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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 and 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, and is an ASME Authorized Observer for the National Board Testing Laboratory.

Mr. Ball is a member of the ASME Section XI and the General Requirements Subgroup and Working group. He is also a member of the ASME Subcommittee on Safety Valve Requirements and is chair of its Subgroup on General Requirements. He is also the chair of the Section III Working Group on Pressure Relief and a member of the Subgroup on Component design.

Mr. Ball holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, and is a Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio.

IC and VR Instructor -- Email Now


Walter Beach

Walter Beach
National Board Consultant

After holding various industry and AIA positions spanning over 35 years, Mr. Beach became a National Board consultant in 2012. Primary duties include non-nuclear Code design, non-nuclear and nuclear QA, inspections, fabrication, project management, supervision, and NBIC repairs & alterations.

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. He has an  extensive background in development of nuclear and non-nuclear QA/QC programs.

Mr. Beach holds a BS in Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Youngstown State University, is an ASME and NB Team Leader, and holds National Board IS and AI Commissions with B, C, N, NS, and R Endorsements.

AI, B/O, 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.  Currently, he is the Technical Manager of the Pressure Relief Department. Mr. Beirne 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 an Authorized Inspector for an inspection agency.

He serves as secretary for the NBIC Subcommittee on Pressure Relief Devices and is a member of 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, is an ASME and NB Team Leader, and holds National Board AI and IS Commissions with an R Endorsement.

IC 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 35 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.

He serves as secretary of the NBIC Subgroups on Locomotives and Historical Boilers. Mr. Ferrell holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Temple University, is an ASME and National Board Team Leader, and holds National Board IS and AI Commissions with B, C, I, N, and R Endorsements.

AI, B/O, IC, and RO Instructor -- Email Now


Tim Gardner

Timothy Gardner
Senior Staff Engineer

Mr. Gardner joined the National Board in 2013 with over 40 years of experience in maintenance, operations, and engineering associated with coal fired boilers.

He began his career in the electric utility industry as a Performance Engineer at a fossil fuel power plant and then moved on to various positions in startup, construction, project, boiler, and piping engineering. Mr. Gardner then worked for a manufacturer providing boiler associated equipment to the power, petrochemical, and paper industries. He was Cognizant Engineer for such product lines as boiler gage glasses and several sootblower models. He was also responsible for the engineering of 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 the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

AI 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 the CGA Committee dedicated to anhydrous ammonia vessels.

Mr. Hoh is an ASME and NB Review Team Leader and holds National Board AI and IS Commissions with B and R Endorsements.

AI and B/O 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 40 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 Chair of the Committee on Conformity Assessment Requirements, Chair of ASME Section I, and a member of Section III Special Working Group, Industry Experience for New Plants.

AI, N, and NS 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


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 previous years as the state’s Chief Boiler Inspector. His duties were as an inservice inspector and review team leader.

With over 45 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 serves as secretary on the National Board Inspection Code (NBIC) Subcommittee and Subgroup for Repairs and Alterations.

Mr. Vallance also holds a National Board IS Commission and R Endorsement. 

AI, B/O, IC, R, and RO Instructor -- Email Now


Jim Worman

James Worman
Senior Staff Engineer

Mr. Worman joined the National Board in 2010 and has over 25 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.

AI, IC, R, RO, and VR Instructor -- Email Now



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