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The A4A/SAE Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Innovation Award, formerly known as the Better Way Award, is an annual process established to recognize a government-industry team that has developed and applied a technology, technique, process or policy that advances inspection or test of civil/commercial aircraft structure, aircraft components or aircraft systems.

Nominations will be assessed on how the new technology, technique, process, or policy result in more effective testing and inspection, is less expensive and/or contributes favorably to sustainment. Also, what technical or non-technical obstacles the team had to overcome and how the technology, technique, process, or policy is novel or innovative.


Team eligibility includes both U.S. government and private-industry personnel. Employees of universities, national labs and non-profit organizations are also eligible as supplemental recipients of this award. Membership in A4A or SAE is not required. Teams may have up to twelve members. The accomplishment may involve research, development, engineering, application, management or policy, and must have occurred not more than 18 months prior to the NDT Forum. Awards Committee members are not eligible for the award.


An Awards Committee consisting of two A4A member airline representatives and two SAE committee representatives will review the nominations and select the winner.


A4A and SAE are currently soliciting nominations. Nominations may be submitted by anyone (including the awards committee members themselves) and do not need to adhere to any formal format. The nomination should include the names, affiliations and contact information for all team members; the name and contact information of the nominator; and a brief (one page) description of the accomplishment.


  • 2022 – Novel Resonance Inspection of Commercial Aircraft Wheels
  • 2019 – 3D Computed Tomography Correlation to Surface Roughness for Additively Manufactured Parts
  • 2018 – “AutoInspect” for Engine Components
  • 2017 – Composite Inspector Training Course Development
  • 2016 – Application of Advanced NDT Methods for Field Performance Improvement of the PW100 Engine
  • 2015 – The CFM56-7B engine turbine rear frame inspection Team
  • 2014 – First Commercial Aviation Application of Structural Health Monitoring Team
  • 2013 – Wide Field High Frequency Eddy Current Array Procedure Team
  • 2012 – Siemens Acoustic Thermography (SIEMAT®) Demonstration Team
  • 2011 – Boeing Chem-Mill Cracking Inspection Team
  • 2010 – Application of Process Compensated Resonant Testing (PCRT) Team
  • 2009 – Application and Validation of CVM Sensors for In-Situ Crack Detection Team
  • 2008 – Scribe Line Inspection using Phased Array Ultrasonics Team
  • 2007 – MWM & MWM-Array Engine Component Inspection Technology Team
  • 2006 – Destructive Evaluation and Extended Fatigue Testing of a Retired Passenger Aircraft (B727) Team
  • 2005 – Turbo Magneto-Optic Imaging (MOI) for Inspection of Alodine Fasteners Team
  • 2004 – Fluorescent Penetrant Inspection (FPI) Cleaning and Drying Process Study Team
  • 2003 – Commercial Aircraft Composite Repair Committee’s Inspection Task Group

Interested in submitting a nomination? Complete the form below:

NDT 2022 Team Information
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