Nondestructive Testing is the science of examining an object, structure or system to determine its integrity without impairing or destroying it. Successful technicians will be interested in conducting investigations as to why metal fails. Job security in the field is high.
The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) has presented an Award of Fellow to Ed Messmer (left), an adjunct faculty member in the Nondestructive Testing certification program at Moraine Valley Community College.
The Award of Fellow recognizes members who have demonstrated outstanding professional distinction and have made continued significant contributions to the advancement of nondestructive testing. Only 15 awards are given out each year.
Messmer has taught nondestructive testing for over 40 years. He learned the trade in Southeast Asia as a service member in the United States Air Force. He was then hired by the Air Force to instruct service members from all branches of the military in nondestructive testing. In 1990, he retired from the Air Force after 20 years and joined his old military instructors Bill Klene and Ray Zulke as a full-time faculty member at Moraine Valley Community College.
While instructing at the college, he became an officer in the local section of the ASNT, where he organized programs, instructed members and coordinated several trips to the Indy 500. He also sat on committees on the national level and assisted with planning a national conference.
Messmer published a paper in 2010 on his involvement in inspecting an F-86 Sabre Jet at the Warbird Museum in Waukegan, Illinois. He contributed to the society’s handbook on nondestructive testing and received the society’s Mentor Award in 2004. The Air Force also named him a Master Technician in 1976 and a Master Instructor in 1989.
This year, 12 of the Fellowship recipients are graduates of Moraine Valley’s program who had been taught by Messmer at the college. Their success stories are what Messmer likes most about teaching nondestructive testing.
“I remember one student who was a baseball player at the college. I told him he had to decide between NDT and baseball, and he chose NDT. He told me making that decision changed his life because he’s had a high-level position in a good-paying job his whole career. He told me he was thankful for what I did for him. Hearing that makes it all worthwhile,” Messmer said. “This is the highest award you can get in the ASNT. This is a great recognition.”