Kathy Ferguson is a materials engineer who has spent her career working in the field of NDT. Ferguson joined Boeing in 2008 where her broad background in NDT, failure analysis, and materials selection allowed her to support multiple airplane programs including the F-22, 787, 737, 777X, P-8 and the 767 Tanker programs. She has been a role model and mentor to students and colleagues in the field of NDT for her entire career. Ferguson has received numerous technical achievement awards, including a Boeing Meritorious Invention Award, and she currently holds five US Patents in a variety of different technologies.
Ferguson has served continuously for 13 years on the Board of Directors for the Pacific Northwest Section of ASNT. She served as Chair for three years, ensuring that the section continued winning Gold recognition in the ASNT President’s Award program. During that time, she was honored for her years of mentoring women and students pursuing careers in NDT with the 2018 ASNT Advancement of Women in NDT Recognition and the 2019 ASNT Mentoring Award. She has encouraged countless students with her message that NDT is the Ultimate Superhero Career because NDT saves lives before catastrophes strike and makes the world a safer place. She encourages every member to recognize the contributions that they have made in making the world a safer place. To that end, she has nominated numerous Pacific Northwest Section members resulting in them winning the following ASNT awards: Lou DiValerio Technician of the Year Award, Robert C. McMaster Gold Medal Award, three ASNT Fellow Awards, two Mentoring Awards, and the Advancement of Active Military and Veterans in NDT Recognition Award.
Ferguson launched a “Building Connections” initiative, which helps students to network with other ASNT section members and to advance their NDT careers. Ferguson mentors high school and college students by making STEM presentations about NDT and organizes student tours of aerospace companies in the Seattle area. She served on the 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 Program Committee for the Pacific Northwest Section NDT of Composites Conference.
Ferguson has been a role model to NDT students at Clover Park Technical College, many of whom she encouraged to join ASNT and later hold leadership positions on the Pacific Northwest Section board. She was part of the leadership team that created the PNWS David Hall Student College Scholarship Fund that encourages students to pursue careers in NDT. She also consistently serves on the Scholarship Committee, Radiation Safety Committee, NDT of Composites Planning Committee, and the annual Pacific Northwest Section Golf Tournament Committee, which provides funding for the scholarship fund.
Ferguson began her NDT career working for the Naval Aviation Depot in Jacksonville, Florida, after graduating with a degree in materials engineering from the University of Florida. While there, she mentored fleet and depot technicians in the appropriate techniques to use for inspecting airplanes for cracks and corrosion. She later joined a large chemical manufacturing plant in Pensacola, Florida, as the lead metallurgist, where she established an SNT-TC-1A certification program for plant NDT inspectors. She also began Ferguson Consulting Services, which provided failure analysis support in litigation matters involving industrial and aircraft accidents.
Ferguson has spent her entire career mentoring students, technicians, and engineers in NDT and supporting the vision of ASNT. Her primary goal has been to help others build greater connections and form a more meaningful bond with ASNT.