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Nondestructive Testing (Ndt) Course Renovation For The Power Engineering Technology Program

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Curriculum in Mechanical and Power Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.909.1 - 14.909.19



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Paper Authors


Alex Fang Texas A&M University

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Dr. Alex Fang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University. He received the BS degree in aerospace engineering (1976) from Tamkang University in Taiwan, the MS degree in aerospace engineering (1987) and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering (1996) from Texas A&M University. He joined the Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology faculty at Texas A&M in 2007. He teaches courses in the area of nondestructive testing (NDT), nonmetallic materials, and strength of materials. Dr Fang’s research interests are in the areas of ceramic grinding, lapping, and polishing, NDT, acoustics, genetic algorithm, and multi-objective optimization.

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Wei Zhan Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Wei Zhan is an Assistant Professor of Electronics Engineering Technology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Zhan earned his D.Sc. in Systems Science from Washington University in 1991. From 1991 to 1995 he worked at University of California, San Diego and Wayne State University. From 1995 to 2006, he worked in the automotive industry as a system engineer. In 2006 he joined the Electronics Engineering Technology faculty at Texas A&M. His research activities include control system theory and applications to industry, system engineering, robust design, modeling, simulation, quality control, and optimization.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Course Renovation for the Power Engineering Technology Program


Nuclear power has now been recognized as one of the best alternative energy sources due to its zero carbon footage and relative low cost per kilo-watt hour compared to other alternatives. In Texas alone, 6 new nuclear power plants are expected to be built in the near future, which will require approximately two thousand qualified personnel to operate and maintain. In response to this urgent need, the Department of Engineering Technology & Industrial Distribution (ETID) at Texas A&M University has started a 4-year Power Engineering Technology (PET) degree program in the Fall Semester of 2008 which is dedicated for the nuclear power industry. One of the junior courses in the curriculum is Inspection Methods consisting mainly of the nondestructive testing methods which include liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, ultrasonic, eddy current, radiography, and others.

NDT has long been widely utilized for various flaw detections (crack, void, corrosion, and delamination, etc.) during manufacturing as well as maintenance by many industries to ensure the quality or safety of a component or system. It is an indispensible group of technologies mandated by the regulatory agency for the safe and reliable operation of nuclear power plants. A separate program within the ETID department, the Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET) program, has already offered an Inspection Methods course to introduce NDT in general but not specifically tailored for the nuclear power industry. To have better use of resources, a course renovation is under way which aims to address the needs for both the MMET and PET programs. This course renovation is based on the information collected through the interactions with the NDT service providers and nuclear power plant operators.

In this paper, the course development experiences in the two key areas, i.e., the state-of-the-art NDT technologies - phased array ultrasound (PA) and computed radiography (CR), will be presented. Discussions will also be given regarding the roles of PA and CR in the current and future NDT inspection of nuclear power plants.


Through the recognition of global warming by the world community, the formation of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and effective date of February 2005 point to the importance and necessity of having energy sources with low carbon emission. With the support for expansion by the current US National Energy Policy1, nuclear energy is arguably the best alternative energy source due to its high capacity and the lower production cost per kilowatt compared to other alternative energy sources such as wind power and solar power. Twenty-two applications have been submitted to the NRC for new reactors thus far and 11 more are expected by the end of 20092. The urgent issue facing the building boom for nuclear power plants is the training of a new workforce for these new plants as well as the replacement of aging workers in existing plants. In respond to these needs, the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution (ETID) at Texas A&M University has started a new Power Engineering Technology (PET) program in the

Fang, A., & Zhan, W. (2009, June), Nondestructive Testing (Ndt) Course Renovation For The Power Engineering Technology Program Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4791

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