Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE)

Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) utilizes a number of techniques to determine the health of an engineering component or structure without affecting its usefulness. Much like a doctor may use ultrasound or radiography to assess the health of the body, engineers use these and other techniques to decide if material properties are within an acceptable range, if a component was well manufactured, or if damage has occurred in service that would warrant retirement. NDE professionals are active in all phases of engineering, from design to manufacturing to in-service use, and in all industry sectors including aviation, power generation, transportation, manufacturing, and many others.

How can undergraduates get involved in NDE?

The NDE Minor at Iowa State University is a unique opportunity to get a multi-disciplinary qualification in the rapidly evolving engineering discipline of Nondestructive Evaluation. There are also several summer internship opportunities accessible by students taking the NDE minor. Below is the current list of required and approved courses for the minor, for which 16 credits are required. Courses other than the two required courses can be selected from those listed below according to your interests; you can take courses in various NDE disciplines and at the same time qualify for this important minor.

Required Courses

  • MatE/EM 362 Principles of Nondestructive Testing (Cr. 3. S.) Course description
  • MatE/EM 362L Nondestructive Testing Laboratory (Cr. 1. S.)

NDE Specific Courses (at least one needed for 3 or 4 credits)

  • EM 480 Ultrasonic Nondestructive Evaluation (Cr. 3. S.) Course description
  • EM / AerE / MatE 490 + other departments Independent Study (Cr. 3. F.S.SS.)
  • MatE 485X Penetrating Radiation Methods in Nondestructive Evaluation (Cr. 3) Course description
  • Mat E/EE 488 Eddy Current NDE (Cr. 3. Alt. F.) Course description
  • MSE/EM 550 Fundamentals of Nondestructive Evaluation (Cr. 4. S.) Course description

Supporting Courses (up to three of the following or additional NDE-specific courses from the list above for 9 to 12 credits)

  • AerE 321 Flight Structures Analysis and Laboratory (Cr. 3. F.)
  • AerE 421 Advanced Flight Structures (Cr. 3. S.)
  • AerE 422 Vibrations and Aeroelasticity (Cr. 3. Alt. S.)
  • AerE 423 Composite Flight Structures (Cr. 3.)
  • AerE 426 Design of Aerospace Structures (Cr. 3. F.)
  • EE 224 Signals and Systems I (Cr. 4. F. S.)
  • EE 418 High-Speed System Engineering Measurement and Testing (Cr. 4. F.)
  • EM 424 Intermediate Mechanics of Materials (Cr. 3. F.S.)
  • EM 425 Introduction to the Finite Element Method (Cr. 3. S.)
  • IE 348 Solidification Processes (Cr. 3. S.)
  • IE 361 Statistical Quality Assurance (Cr. 3. F. S.)
  • MatE 316 Computational Methods in Materials (Cr. 3. S. SS.)
  • MatE 343 Physical Metallurgy of Ferrous Alloys (Cr. 3. S.)
  • MatE 418 Mechanical Behavior of Materials (Cr. 3. F.)
  • MatE 444 Corrosion and Failure Analysis (Cr. 3. S.)
  • ME 417 Advanced Machine Design (Cr. 3. S.)
  • ME 418 Mechanical Considerations in Robotics (Cr. 3. S.)
  • Stat 231 Probability and Statistical Inference for Engineers (Cr. 4. F.S.)
  • Stat 305 Engineering Statistics (Cr. 3. F.S.SS.)
  • Stat 322 Probabilistic Methods for Electrical Engineers (Cr. 3. F.S.)

Prior Course List

For questions regarding the NDE Minor including mentor opportunities for 490 projects contact Dr. David Eisenmann ( or