Person who has the biggest influence on your life?
- Tyler Perry (American actor, producer, director, screenwriter, playwright, author and songwriter), considering how he suffered a difficult childhood, then gave up everything to realise his dream, which now empowers millions of people around the world.
- US President Barack Obama inspires me, as he has shown that it is possible to achieve eloquently - despite your humble beginnings.
- “Yes I can”: John Maxwell (American author, speaker and pastor) for my daily encouragement, embedded in his ability to base his motivation on Biblical principles.
Person who has the biggest influence on your NDT career?
I was privileged to have had more than one person influencing my NDT career, namely, Hugh Neeson and Dr Manfred Johannes. The biggest influence however, came from the selfless acts of someone I respectfully refer to as the “Mr Miyagi” of NDT in SA, Graham Wilson.
How did you begin your career in NDT?
It was all by chance! I responded to a job advertisement in the newspaper, not knowing what NDT was. My previous employer was tasked to unravel the ink from the sound. Finally Genrec employed me via the Mossgas project.
What are your current qualifications?
- T2 in Mechanical Engineering
- SAQCC Level III UT, PT and MT
- PCN Level II PA
- SAQCC Level II UT
Which Method do you enjoy most and why?
Ultrasonics undoubtedly! Prior to my initial interview, I researched subject matter. In doing so, I instantly enjoyed the mystery that UT presented. During training and upon site exposure, the intrigue deepened. The “why” factor is synonymous, always wanting to understand why the sound would behave a certain way.
Then having seen its accuracy upon exposing a flaw detected by UT, the deal was sealed. Later I particularly enjoyed Phased Array (PA), as it presented a different dimension to UT (by extension).
What Industries or Sectors have you been involved in?
I’ve been exposed to the Petrochemical, Power Generation, Motor, Mining, Railway, Nuclear Sectors and various others.
What are your biggest challenges in NDT?
Whilst my opinion holds true for NDT, I can only imagine same is felt beyond our industry. Self-belief: as South Africans we need to embrace, believe and market our uniqueness and professionalism. Notwithstanding the expertise sourced elsewhere, too often we see local expertise being moved aside to make way for internationals when, at a closer glance, we probably produce as much, if not better, quality.
Most humorous NDT incident that you can remember?
While working on a project we had to go inside a 6MØ pipe which was slippery. Technicians are always being warned of the pending danger (slipping). Until one day a technician walked on the slippery area, no mercy was spared when he slipped. “Like when a person walks into a sliding door, no matter what, you cannot contain the laughter”, it just flows. This was no different. The victim slipped past a colleague who stuck a broom out, but by the time the victim reached him the colleague withdrew it for fear of being dragged down too. Fortunately, about 10M ahead after frantic unsuccessful attempts to stop, the pipe levelled out allowing the victim to stop.
There will be nothing more comforting than to have our South African qualification recognised world-wide. We know that SA has amongst the worlds’ finest technicians, yet, too often others look down on it.
A ‘must visit’ NDT website that you recommend and why you recommend it?