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Training Department Faculty

Welcome to the Faculty Directory page.
Below is an alphabetical listing of all National Board instructors.

Students may contact instructors at any time with questions regarding training by clicking the Email Now link within each bio. In addition, National Board staff instructors may also be contacted by calling the National Board at 614.888.8320. 

National Board Instructors all have several years experience in instructing technical courses as well as training in adult learning methods and instruction.


Joe Ball

Joseph Ball, P.E.
Director, Pressure Relief Department

Mr. Ball joined the National Board in 1980 as a lab technician, later becoming an ASME Authorized Observer. Today he is the Director of the Pressure Relief Department, responsible for pressure relief device new construction and repair certification programs and test lab operations. Mr. Ball also conducts shop reviews of valve and rupture disk manufacturers, assemblers, repair organizations, and test laboratories.

A Professional Engineer in Ohio, Mr. Ball is a member of the NBIC Subcommittee on Pressure Relief Devices as well as a member of the ASME Section XI; ASME Subcommittee on Safety Valve Requirements, and PTC-25 Pressure Relief Devices Committee.

A and VR Instructor -- Email Now


Walter Beach

Walter Beach
National Board Consultant

After holding various industry and Authorized Inspection Agency positions spanning over 30 years in the areas of non-nuclear Code design, non-nuclear and nuclear quality assurance, inspections, fabrication, project management, trainer, supervision and NBIC repair & alterations, Mr. Beach became a National Board consultant in 2012.

He has served as a committee member of ASME Subgroup on Containment Systems for Spent Fuel and High Level Waste Transport Packaging (SC III), Subgroup on Materials, Fabrication, and Examination (SC III), SWG Regulatory Interface, and Task Group on Parts Fabrication Stamp. Mr. Beach also has an extensive background in the development of nuclear and non-nuclear QA/QC programs from small companies to large corporations.

Mr. Beach holds a BS in Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Youngstown State University, and holds a National Board Commission with A, B, C, N, and NS Endorsements.

A, B, N, NS, and RTL Instructor -- Email Now


Tom Beirne

Tom Beirne, P.E.
Senior Staff Engineer

Mr. Beirne joined the National Board in 2010 as a Senior Staff Engineer in the Pressure Relief Department. He also is an ASME Authorized Observer for the test lab.

Mr. Beirne’s career began as a Project Engineer responsible for system design at a compressor company. His experience also includes positions as a Design Engineer, QC Manager, and Chief Engineer for a pressure vessel manufacturer and working as an Authorized Inspector for an inspection agency.

He serves as secretary for the NBIC Subcommittee on Pressure Relief Devices and is a member of ASME PTC-25 Pressure Relief Devices. Mr. Beirne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University, is a Professional Engineer in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and holds a National Board Commission with an A Endorsement.

A and VR Instructor -- Email Now


Bob Ferrell

Robert Ferrell
Senior Staff Engineer

Mr. Ferrell joined the National Board in 1999 to oversee the R/NR Accreditation Programs and today is a Senior Staff Engineer in the training department.

With over 25 years of experience in design, operation, maintenance, and inspection of pressure-retaining systems, Mr. Ferrell has served as a nuclear plant operator in the US Navy, Inservice Inspection Engineer at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, Quality Assurance and Engineering Manager for York-Shipley, and Deputy Chief Inspector for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ferrell serves as secretary for the NBIC Subgroup on Locomotives. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Temple University, is an ASME and National Board Team Leader, and holds a National Board Commission with A, B, N, and I Endorsements.

A, B, IC, and RO Instructor -- Email Now


Tim Gardner

Timothy Gardner
Senior Staff Engineer

Mr. Gardner joined the National Board in 2013 with over 30 years of experience in maintenance, operations, and engineering associated with coal fired boilers.

He began his career as a Performance Engineer at a fossil fuel power plant before moving into the electric utility industry where he held various positions in startup, construction, project, boiler, and piping engineering. In addition, Mr. Gardner worked for a sootblower manufacturer where he was responsible for engineering the associated sootblower steam piping systems.

He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio and Commonwealth of Kentucky.

