Enhancing Aviation Maintenance Technician Training with Nondestructive Testing Skills

Nondestructive Testing (NDT) is used to detect and evaluate defects in materials without damaging the object being tested. In this way, NDT can be used to ensure the functionality of objects across their period of service. The NDT industry is expected to grow substantially over the next few years, driving an increasing industry demand for technicians with the knowledge and skills needed to perform NDT. A need for more NDT technicians already exists within Northeast Floridas aviation manufacturing industry. However, local college education programs are not available to help meet this need. This project aims to establish a new career pathway in NDT for students and incumbent workers. It will do so by developing a new NDT certificate program within the current Aviation Maintenance Technology associate degree program at Florida State College at Jacksonville. To support the certificate program, the project will create a new NDT learning lab equipped with training equipment so that students can learn how to use different types of NDT methods. A set of NDT lab exercises will be developed for outreach activities, such as high school visits and summer camps, designed to increase the number of students in the certificate program. These outreach efforts will focus on reaching students from communities that are underrepresented in the aviation maintenance workforce. The project is expected to provide the aviation industry with workforce-ready technicians while broadening participation in the technical workforce.

Based on recommendations from aviation industry partners, the college will develop a program to prepare students for American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) NDT Level I certification. It will develop the NDT program with guidance from a Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) that includes members from the aviation industry and academic institutions. The project anticipates developing a set of five courses covering the common NDT techniques of magnetic particle, liquid penetrant, electromagnetic, ultrasonic, and visual inspection. The courses will use an inquiry-based learning model based on the 5E learning cycle, Engage, Explore, Explain, Evaluate, and Extend. A new NDT learning lab will serve as an educational training center for faculty and students and will include NDT equipment needed for inspection techniques covered in the ASNT Level I certification. Outreach activities will be conducted at participating high schools to introduce students to NDT technology, to describe career opportunities available in aviation technology, and to share profiles of high school and college students from diverse populations who are employed in the aviation technology industry. The impact of the project activities on student enrollment and retention will be assessed using institutional data including demographics, student enrollment in courses, and student retention rate.

ATE Award Metadata

Award Number
Funding Status
ATE Start Date
May 1st, 2021
ATE Expiration Date
April 30th
ATE Principal Investigator
Robert Crognale
Primary Institution
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Record Type
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