Memorandum of Understanding

      I.     Introduction

The Parties to this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) wish to establish a World Federation of Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) Centers (the Federation) to advance common causes in NDE science and engineering including research, education, and training, and to promote technology transfer to industrial practice.  The Federation is a network that involves the Center for NDE (CNDE) at Iowa State University in the United States and academic institutions involved in NDE research and education and training as well as nonprofit or not-for-profit research institutes having academic and industrial links.  Founding Parties to this MOU include:

  • Chosun University, Kwangju, Korea
  • Chinese Academy of Railway Sciences, Beijing, China
  • Foundation for Technological Development, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India
  • Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, India
  • Institute of Applied Physics of National Academy of Science of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus
  • Iowa State University, Ames, U. S. A.
  • Moscow Power Engineering Institute (Technical University), Moscow, Russia
  • Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
  • Paton Welding Institute, Kiev, Ukraine
  • Pontif�cia Universidade Cat�lica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Siberian Aerospace Academy, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
  • Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Korea
  • University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Institutions represented at the formation meeting also included:

  • American Society for Nondestructive Testing
  • Russian Academy for Quality Engineering

It is, however, intended that the Federation be open-ended and that additional Centers, which are committed to the objectives of the Federation and meet the criteria for membership, be admitted at later dates.  The purpose of this MOU is to define a structure for the World Federation of NDE Centers, which the Parties to this MOU subscribe and support.

    II.     Motivation

The Parties to this MOU are motivated to improve NDE technology and its uniform utilization on a worldwide scale. A number of global drivers, each with significant impact on the quality of life, contribute to this motivation.  Included are demands fostered by population growth, environmental concerns, economic competition, and easing of world tensions.

One consequence of these drivers has been the increased globalization of industrial production, which raises NDE challenges associated with maintaining quality, safety and reliability while minimizing life-cycle costs.  These issues are found in areas as diverse as:

  • manufacturing
  • transportation
  • energy
  • infrastructure
  • communications
  • mining
  • electronics

An additional opportunity is the application of the non-invasive measurement procedures developed by the NDE community to related fields such as:

  • medical diagnostics and research
  • precision agriculture

The Parties are highly motivated to find cost-effective ways to pursue precompetitive, cooperative NDE research in support of these and related endeavors, and to pursue opportunities for exchange of faculty, students, and other scientific personnel.  Both will improve the overall technical infrastructure of the involved countries.

  III.     Vision and Objectives

It is the vision of the Parties to this MOU that the Federation of NDE Centers will provide significant leverage in meeting the growing NDE needs of a global economy.  In order to gain these advantages the focus of the Federation will be placed upon the following objectives:

  • selection and performance of highly leveraged, collaborative quantitative NDE research projects and applications that lead to excellence and improved cost effectiveness in global NDE engineering practice
  • promotion of exchange of faculty, students, and other scientific personnel among cooperating Centers together with the development of materials and programs to aid the worldwide education and training process in NDE
  • pursuit of outreach programs with national and international industries to improve worldwide safety, product quality, and economic well-being
  • extension of measurement science and technology developed by the NDE community to other related application areas
  1. Technical Plan

The technical program of the Federation will consist of various kinds of cooperative research projects in NDE between and among members of the Federation and their clients.  One highly desirable kind of project is precompetitive, cooperative research that results in overall improvements in quantitative NDE that will enhance uniform global capabilities.  As an example, the technical development and validation of NDE standards that are uniform and easily available worldwide, in particular over the internet, would have global impact.  Projects of this nature would likely consist of integrated contributions from various Parties of the Federation.  A second kind of project would likely involve specific topics, also with global impact, but more limited in scope.  An example might be the detection of land mines using NDE technology.  Projects of this scale would also likely involve cooperation between some or all members of the Federation.  In performing research projects in support of the local industrial base, the Federation would enable the local Centers to draw upon the expertise in other member Centers as needed.  As noted above, proposals that result in teaming between and among the members of the Federation will be encouraged.  Such teams will likely be constructed to take advantage of the strengths of the various members of the Federation and to encourage faculty, students, and other scientific personnel exchanges.  Any member of the Federation may initiate and develop a team on subjects consistent with the goals of the Federation.  In doing so, the initiating members may make their desires known to the Federation which will provide assistance and coordination for the initiating members in making the necessary arrangements.  The intent of this paragraph is not to preclude a member of the Federation from teaming with other groups outside the Federation.

