November 7, 2016

by Lisa Proulx

ROCHESTER – Great Bay Community College (GBCC) will begin offering a new Non-destructive Training (NDT) certificate as part of its Advanced Materials Manufacturing Program. Designed in partnership with industry experts, the Non-destructive Training Certificate Program aims to meet the hiring demands of businesses like Hitchiner Manufacturing Co and Safran Aerospace Composites who seek skilled specialists in non-destructive testing. The program will be run out of the Rochester campus, where space is being built out to meet the needs of this unique program.

Non-destructive testing involves evaluating the property of a material, component or system without damaging it. It is used in science and technology to test and troubleshoot materials and products in the research and development phase. There are many methods of testing, including ultrasonic, liquid penetrant, radiographic and magnetic-particle. Great Bay is teaching the liquid penetrant method to start. As funding for additional equipment becomes available, the college will add other testing methods to its curriculum, including ultrasonic and radiography.

“It’s a growing field, with career potential,” said Debra Mattson who designed the program and works closely with local companies to ensure students receive current and relevant training. “The demand from employers is huge. I am already getting calls to hire people from our certificate program because employers are so much in need of trained people in this field. These are careers, not jobs – there is a lot of growth potential in this field, and we are excited about offering these courses to help meet the need of the industry.”

Among the companies seeking qualified employees is Rochester-based Safran Aerospace Composites. Donald Chabot, an NDT supervisor for Safran, routinely sends his employees to different training facilities to meet National Aerospace Standards. Safran engages in ultrasonic testing and computed tomography, methods that Great Bay hopes to add as the program evolves.

“If Great Bay can meet these requirements, it would be very beneficial for us to send our trainees to a formal training class in the local area,” Chabot said.

Chabot recruits experienced inspectors from around the country to fill openings. The company is among those to incorporate the NDT specialty Computed Tomography in its research and product development.

“NDT is a highly specialized field with worldwide opportunities,” Chabot said.” He expects to add 10 to 20 employees over the next year. “NDT methods are required in many industries, including aerospace, automotive and energy development. A certification in any NDT method with a good work ethic can lead to great opportunities around the world,” he added.

Hitchiner Manufacturing Co. Inc. of Milford – a supplier of complete-to-print, high-volume, complex thin-wall investment castings and fully-finished casting-based subassemblies and components also seeks skilled NDT workers.

“Great Bay’s new program will create a nice applicant pool for us, and will also allow us to offer training to our existing employees so they can further advance their skills while we cover the cost for them to do so,” said Matt Wallace, quality director for Hitchiner. “Our employees can get some of the hours and experience at an accredited institution instead of being solely dependent on Hitchiner for their training and that will allow us to modify what we do.”

Registration for the next Introduction to NDT begins November 28, with classes beginning January 3. To learn more visit, contact Laura Williams at [email protected] or call 603-427-7770.  For additional program information visit:

Note:  The Nondestructive Testing Certificate Program is pending financial aid approval.

Photo one caption: ?Instructor demonstrates the magnetic particle NDT process on a steel part as part of a class at Great Bay Community College. Starting this January, the College will be offering a new certificate program Nondestructive Testing offered at the College’s Rochester campus.

Photo two caption: Student Bradley Williams performs ultrasonic test equipment alignment using a calibrated test standard (metal block) as part of a 13-week Introduction to Non-destructive testing class at Great Bay Community College. Starting this January, the College will be offering a new certificate program Nondestructive Testing at the College’s Rochester campus.

Photo three caption: Students in GBCC’s non-destructive testing class do a quality check of a PT (Penetrant Test), one of the NDT processes taught in a new certificate program offered by Great Bay Community College starting this January. After employing penetrant testing, students use a scale to determine the size of a discontinuity under a black-light in the lab at the College’s Rochester campus.