Sensor Networks
Pennsylvania College of Technology Adds Weld Inspection Program
Mark N. Hurd found himself perched about 140 feet above the Hudson River on a cold January day. A steel basket attached to the multijointed arm of a snooper truck stationed on the massive bridge above provided both workspace and sanctuary for the Pennsylvania College of Technology instructor.

For hours, Hurd meticulously employed an ultrasonic testing unit to reveal the quality of butt welds on 10 flanges strengthening the bridgeís steel beams. Those girders would soon support about 140,000 vehicles daily, traveling the 3.1 miles connecting South Nyack and Tarrytown, New York, just north of Manhattan.

"Itís like being an industrial doctor because many of the testing processes, such as ultrasound and radiography, were originally used in the medical field," Hurd said in describing his work as a quality control inspector at the Tappan Zee Bridge (Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge). "Iíve been in this business for over 30 years, and thereís not a week that goes by when I donít learn something new or face a new challenge. Thatís what keeps it exciting."

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