Successful Ridgewater graduates might be humble, but that doesn’t mean Ridgewater isn’t going to share some excitement about how attending Ridgewater College created some opportunities and changed a life.
Meet Dave Bajula.
Spring is when Ridgewater technical programs invite industry professionals on campus for advisory discussions addressing continuous improvement and trends to keep training and curriculum current with industry standards, practices and demands.
Recently, the Nondestructive Testing Technology (NDT) program was honored to welcome the president of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), who happened to be David Bajula, a 1982 NDT alum, originally from Rockford, and currently from the Houston, Texas area.
Bajula, who has spent 35 years in the NDT field, is currently the general manager for Acuren’s Advanced NDT Services. He holds nine of the 12 NDT level lll methodology certifications (with his sights on obtaining them all) and has worked in nuclear power, aerospace, petrochemical and refining industries with such companies as General Electric, Combustion Engineering, and Acuren Inspection, where he has spent the last 18 years.
“Ridgewater NDT, by far, has the best reputation in the industry,” Bajula explained. “People who come out of Ridgewater College have an unfair advantage,” he said with a smile.
High standards for student performance create that advantage, he explained.
“David Bajula is one of our success stories,” explained Ridgewater’s Mike Boehme, dean of technical programs. “As an NDT graduate, he rose to a leadership role within Acuren and more recently as the president of ASNT. He, along with industry leaders from across the country, form our NDT advisory committee ensuring that our program is the best it can be. We are incredibly proud of and appreciative of the work David has done for us.”
The alum had two priorities he wanted to emphasize with the Ridgewater advisory board this year: 1) the need for advanced NDT specialists to be mentors for the less experienced technicians, and 2) the need for Ridgewater to keep training standards high in times when some companies are considering lowering standards to meet their employment needs.
“The opportunities that I have had in industry to solve great problems, save lives, and really create a safe environment out there in industry have been great,” Bajula said. He is proud of how the NDT industry helps everybody be safer in so many ways.
“I respect the guy to the nth degree,” said Ridgewater NDT instructor Wade Padrnos. “He has really made the most of his opportunities to be as successful as he has been.”
To learn more about the Nondestructive Testing program, go to www.ridgewater.edu/ndt .