A and IC Instructor -- Email Now


John Hoh

John Hoh
Senior Staff Engineer

Mr. Hoh joined the National Board in 1991 and today is a Senior Staff Engineer responsible for investigations. He has over 40 years of experience in the boiler and pressure vessel industry which includes 12 years as a Boilermaker welder working at various fossil fuel power plant sites.

Previously Mr. Hoh served for five years as the Chief Boiler Inspector for the State of Missouri. He has also been a member of the ASME Committee on Section IV Heating Boilers and served as secretary of NBIC Part 3. He currently is a member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Stoker Operations and sits on CGA Committee dedicated to anhydrous ammonia vessels.

Mr. Hoh is an ASME and NB Review Team Leader and holds a National Board Commission with A and B Endorsements.

A and IC Instructor -- Email Now


Bob McLaughlin

Robert McLaughlin
Senior Staff Engineer

Mr. McLaughlin joined the National Board in 2013 after holding the position of Director of Quality Assurance for many years with Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy.

With over 35 years of experience, he began his career in the electric power industry as a Level II radiographer, followed by positions as project manager, project engineer, and NDE Level III. Mr. McLaughlin then joined Foster Wheeler Energy’s international team, working in China and Taiwan before moving to Babcock & Wilcox in 2003.

Mr. McLaughlin is an ASME Fellow and serves on multiple ASME Code Committees. Most notably he is Vice Chair of the Committee on Conformity Assessment, Vice Chair of ASME Section I, and a member of Section III Subgroup, Industry Experience for New Plants.

A and N Instructor -- Email Now


Chris Sawyer

Christian Sawyer
National Board Consultant

Mr. Sawyer has 30 years of experience in the pressure relief valve industry which includes owning two repair companies specializing in valve assembly, repair, and service.

Currently, Mr. Sawyer works as an independent consultant within the pressure relief valve industry, conducting shop reviews of repair organizations as a National Board Representative and ASME reviews for V and UV society symbol stamp holders.

Mr. Sawyer holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the University of Louisville.

VR Instructor -- Email Now


Clay Smith

Clayton Smith
National Board Consultant

Mr. Smith became a National Board consultant in 2011. He has over 28 years experience in the nuclear industry specializing in Nuclear Safety Related and ASME Section III, Div. 1, 2, and 3 design, construction, and procurement; Section XI repair and replacements coupled with traditional non-nuclear ASME Code design and construction; and NBIC Part 3 activities.

Mr. Smith is currently secretary for ASME NED Technical Committee and a member of ASME's Board of Nuclear Codes and Standards as well as several other ASME nuclear committees.

Mr. Smith received his BS in Nuclear Engineering Technology from TESC, and is a NQA-1 Qualified Lead Auditor and QC/NDE Level III holding various ACI certifications. He holds a National Board Commission with A, B, C, I, N, and NS Endorsements.

C, I, N, and NS Instructor -- Email Now


Bill Vallance

William Vallance
Senior Staff Engineer

Before joining the National Board’s training department in 2013, Mr. Vallance spent 26 years with the State of Michigan –the last three serving as the state’s Chief Boiler Inspector.

With over 40 years experience in the boiler and pressure vessel industry, Mr. Vallance has also held the positions of QC Manager for a pressure vessel manufacturer , Authorized Inspector for an Authorized Inspection Agency, and a boiler technician on a US Navy guided missile cruiser.

He has served on the National Board Inspection Code (NBIC) Subcommittee and Subgroup–Specific for repairs and alterations.

IC and RO Instructor -- Email Now


Jim Worman

James Worman
Senior Staff Engineer

Mr. Worman joined the National Board in 2010 and has over 20 years experience in the welding, design, and inspection of pressure vessels.

His experience includes working as a Welding Engineer for CVI Corporation–an ASME Section VIII cryogenic and vacuum vessel shop, Quality Control Manager for Ecopic Corporation, Welding Engineer at Ashland Corporation, and Quality Control Manager for CMI UVK Corporation.

Mr. Worman has a BS in Welding Engineering from The Ohio State University and is a Certified Welding Inspector. He is a member of the American Welding Society and is trained as an ASNT Level II, Liquid Penetrant, Magnetic Particle, and Ultrasonic Examiner.

A, IC, RO, and VR Instructor -- Email Now



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