Steven Morris

Our interviewee for this instalment of People in NDE is Steven Morris, who has a wealth of experience and qualifications in various NDT methods and industries…

Briefly describe your current role
My current role is as a Support Manager in the NDT Department of Technical Services, which supplies qualified NDT engineers to the 
various infrastructures within London Underground. The main responsibilities of the department are to provide experienced technicians to carry out NDT inspections for London Underground on the rolling stock fleets at various depots, as well as the inspection of escalators and lifts at underground stations. I also provide technical advice and assistance to the structural engineering departments on new projects, as well as providing mentoring and training for the newer technicians within the department. Technical Services has recently been involved in a transition from London Underground to a new pan-TfL organisation, so I will now be providing my experience and knowledge to other transport systems as well.

What education or training route did you follow?
I initially followed an academic path, but soon after I decided to enrol at a skills training centre in order to learn about plate fabrication. This helped me to gain work on construction site projects for some years and gave me an invaluable insight into the aspects of plating and welding. In my mid-twenties, I took a Manpower Services course in ultrasonic inspection at Blackpool College. On completion I gained PCN, SNT and British Gas certifications, which I followed up with further training courses and exams where I gained magnetic testing (MT), penetrant testing (PT), eddy current testing (ET) and radiographic testing (RT) qualifications in the engineering and aerospace sectors. This was completed with a BSc in NDT at the University of Northampton. Further to this I hold PCN Level 3 certification in ultrasonic testing (UT) and PT and am looking to round it off by completing certification in the methods of MT and ET.

What other roles and jobs have you had in the past?
In my early twenties, I spent a year in South Australia on a working holiday visa, contracting as a plate fabricator for various companies, which was an enjoyable experience. On my return to the UK, once I had gained some NDT qualifications, I began my NDT career working in the north west of England, where I was part of an NDT team testing various components in house. This was soon followed with a year at an engineering firm, working as an NDT contractor on a large North Sea oil project for a major oil exploration company.
In 1989, I made the move to Surrey to take up a permanent role with an independent NDT inspection company, where I worked for over 20 years. I began as an NDT engineer for the industrial department working on jobs in the UK and worldwide before moving up to become the site supervisor and then the site manager. In the early 1990s, a major part of the work was carried out as a team conducting hull thickness surveys on shipping, especially the very large crude carriers (VLCCs) and ultra-large crude carriers (ULCCs) of major oil companies. I then progressed to assisting the aviation department, again working in the UK and abroad as required.

What would you consider to be your biggest NDE achievement to date?
One of my biggest achievements was when I received my BSc degree in NDT from the University of Northampton. This course gave me a very good insight into other forms of NDE that can be used in industry.

What do you think are the pressing challenges for the NDE industry?
One challenge is encouraging school leavers to see that there can be a rewarding career working in NDE and another is getting the engineering sector to realise how beneficial NDE can be, rather than seeing it as a necessary evil.

What changes do you foresee for NDE in the future?
I foresee NDE becoming more automated in line with increased technological improvements to inspection equipment.

How would you describe NDE to someone who has not heard of it before?
It is a means of testing new and in-service parts to detect any flaws or discontinuities that may cause them to be unfit for use.

Outside of NDE, what are your interests and hobbies?
My main interest and passion is rugby union, having played it for many years.

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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