ASNT Fall Conference biggest ever

This year the Westgate Resort and Casino in Las Vegas played host to the Annual Fall Conference of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) from 18-21 November. It produced the largest attendance ever for the Fall Conference.

There was, it seemed, something for everyone, including committee meetings, keynote speakers, technical presentations and a large number (230) and diverse range of exhibitors in the extended event sectors.

The ASNT Annual Business Meeting introduced the results of the election and the new slate of officers and Board members as well as the new Executive Director, Neal J Couture.

The keynote address was presented by Adam Stelzner, an award-winning rocket scientist from Jet Propulsion Labs, who successfully developed the sky crane landing, which successfully placed the Mars Rover Curiosity on the Martian surface in 2012.

Colleen McClanahan, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), discussed the risks involved when working with radiological sources and how technicians can help mitigate these risks. The Lester/Mehl Honor Lecture was delivered by Tsuchin Philip Chu PhD of Southern Methodist University and was titled: ‘The tiny random speckles, why they matter’.

Among the UK exhibitors were the following (excuse me if I missed any): BINDT (manned by David Gilbert and Caroline Bull); ETher NDE; GB Inspection Systems; Guided Ultrasonics Ltd; Lavender International; NOVO DR Ltd; Novosound Ltd; Oceaneering International; Phoenix Inspection Systems; Sonaspection International Inc (great to see you Martin Peacock); Sonotest; and Technology Design Ltd.

Michael Sims of Chevron Corp introduced the new industry sector qualification for the oil & gas industry. This programme is designed to replace numerous inconsistent programmes currently utilised throughout the industry, which I have complained of as being onerous and expensive. The actual examinations consist of hands-on testing on test specimens that show typical field damage and the results will be graded by ASNT. The first examination is on ultrasonic thickness testing and corrosion scanning. Two more programmes are planned for the 2020 rollout: ultrasonic angle beam examination and phased array testing for pressure equipment. The committee consists of 12 owner-operator stakeholders in the oil & gas industry, including Chevron, Shell, BP and ExxonMobil.

This programme has laid the groundwork for other industry sectors, such as nuclear, automotive, etc, to build their own programmes.

The North American Branch of BINDT held its AGM in conjunction with the ASNT Conference. There was a high level of attendance, including many visitors from the UK. The author of this article resigns his long-held chairship and Brian Shannon was elected as the new Chair of the North American Branch. Brian Anderson was re-elected as Vice Chair and Ankit Vajpayee, of Russell Technologies, Canada, was elected Secretary/Treasurer. Mr Shannon continues as Council Representative.

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