Technician of the Year
Like a lot of students graduating high school, Paul Petersen didn’t know which direction to take. The 1995 Arkansas City High School graduate tinkered with cars a bit, and he enjoyed music. He was good enough, in fact, to earn an instrumental music scholarship to Cowley. He played the trumpet in Concert Band and Jazz Band. But it was a chance meeting with Nondestructive Testing Instructor Bruce Crouse that steered Petersen toward a career as an NDT inspector.
Now, eight years after graduating from Cowley with an associate of applied science degree in NDT, Petersen has earned the Lou Di Valerio Technician of the Year Award presented by The American Society for Nondestructive Testing. He will officially receive the citation at ASNT’s fall conference in Columbus, Ohio, in October. “They look for someone who is not in management, who does inspections,” said Petersen, a lead inspector at Metal Finishing Co., Inc., in Wichita. “There’s never a dull moment in this job. There’s always something new. I’ve inspected everything from Corvette parts to space shuttle parts to oil derricks and amusement park rides.”
The award gives recognition to ASNT members who are deserving technicians, encouraging their continued participation in the Society. The award is presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves by showing exceptional merit, either as an NDT technician or through service to the Society. Petersen’s meeting with Crouse in 1995 was coincidental. “I came here (to the Walker Industrial Technology Building) and I started asking questions,” Petersen said. After more discussion with Crouse, Petersen enrolled in Cowley’s NDT program. His mornings were spent in NDT classes, and his afternoons in Concert Band and Jazz Band. Petersen praised Crouse as an instructor. “He knows a lot about it, and he’s patient,” Petersen said.