News Service


Don Thompson, CNDE, (515) 294-8152
R. Bruce Thompson, CNDE, (515) 294-8152
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917
Anita Rollins, IPRT Public Affairs, (515) 294-1113


AMES, Iowa - A worldwide federation of centers that specialize in nondestructive evaluation (NDE) is being formed and will be located at Iowa State University.

The World Federation of Nondestructive Evaluation Centers will initially include leading NDE centers from 10 countries including Russia, India and the United States. Leaders from NDE centers of the participating countries will sign a memorandum of agreement at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28. The signing ceremony will be held at the Applied Science Complex, northwest of the Iowa State University campus. The United States will be represented by ISU's Center for Nondestructive Evaluation, considered a leader in NDE technology and education.

"Nondestructive evaluation crosses into economic, safety and reliability issues around the globe," said Donald Thompson, chair of the World Federation organizing committee and former director of Iowa State's Center for Nondestructive Evaluation. "We expect this 'virtual' worldwide center for NDE education and technology to lead to significant improvements in these topics."

"The Federation will have a big impact on NDE education and broad improvement of NDE technology," added Thompson, who was one of the first scientists involved in NDE research. "It could lead to the training and education of persons in NDE, which would result in the same skills available around the globe. Our push is to grow NDE into a worldwide quantitative technology that will match the push in globalization."

NDE allows the inspection of a structure or product in a non- invasive manner. Through the use of NDE methods, the flight worthiness of airplanes can be assured, the integrity of bridges can be inspected and the reliability of products can be tested.

The countries initially involved in the Federation are Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, China, India, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the Ukraine.

The focus of the Federation will be collaborative NDE research projects and applications; faculty and student exchanges to aid the worldwide NDE educational/training process; and outreach programs with national and international industries that will promote worldwide safety, product quality, and the economic growth.

The Federation will likely focus on projects that improve the overall quantitative aspects of NDE technologies, and those that could have a global impact, such as development of NDE techniques to detect land mines.

Industries that use NDE and NDE research centers have expressed a need for a worldwide federation, said Thompson. He added that partners selected for the new Federation come from potentially important economic trading partners of the U.S.

"We have 10 countries represented right now, but there is no limit to the number of future partners in the Federation," Thompson said.

The Center for Nondestructive Evaluation is a member of the Institute for Physical Research and Technology, a consortium of research, technology development, technical assistance and technology transfer centers at Iowa State University.

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