The Value of Education in NDT

Each September, we publish our education issue of Materials Evaluation, which puts focus on the efforts of those in the NDT community who bring quality training, education, and mentoring to our profession.

Throughout ASNT, everyone—from our newly recruited to lifetime members, from our past presidents to our current committee chairs, from our Level IIIs to our Level Is, as well as our staff, from the mailroom to my office—understands that for NDT professionals to advance and for the profession to meet the needs of creating a safer world, we must commit our resources and skill without restraint to strengthening and creating NDT educational opportunities at all stages of one’s lifetime.

For the youngest among us, we have made a concerted and successful effort to involve high school students at our conferences. The ASNT Day of STEM began at our 2015 Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, continued to our 25th Research Symposium in New Orleans, and will take place again this coming fall at our 75th Annual Conference in Long Beach, California. The Day of STEM is a half-day program in which experienced NDT professionals explain and demonstrate the principles of NDT to young students who may otherwise have no idea what NDT is. These programs combined have brought in more than 400 students and teachers. Through this outreach, two schools have begun implementing NDT focused classes. We expect this event and its impact to grow in the future.

For students at the collegiate level, we have been diligent in engaging and incorporating their involvement at our conferences. Over the last year, we’ve seen student attendance increase, thanks in no small part to the valuable student mentoring and networking programs organized by Dr. Shant Kenderian and others to pair the next generation with experienced NDT professionals with wisdom and guidance to share. Students have also taken a more active role in chairing sessions, which gives them great exposure to cutting-edge research and practice as well as the opportunity to strengthen their professional networks.

For those who shape the minds of our students—the educators—we have worked to foster relationships to incorporate NDT concepts and information into course curricula. Most recently, we participated in the American School Counselor Association Conference, where we shared the world of NDT with more than 2800 guidance counselors and other attendees. Before our staff left, three teachers asked us to coordinate a section member visit to their schools to provide their teachers and students with an introduction to NDT, explain its methods and applications, and participate in school organized events.

For those in our Society and at all levels of our profession, we are committed to investing in continued education through the creation of the ASNT Center for Excellence. The Center, which is located in Columbus, Ohio, will be home to our Level III refresher courses and have a learning lab, classrooms, and space to accommodate school groups and sister societies. The Center for Excellence will open in the coming months and, when it does, will mark the start of a new chapter in our ongoing efforts to enhance our contribution to NDT education.

An education is the most important asset anyone can possess. While one’s education might come through formal schooling, from secondary to collegiate to graduate levels, a person’s education is also shaped by experiences with the world and the people in it. Education is critical at an early age, as that knowledge will shape and develop a person’s potential; nevertheless, learning is also a lifelong endeavor that must continue. It would be a great disservice to ourselves and our profession to assume that our learning is ever finished.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas for how ASNT can best contribute to NDT education. Please feel free to e-mail, call, or visit us here at the International Service Center.


Dr. Arny Bereson
Executive Director
The American Society for Nondestructive Testing