Chris Davies is one of our talented Inspection Technicians in Langley, British Colombia who conducts non-destructive examinations (NDE). He has a wide-array of industry experience in both aviation and the oil and gas industries. We sat down with Chris to discuss his career path to Inspector and the field of NDE.
NDE is also commonly known as NDT, which stands for non-destructive testing. This method is used to test for defects in materials without compromising their integrity. This means they can be used in the future, or repaired. This is an economical option and is often used in inspections, manufacturing and fabrication industries.
Tell us about your educational/professional background:
I started in the Aviation field back in 1989 at the age of 19 as a surface processor for Okanagan Helicopters owned by Canadian Helicopters, working in the Engineering Support Division in (Richmond BC). From 1999 to 2001 I worked for Helipro Component Services here in Langley, BC as the NDE and Surface-Processing Supervisor.
Since then, I’ve worked with a few very large Aviation Companies until 2013. In early 2013 I started working for Acuren at the Kearl Lake Oil Sands Project in Northern Alberta for Exxon Mobile (Imperial Oil Canada).
This plant is next-generation style, and uses a Froth process to extract heavy crude from the sand. At their Main Plant, I was an Owner/Operator for Exxon Mobile—my main duties included monitoring steam lines, and I also conducted corrosion and wear surveys.
Along with all of that, I was also the sole inspector who was qualified and trained on lifting gear. Annually, I inspected all rigging on site. I left Kearl lake in early 2017, since being away from home over half the year took a bit of a toll on my personal life.
What made you decide to go into this industry?
I started a job search for something that wouldn’t take me far from home so often, and noticed a local company looking for Inspectors. Particularly, they were looking for technicians with visual and non-destructive examination and lifting equipment experience—it just seemed like a perfect fit for me.
Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR?
I worked mainly in the Aerospace and Oil and Gas Industry. In these industries I did Visual Examinations on Caterpillar D9’s , D10’s, 740 EJ’s, 797F, 797C and 700 Ton Heavy Mining Shovels (CAT 7495’s). These are both Diesel and Electric. And, as I mentioned earlier, I also inspected all the lifting gear at the Imperial Oil Kearl lake worksite.
Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?
During an introduction interview with Deanna MacDonald, our branch manager here in Langley, BC we discussed the challenges she faced since taking over the facility. Deanna made a compelling case that hiring a few more employees with the right skills and training could make Hercules SLR a strong name in the Inspection Industry. This was exciting to me, and I wanted to become a key player in this goal.
Where have you traveled during your time as an Inspector at Hercules SLR?
During my time as an Inspector at Hercules SLR, I have travelled to Brampton, Ontario for a rigging course. I’ve also travelled to various locations in Vancouver.
Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?
In the future at Hercules SLR I’d like to travel offshore, or possibly to remote locations to conduct examinations, or to get more training.
What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?
I’m most proud to have set up the NDE Inspections department here in Langley. There’s a whole routine to inspections. We deal with the customer and explain the whole process, and we always meet (but usually exceed!) the timeline our client expects. We’re also able to offer a lower cost than our competitors typically—the NDE department is truly my baby, and I’m very proud of it and what we’ve been able to do so far.
Interested in reading more about non-destructive testing at Hercules SLR? Check out our blog on non-destructive testing at our facility in Langley, BC, or our blog on magnetic-particle testing done at the Hercules Training Academy in Dartmouth, NS.
Did you know? Our Langley service department also has two inside test beds for high-quality, fast turnaround for inspections and repairs. We also have an inspection management system, CertTracker® that lets you track your equipment and annual inspections, maintenance and certifications.