  1. Education and Training

The Federation will encourage the development of specific cooperative education and training programs with supporting materials that lead to improved worldwide people skills in NDE.  These programs will likely include the development of curricula that can be shared and evaluated with Federation members as desired.   Other projects could include the development of new education and training materials that would draw from the broad experience of the Federation.  An important part of the education and training program will be the exchange of faculty, students, and other scientific personnel among Centers.  These exchanges will be significantly enhanced through the conduct of cooperative research efforts.

  1. Technology Transfer

Technology transfer will be pursued not only between and among the members of the Federation but also with the many industries worldwide served by the various Centers and with professional societies that share the vision of the Federation.  Centers would be expected to contract with their local and national industries and would be encouraged to call on expertise in other Centers for technical support if needed.  Student exchanges with industry are also encouraged by Parties to this MOU as a way both to provide valuable additional training to the student and technology transfer to industry.

  IV.     Organization

The Federation, an interactive network of NDE centers, will be governed by a Board of Directors, representing the member Centers.  Each of these Centers is entitled to nominate a single representative to the Board of Directors.  At the Board of Directors meetings, the representative, or Center designated alternate, will cast one vote on any issue considered.  The responsibilities of the Board of Directors will include the following:

  • setting guidelines for the operation of the Federation
  • finding ways to cover administrative costs of the Federation
  • setting policy guidelines governing the collaborative interrelationships of the member Centers
  • participating in the exchange of information at the annual meeting.

A Permanent Secretary will be provided by the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation at Iowa State University.  The Permanent Secretary will be responsible for conducting day-to-day business of the Federation and ensuring that Board Policy is implemented.  Activities of the World Federation will be coordinated by an Administrative Office, situated at the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation at Iowa State University and under the direction of the Permanent Secretary.  Guidelines for operating the Administrative Office will be provided by the Board of Directors.  An annual meeting of the Federation will be held in conjunction with the Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation Conference[1].

    V.     Membership

Membership in the Federation is open to Iowa State University in the United States and academic institutions involved in NDE research and education and training as well as nonprofit or not-for-profit research institutes having academic and industrial links that share the vision outlined in Section III.

Membership in the Federation is subject to approval by the Board of Directors and is contingent upon fulfillment of the following conditions:

  • active interest and engagement in NDE
  • strong commitment to the goals of the Federation
  • maintenance of nonprofit or not-for-profit status of the member institution
  • attendance at the annual Board of Directors meeting at least once every three years
  • no engagement in activities that are detrimental to the reputation of the Federation

These conditions are subject to modification at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

New Membership:

Membership in the Federation can be expanded at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Any representative on the Board can nominate a new member. The nomination must be received at least one month prior to a Board of Directors meeting.  The nomination must be seconded by an additional representative to merit further consideration. The decision to accord membership shall be taken at that meeting of the Board of Directors based on a simple majority of those present and voting.


Institutions may withdraw their membership voluntarily at any time by providing a notice of at least one year. Membership in the Federation can also be terminated for failing to meet the conditions stipulated in Section V or failing to attend three consecutive meetings of the Board of Directors.  This decision must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Board representatives present and voting at the annual meeting.

New membership categories may be added at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

  VI.     Funding

The Parties agree that each member of the Federation will be responsible for procuring its own funding.  Funding sources will likely include international, federal, and state government agencies, foundations, industries, and others that seek to advance and improve global NDE technology for economic, safety, and other human benefits

VII.     Intellectual Property

Each member of the Federation will retain possession of its generated intellectual property in accordance with the rules of its home institution.

VIII.     Cooperation with Other Agencies

At the discretion of the Board of Directors, the Federation will seek to cooperate with professional NDE/NDT societies, international committees, and other agencies such as standards organizations in order to further the goals and objectives of the Federation.

  IX.     Benefits

The primary benefits of the World Federation of NDE Centers will be to:

  • provide a focal point for cooperative, precompetitive NDE research efforts between its members (and with others in the worldwide NDE community) involving global issues such as standards, safety and reliability, and new cost-saving, environment friendly technologies
  • form the basis for cooperation in worldwide NDE education, training, and the international exchange of faculty, students, and other scientific personnel.
  • serve as a means for raising the global skill levels in NDE science and engineering in a consistent, cost-effective manner
  • efficiently integrate and extend individual national NDE efforts into the global economy
  • enhance the technical and educational infrastructure of the participating countries

[1]Alternate sites for the Annual Meeting may be selected by the Board every third or fourth year at the discretion of the Board.