SAN DIEGO-Donald Thompson, scientific adviser for the Institute for Physical Research and Technology at Iowa State University (ISU, Ames, IA), has received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) from the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE). Thompson was presented the honor during SPIE's Smart Structures/NDE 2003 conference.
Thompson helped pioneer the field of nondestructive evaluation, the practice of testing a material's ability to nondestructively perform its intended function and prevent failure. Throughout his career, Thompson worked to develop a scientific basis for NDE and raise it to an engineering and scientific discipline. He was the founding director of ISU's Center for Nondestructive Evaluation, which has become a world leader in NDE research, education and its application to industry.