Zachary Rodely is currently a summer intern at the Illinois Department of Transportation and is a full-time undergraduate student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) where he works on NDT research in the Intelligent Measurement and Evaluation Laboratory (IMEL). Zach earned his associate degree in Civil Engineering from John A. Logan College, where he made both the Dean’s List and President’s List, before transferring to SIUC in 2019.
Stetson Watkins is an NDT technician and full-time engineering student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and it is there where he was first introduced to NDT. He attended Spartan College of Aeronautics & Technology and graduated with an associate’s degree in quality control management after completing their nondestructive testing technology program.
Following graduation in October 2015, Stetson moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to begin his career working as an NDT technician in the corporate aviation industry. While in south Florida, Stetson worked with various business jets including Hawker, Learjet, Gulfstream, Challenger, Falcon, and Cessna Citations. He enjoyed the challenge of adhering to the specific requirements of each aircraft manufacturer, in addition to gaining experience with PT, MT, ET, UT, RT, and bond testing methods. After working in Florida for three years, Stetson moved to New Mexico to start his work as a contractor for the US Air Force. In New Mexico, Stetson worked with F-16, QF-16, and MQ-9 aircraft. He was also given the opportunity to support a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) F/A-18 aircraft by performing a bond test on a damaged composite horizontal stabilator. He was grateful for the opportunity to work side-by-side with active-duty military personnel and experience the military environment, having not been in the military himself. Stetson now works for Virgin Galactic as an NDT technician. He started working at their California facility before being transferred to New Mexico. Working at Virgin Galactic has expanded his knowledge of composite materials and the challenges that go along with inspecting them. He has expanded his ultrasonic testing experience to include linear and matrix array techniques and advanced software analysis.
Stetson is grateful to his mentors Rudy Cueto, Alejandro Vivas, Robert Stevens, and Eric Munoz. He hopes to continue his career in the aviation industry and one day have the opportunity to be a mentor himself. After obtaining his engineering degree, Stetson hopes to reach his career goal of becoming an NDT engineer for an aerospace company. He says that would be his dream job because it includes a balance of his love for NDT and his passion for the aerospace industry. Stetson has been an active member of the society for nearly 5 years. In his free time Stetson enjoys spending time with his wife, Alisa, and daughter, Zaylee. They enjoy traveling around the country and often find themselves visiting aerospace museums or national parks. When not visiting new cities, they enjoy traveling back to Tulsa to spend time with family and friends.