Person who has the biggest influence on your life?
This one is easy: Jesus Christ as He is my Saviour. My wife Marina and my children, Minette and Ruben.
Person who has the biggest influence on your NDT career?
This one is difficult: So many ‘legends’ in NDT have impacted my career… to name a few in no particular order:
Deon van Zyl, Ben Beetge, Lance Heyns, Hoosen Akram, Nishaan Kanaye, Graham Wilson, Jan Cowan, Mark Digby, Harold Jansen, Jacques Gillmer, Hannes Barnard, Keith Cain, Manfred Johannes, Simon Wilding, Hugh Neeson, Bob Cline, Niekie de Villiers, Arnold Fourie, Evan Benade, Evert Le Roux, Jurie Buys, Marius Roberts and many more…
One of the most important lessons I have learned in life is to learn from every person I meet, every single person I know, knows more about ‘something’ than me. I try to learn from everyone I know: clients, students, friends and foes! Learning from my own mistakes is valuable, but it hurts less when learning from ‘operator experience’.
How did you begin your career in NDT?
This is actually a very funny story. I enrolled on a course at Sasol, which I thought had something to do with Process Control. After a few days on the course I realised that I was busy with something completely different. I remember asking the lecturer, Pat Garland: “Excuse me Sir, but when are we going to start learning about Chemicals and Processes? What has Magnetism got to do with petrol?” He replied: “Sorry son, I am teaching you to test welds for cracks, we don’t test petrol…” This was when I found out that I was actually studying ‘NDT’. I didn’t even know what ‘NDT’ was before that day…
Which Method do you enjoy most and why?
All NDT methods offer their own unique challenges, whether you perform Dye Penetrant on a machined forging or Ultrasonic Testing on a nozzle weld. I always enjoyed Ultrasonic Testing, simply because each inspection is different, and no two welds renders the same results – in the days of analogue equipment each echo required confirmation through plotting on graph paper, and one became exceptionally skilled in using a compass and pocket scientific calculator.
What are your current qualifications?
MT - ASNT NDT Level III
PT - ASNT NDT Level III
RT - ASNT NDT Level III
UT - ASNT NDT Level III
MT - SAQCC NDT Level III
PT - SAQCC NDT Level III
MT - SAQCC NDT Level II
PT - SAQCC NDT Level II
RT - SAQCC NDT Level II
UT - SAQCC NDT Level II
MT - SNT-TC-1A Level II
PT - SNT-TC-1A Level II
RT - SNT-TC-1A Level II
ET - SNT-TC-1A Level I
RT Safety - NMMU
RPO - DOH Radiation Control
NDT Technologist (Practical) - SAINT Professional Body
Which Method do you enjoy most and why?
I must say RT: is the only NDT Method in which you get to leave something behind. It is the closest to being an ‘artisan’ I will ever be. I believe in not only producing acceptable Radiographs, but beautiful works of art. I get to leave my initials on them, just like an artist.
What Industries or Sectors have you been involved in?
Aerospace, Oil & Gas, Paper & Pulp, Pipelines, Mining, Shipping, Petrochemical, Power Generation, Nuclear, Structural and Agriculture.
What are your biggest challenges in NDT?
Politics and People.
Most humorous NDT incident that you can remember?
I think in 2003, I was doing MT inside a storage vessel in the Vaal Triangle. It took me about half an hour to complete the job. When I got out of the vessel, the so called ‘hole watch’ was missing-along with my permit. I gathered my equipment and started making my way through the plant back to the offices. I soon realised that there was not one person on the plant and I started panicking, I reached the office and behold there was also nobody in sight. I looked up and saw the flare burning twice as high as usual. Now I started freaking out, how could this be? This was during a massive project and there was supposed to be hundreds of people on site.
I honestly thought that the rapture took place while I was in the vessel… I started praying out loud while running to my car, hoping that I wasn’t the only person left on earth. On my way to the gate I realised that I didn’t have a permit, so I wouldn’t be able to open the gate, so I decided, well as I was the only person left on earth I wouldn’t be in trouble if I just drove through it…
When I reached the gate, and behold, everyone was standing outside the gate, in lines, getting counted. I learned that there was a gas leak on site and everyone had been evacuated. I didn’t hear the sirens while I was in the vessel and the ‘hole watch’ ran away leaving me inside… Needless to say, he disappeared and I never saw him again.
I do have a lot of hope for the future: growth is inevitable. I hope that the people of this beautiful country will adapt and start working together.
By working together we will survive.
A ‘must visit’ NDT website that you recommend and why you recommend it?
We have the Internet on our phones, tablets and computers, these days even on our TVs.
You can find almost everything you need to know about NDT on these websites… When you can’t find what you are looking for on these websites, another valuable tool could be Social Media. If we could use it to ask questions and help each other with answers, it would actually bring us together and make us stronger. Unfortunately, Social Media is mostly used to name and shame people. Using this tool incorrectly will only pull us apart and make us weaker.