Student from Hawaii excelling in Cowley’s online NDT program
May 18, 2020
Looking to add to his resume, Derek Barbadillo stumbled upon Cowley College’s online Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) program. The Hawaii resident made the decision to enroll in the program and was recently on the College’s main campus in Arkansas City to complete his studies.
Barbadillo graduated from Mililani High School in Hawaii (Island of Oahu). At the time, NDT was foreign to Barbadillio.
“I was pursuing a career in underwater welding and was offered a job by the instructor to be an assistant for NDT inspections,” Barbadillo said. “I took the job as a source of income and quickly realized that this was something that piqued my interest. I caught on to the processes early on and my intrigue for the applied science has grown since that day.”
When Barbadillo first started working in the NDT field he was only 18 years of age.
“I was out to prove myself and learn as much as I could to establish myself as a top tier inspector,” Barbadillo said. “I hit the books hard, took any training my employer offered, and attended NDT training through prestigious higher learning institutions.”
Through all of this, Barbadillo attained the highest level of certification of NDT inspectors (ASNT Level III) at the age of 25.
“With that being said, I never received such comprehensive, pragmatic, and hands on training as I did through Cowley College,” Barbadillo said. “The training provided by lead instructor Garret Vickery was by far the greatest and most informative teaching I ever attended in my decade long career. Garret's style of teaching is refreshing, engaging, and unlike the typical "slide show" lectures that we all have been through and were dying to get out of. He put you in the driver seat and coaches you along every step of the way to ensure that when you leave, you are familiarized and comfortable. His wit, liveliness, and desire for you to learn is a diamond in the rough of today's competitive landscape.”
Barbadillo is an ASNT NDT Level III Examiner at Pacific Shipyards International. They are the largest private shipyard in Hawaii that serves the Navy (at Pearl Harbor), the U.S Coast Guard, the U.S Army Core of Engineers, and a diverse mix of commercial and private vessels as well.
Barbadillo has been with the company for six years and has worked in the field of NDT for 12 years.
With Cowley College offering the only online Associate of Applied Science degree program for NDT in the world, Vickery said Barbadillo has been a model student in the online program.
“Returning to further your education while working full time is not easy for anybody, and we are excited to have had Derek on campus this past week to complete his degree with the hands on assessment,’ Vickery said.
The educational experience Barbadillo received from Cowley has motivated him to expand his NDT program beyond its current state.
“The NDT AAS Program at Cowley invigorated my passion for NDT and broke the complacency that grew within me over time,” Barbadillo said. “I will be working towards developing new procedures and attaining government approvals in disciplines that I was not as comfortable with before.”