprint, as shown.

The addition of this new CW THz system will further enhance CNDE’s capability in THz spectroscopy for material characterization in a number of areas including: the automotive, aviation, food, energy, materials, pharmaceuticals, medical diagnosis, forensics, defense, homeland security, and additive manufacturing (AM).

CNDE acquires new phased array system

CNDE has acquired the Phased Array Company “Pioneer” System – a top of the line instrument for research in Ultrasonic NDE and more.  “This unit, as configured, has a high channel count (larger array capability), ultra-high-speed throughput (GB’s per second), operating in phased array mode (beam forming and steering) or Full Matrix Capture/Total Focusing Mode (FMC/TFM) modes, or as single element probe on multi-channels. The unit was delivered with a suite of software development kits (SDK’s, in Python, flavors of C, MATLAB, LabView, etc.) allowing users to develop control and data acquisition applications using the codes with which they are most familiar. The first application of the unit will be in the mapping of the field of a phased array probe propagating through a highly complex surface for crack detection, ranging and sizing.” – says Mr. Dan Barnard, a research scientist at CNDE. This acquisition was made possible by a College of Engineering initiative to “Enhance Research Capabilities”, and other internal resources.

Farzaneh Ahmadi receives Student Best paper Award – Runner Up at ASNT Research Symposium

Farzaneh AhmadiFarzaneh Ahmadi, a Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) Department who conducts her research at CNDE, received the Student Best paper AwardRunner Up (2nd Place) at the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) Research Symposium held in St. Louis, MO on June 20-23, 2022. Her paper titled: “High-Resolution Millimeter-Wave Near-Field Evaluation of Additive Manufactured (AM) Polymeric Structures” was co-authored with M.T. Al Qaseer and R. Zoughi.

Anna Case receives Student Best paper Award – Runner Up at IEEE Conference

Anna Case, a Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) Department who conducts her research at CNDE, received the Student Best paper Award – Runner Up (2nd  Place) at the IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (I2MTC) held in Ottawa, Canada on May 16-19, 2022. Her paper titled: “Lossy Flange for Open-Ended Rectangular Waveguide Materials Characterization” was co-authored with A. McCarville, M.T. Al Qaseer and R. Zoughi.

Matthew Dvorsky Awarded his Ph.D. Degree, Remains at CNDE as Postdoctoral Research Associate

Matt DvorskyMatthew Dvorsky, a Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, who has been engaged in microwave and millimeter wave NDE research at CNDE since fall 2019 was awarded his Ph.D. degree during the May 2022 commencement ceremony. Dr. Dvorsky’s dissertation title is “Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Polarimetry Techniques for Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE)”. Dr. Dvorsky will remain at CNDE in the capacity of a Postdoctoral Research Associate, conducting multi-faceted research in the fields of microwave and millimeter wave nondestructive evaluation and high-resolution millimeter wave imaging system development.

CNDE students earn their degrees and start their new adventures

Marshall Vaccaro completed his degree requirements in May 2022 with a thesis titled “Orthogonally Coded Array for High-Speed Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Imaging.” Marshall has since accepted a position with the Aerospace Corporation in Chantilly, VA as a radar signal processing engineer.

Chao Liu earned his Ph.D. with a thesis titled “Influence of antenna pattern on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging and complex permittivity extraction from images of multilayered media.” Chao has been hired by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. as a Senior Engineer

Ted Mathews earned his Master’s with a thesis titled “Application of microwave synthetic aperture radar imaging to the detection of subsurface water ice on Mars.” Ted will be employed by Digital Receiver Technology Inc., a subsidiary of The Boeing Company as a Radio Frequency Hardware Design Engineer.

Congratulations to Marshall, Chao, and Ted!