Charles J Hellier

In February 2023, the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) announced the acquisition of ‘NDT Classroom’, a leader in the effective delivery of online non-destructive testing (NDT) training programmes. This announcement proclaimed that the investment will increase the power and breadth of learning opportunities for NDT professionals through an extensive library of curated and convenient online training courses.

“Learning opportunities are the number one reason NDT professionals look to ASNT,” said Neal J Couture, CAE and ASNT Executive Director. “The acquisition of NDT Classroom allows ASNT to continue to fulfil its purpose and deliver immediate, accessible and relevant NDT training solutions. We look forward to building on Chuck and Jim’s legacy of providing high-quality online education and training for ASNT’s members and certificate holders.”

When I saw the news, I was reminded of the contributions that Charles (Chuck) J Hellier has made to NDT. Chuck Hellier is a Past President of ASNT. He has been active in NDT for more than 50 years and most recently was the co-owner of NDT Classroom.

Chuck started his NDT career with a company that specialised in railcar X-ray examination. He then moved to Electric Boat, where he progressed from a trainee to a supervisor and was introduced to other NDT methods, including ultrasonic testing (UT), magnetic testing (MT), visual testing (VT) and penetrant testing (PT). In 1958, he attended his first SNT meeting in Philadelphia, which opened his horizons, further stimulated his interest and led to his long association with SNT, which is now known as ASNT.

Chuck is an ASNT Fellow, a Life Member and holds multiple NDT Level III certifications. He started his own company, Hellier Technical Training and Consulting, in New London, Connecticut, in 1980 and continued until its sale to Longview in 1998. He remained as President and then General Manager until he retired in 2003. He then became Vice President of NDT Classroom when it was founded in 2012 with co-NDT pioneer Jim Treat. NDT Classroom delivers engaging and interactive video-based training, designed to meet the professional development needs of the entire NDT industry, from the newcomer all the way to the seasoned practitioner. These training opportunities provide time- and cost-saving benefits at the convenience of the students. Now, with the purchase of NDT Classroom by ASNT, Chuck continues to provide mentoring, expert witness services, certification services and management seminars. Retirement is not in his nature.

I had met Chuck Hellier at many SNT and ASNT conferences and spent some quality time with him at his New London headquarters, when I participated in the origin and formation of the Standards Development Committee. Among these pioneers were Bob Hardison, George Wheeler, Richard McGuire, Paul Deeds and Jack Lavender, legends all, that leave their imprints on NDT history.

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