Nelly Fernandez

Our interviewee for this instalment of People in NDE is Nelly Fernandez, who has a Master’s degree in non-destructive testing and evaluation from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and now works as an application/product support engineer at ETher NDE.

Describe your current role

My current role is as an Application/Product Support Engineer at ETher NDE in St Albans. ETher NDE is a company that manufactures eddy current equipment, probes and accessories. I work actively in the design, as well as serving as liaison with customers to provide pre- and post-sale technical support. The company is also involved in different research projects to develop new technologies; some of my responsibilities are probe design, testing, writing reports and engaging with the other 

What education or training route did you follow?
I studied a BSc in metallurgical and materials science engineering at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV). By the time I finished I knew I wanted to continue my studies in an English-speaking country. I decided to come to the UK in 2015 and in 2016 started a Master’s degree in non-destructive testing and evaluation at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Swansea. This course was recommended to me by the NDT professor from my BSc.

What other roles/jobs have you had in the past?
My current role at ETher NDE is the first job that I have had in the field of engineering and in NDE in particular, so this is a very exciting moment in my life.

Why did you choose NDT?
My godmother works as an NDE Inspector and runs her own inspection company in Venezuela. She was always someone I looked up to and from an early age she helped me develop an interest in metallurgical engineering and later in NDE.

What would you consider to be your biggest NDT achievements and challenges to date?
Apart from the day-to-day tasks in my current role at ETher NDE, where every day brings new challenges to the table in order to meet the demands of each of our customers, the biggest challenge I have encountered in my career so far has been obtaining my Master’s degree. This was an accomplishment that I had to give my absolute 100% to achieve.

What do you think are the pressing challenges for the NDT industry?
I believe that one of the main challenges of this industry is to keep up with customer demand. Customers are always asking for the most reliable and accurate technique to obtain results in the quickest way, to therefore spend less. Another pressing challenge for the NDE industry nowadays is, in my opinion, that new NDT technologies are currently being developed more rapidly than the standards for each of them. This forces companies to keep using old technology that is possibly not as efficient as new alternatives, only because standards are taking too long to catch 

What changes, if any, do you foresee for NDT in the future?
More automated inspections and possibly the removal of the NDT inspector, at least for the beginning, with the inspector only needed to repeat or corroborate results.

What is your involvement with NDT societies such as BINDT?
I am an Associate member of BINDT and a standard member of ASNT.

How would you describe NDT to someone who has not heard of it before?
I usually say that NDT is a field that devotes its efforts to determining whether or not certain materials are fit for their purpose, through the application of different techniques that do not damage such materials or take them out of action. I also talk about ultrasonic testing and radiography in the field of medicine, which are commonly known, and how the same techniques, plus many more, can be applied to materials.

Outside of NDT, what are your interests and hobbies?
My interests and hobbies outside of NDE are dancing, exercising, health and fitness. I also try to recycle, reuse and reduce more nowadays to protect our environment.

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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