The Robert C. McMaster Gold Medal was established by ASNT to provide recognition to a person who has made an outstanding contribution, or who has rendered meritorious service, to any area in the field of nondestructive testing or to the Society. Beginning in 1990, the award has been given in honor of the eminent ASNT Past President Robert C. McMaster, professor emeritus of the Ohio State University. The award is presented to the recipient during the ASNT Annual Conference. The Awards Committee has the privilege of not conferring the award.
2019 winner Claudia V. Kropas-Hughes has been a member of ASNT for over 25 years and has worked in the nondestructive testing industry almost 30 years. Since 1989 she has been employed by the US Air Force as a Research Leader for Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE). She currently serves as a Technical Advisor at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, focusing on transitioning technologies, for the Air Force Materiel Command. Her experience is primarily in computed tomography (CT) and the digital X-ray methods.
Kropas-Hughes has been active nationally within ASNT since 2003. She has served as the Professional Program Chair for the ASNT Annual Conference for 13 years. She is a member of the Penetrating Radiation Methods Committee and a past ASNT Board member. She is also active in her local Miami Valley Section where she has served as chair and is the current section secretary.
Kropas-Hughes is also active in ASTM International where she serves as an active member on the Radiology (X- and gamma-ray methods) Subcommittee (E07.01). She is the current past Chair of E07 and a member of the ASTM Board of Directors.
Kropas-Hughes is an ASNT Fellow (class of 2002) and ASTM Fellow, and the recipient of the Charles N. Sherlock Meritorious Service Award (2008), the ASNT Mentoring Award (2016), and the ASTM E07 Briggs Award. An electrical engineer by education, she has a Ph.D. from the Air Force Institute of Technology and maintains senior memberships in IEEE and the Society of Women Engineers. In addition, Kropas-Hughes currently holds one patent in the area of signal processing of NDE data.