In view of the important role of education in advancing the purpose of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), the George L. Pherigo Tutorial Citation gives recognition to outstanding contributors to the field of nondestructive testing (NDT) education. Recipients of the citation are selected for their accomplishments in, or furtherance of, educational activities designed to increase the depth and breadth of scientific, engineering, and technical knowledge in the field of NDT. In 2010, the award was renamed in honor of George L. Pherigo, who dedicated his life to NDT education.
2019 winner Richard C. (Dick) Hooper holds a bachelor of science degree in aeronautics with a major in aircraft maintenance engineering from St. Louis University. A member of ASNT since 1975, Hooper is the ASNT Regional Director of Region 7 and is the past chair (2018, 2013, 2012) of the Charlotte Section of ASNT. He is actively engaged in various ASNT activities, including reviewing articles for The NDT Technician (TNT) and the Visual Testing Committee of the Technical and Education Council. Working with Dietmar F. Henning, Hooper helped with the review of the ASNT Level II Study Guide: Visual Testing Method. In addition, he participated in the development of the Visual Testing Lecture Guide for ASNT. Other reviews included the first edition of the Visual Testing Classroom Training Book with content, reviews, and photos.
Hooper holds ASNT NDT Level III for UT and VT and has other professional licenses and certifications, including Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airframe and Power Plant license and a private pilot certificate – single engine land and sea, with instrument rating. He is also a recently licensed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) amateur radio operator, General Class, with call letters KN4UHA.
During his 30-plus years of employment with GE, Hooper established NDE procedure standards for their inspection services group and was one of the subject matter experts for the Six Sigma continuous improvement for the In-Vessel Visual Inspections, or IVVI activities. Hooper provided yearly IVVI training for the Reactor Service Technicians at GE’s Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) Training Facility in San Jose, California. This training consists of two to three weeks of training, followed by practical qualification testing in their 80 ft deep full-size mockup of the internals of a BWR nuclear reactor.
In 2009, Hooper began a new career with Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), where he led the new Associate of Applied Science program in NDE Technology at their Harper Campus. As program chair and UT/VT instructor, Hooper created the Level I and II training syllabi for his courses.
Working along with Ridgewater College’s NDT group, Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) NDE Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and CPCC’s NDE Technology’s group, Hooper helped develop a program in which students from both schools participated in a first-of-a-kind trial in which NDE students trained, obtaining 1000 h of UT laboratory time, and then took the ultrasonic testing (UT) Performance Demonstration (PDI) qualification exams at EPRI. Many of these students were successful in passing these strenuous PDI exams.
The North Carolina Student Section was sponsored by Hooper, and his efforts with the club and the Charlotte Section have fostered a mentoring relationship that still exists today. Hooper retired from CPCC in 2017 and remains involved in ASNT with mentoring of NDT students and continued involvement with the Charlotte Section as well as the North Carolina Student Section.