Joshua Baldock

Our interviewee for this instalment of People in NDE is Joshua Baldock, an Inspection Development Engineer in the energy industry…

Briefly describe your current role
I am an Inspection Development Engineer working in the energy industry. My main role is to look at ways of improving inspection techniques and to develop inspection solutions for new or existing applications.

What does a typical work day involve?
It varies a lot from day to day. Sometimes I can be performing inspection trials in the lab or inspections on site. Other times I can be managing a team of NDT technicians, assessing the capabilities of new and existing inspections or developing new manipulator platforms to deploy inspection solutions. It’s a real mix – that’s one of the reasons I enjoy it.

What education/training route did you follow? What other roles/jobs have you had in the past?
Before I joined the NDT industry, I was working in a corner shop while studying for a physics degree at the University of Warwick. After I graduated, I began working in the energy industry as a camera operator, focusing on remote visual inspections. I’ve since expanded my knowledge and role into ultrasonics and eddy current testing. I’ve only been working in NDT for about four years now.

Why did you choose NDT?
I think there are two main reasons. The first is that NDT is a great practical discipline but requires a lot of thinking and evaluating too. It’s a great mix of using your head and hands. The second reason is the variety of opportunities that come along; there’s always something interesting to work on. It’s definitely not a boring job, that’s for sure.

What would you consider to be your biggest NDT career achievements and challenges to date?
That’s a tough one because I’ve worked on a variety of things. One that springs to mind is performing in-vessel inspections on a reactor in 2014. A more recent one is where I helped to qualify inspections for a long-term fuel store – the first of its kind here in the UK.

What changes, if any, do you foresee for NDE in the future?
I think that there are going to be a lot more automated inspections in the future. The reliability and repeatability of automation can make it really helpful when combined with experienced operators. There are also going to be a lot more novel applications for existing inspection techniques – it’s great how diverse the application of NDT can be.

NDE is rarely considered a ‘hot topic’ and does not receive much media attention – what do you think about this?
In some ways it’s not a problem; most NDE engineers are so dedicated to getting the job done that this is enough in itself. In other ways it is a problem; a lot of the most experienced members of the NDE community are getting closer to retirement and we don’t want to lose that knowledge. It would also be great to broadcast some of the new inspection technologies that are being developed, because there could be many more applications if people were more aware of them.

How would you describe NDE/NDT to someone who knows little or nothing about it?
That’s a tough one. I would describe it as obtaining a real-time snapshot of a material’s condition and properties without causing it any damage.

Please get in touch if you have any recommendations for future interviewees or would like to be interviewed yourself. Contact the editor at or email Maria Felice direct at

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