ASNT Research Symposium

The week of 1-4 April found us in Garden Grove, California, for the ASNT Research Symposium. In case you are wondering, Garden Grove is located very close to Disneyland, although the attendees had their minds on more serious matters.

The ASNT Research Symposium is also known as the ASNT Spring Conference. It is traditionally not as well attended as the Fall Conference, which this year will be held in Las Vegas, from 18-21 November. Las Vegas is always a popular destination for our British friends!

The theme for this year’s research was ‘Advancing NDE technologies: research and engineering in a changing world’.

There was a great deal of committee business to be conducted and the technical presentations included topics such as ultrasonic non-destructive evaluation (NDE), NDE of railroads, automation/robotics in NDE modelling, millimetre and microwave NDE, electromagnetic NDE methods, materials characterisation, NDE engineering education, digital imaging radiation, NDE of pipelines, aerospace NDE, structural health monitoring (SHM), NDE of composites and infrastructure NDE. 

These research-based exhibits and technical presentations attracted an attendance of around 350 delegates.

The conference, as always, attracted speakers looking into the future of NDE. We were taken on a journey into space by Dr Charlie Kuehmann of SpaceX, who delivered the Keynote Address. He is an innovator in the commercialisation of computational material design. These materials and alloys have found applications in high-performance steels for race cars, aluminium alloys for aircraft, gear materials for helicopters and high-temperature alloys for turbine engines.

Through the accelerated insertion of materials and the Materials Genome Initiative, Dr Kuehmann is enabling the return of spacecraft for multiple reuse, confronting the challenge of travelling to Mars and the creation of living conditions on planets with extreme climates and seemingly insurmountable challenges.

The Plenary Lecture was provided by Dr Robert A Smith from the University of Bristol and was titled: ‘Future strategic leadership in the UK for TRL1-6 NDT technology R&D and transitioning’. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this presentation!

The Exhibitor’s Gallery featured 20 booths demonstrating a variety of advanced equipment and technology. Represented from the UK were BINDT, Baugh & Weedon Ltd and Test NDT.

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