The University of Northampton has launched an engineering degree course which gives undergraduates a sound understanding of the science of safety: non-destructive testing (NDT).
NDT is the application of four areas of science – physics, chemistry, biology and maths – to create methods of testing that leave the item under test totally undamaged. This means that the component – the casting, weld or forging, for example – can continue to be used and that the non-destructive testing method has done no harm.
The role of NDT is to augment and enhance the human senses. NDT enables inspectors to search for flaws or potential defects that they could never detect using their own senses alone.
NDT, which is often referred to as the science of safety, is carried out on components used in countless products and infrastructure – from railways and aeroplanes, through to oil rigs, roller coasters and bridges.
Primarily aimed at those looking to embark on a Higher Apprenticeship scheme, the BEng (Hons) Non-Destructive Testing course will offer graduates the chance to progress their careers in this growing industry.
In December 2017, it was reported the worth of the global NDT market was forecast to jump from $6.51b in 2016 up to $10.48b by the end of 2022 – a rate of more than eight per cent.
Much of this growth is owed to infrastructure projects across the world, especially in the Asia Pacific region, along with the increasing demand to improve the quality and life cycle of machines.
Programme leader, Dr Abdeldjalil Bennecer, said: “There is clearly a growing need for highly skilled graduates to work within the non-destructive testing, condition monitoring and allied industries.
“Graduates completing the course may be able to progress within their current organisation or pursue a wide variety of roles in the United Kingdom and across the world.”
The course was developed in collaboration with, and is approved by the British Institute for Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT), which has its headquarters in Northampton.
The first cohort of students, who embarked on the course in January 2018, include five from Rolls-Royce and two from Belmont NDT.