Donald O. Thompson Graduate Fellowship

Donald O. Thompson was a leader in the development of a science-based approach to the field of nondestructive testing called nondestructive evaluation (NDE). He was the founder of the Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation, a meeting attended by researchers, professionals, educators, and students from around the world, and he was the founding director of the Center for NDE at Iowa State University.  

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Graduate Research Fellowship Program was established to provide funding to support professional development for outstanding graduate students, especially women and minorities, pursuing a graduate degree (MS or PhD) in Mechanical Engineering and encourage engineering education as a profession. Because of the highly interdisciplinary nature of the NDE field, the Donald O. Thompson graduate fellowship is open to graduate students in all areas of engineering and science. Fellowship awards will be made for a maximum of two years.  The amount of the stipend ($3,000) is reviewed and approved annually by the Nondestructive Evaluation, Diagnostics, and Prognostics Division in cooperation with the ASME Engineering Education Awards Committee.

Donald O. Thompson Graduate Research Fellowship Application 

Fellowship awards in the amount of $3,000 a year are made, for a maximum of two years. Fellows are selected/renewed annually by the ASME Selection Committee. 

Funding is available for the fellow to use for research-related expenses, including equipment purchases, professional travel, professional development courses, trainee support, or any other costs directly related to the fellow’s research. The use of these funds for any other expenses requires pre-approval from ASME.  

Application Deadline: February 28

Grant Announcement: May 

Grant Awarded: July 


To be considered for the Thompson fellowship, the following criteria must be satisfied: 

  • The Thompson Fellowship is open to Masters and Ph.D. graduate students helping to advance the field by doing research in Nondestructive Evaluation, including techniques such ultrasonics, x-rays, eddy currents, thermography, and microwaves, as well as other NDE methods.  
  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have an undergraduate degree from an ABET accredited program.  
  • All applications must submit: 
  1. Undergraduate accumulative GPA. 
  2. Copy of your GRE scores. 
  3. Resume or Vitae 
  4. Transcripts of all academic work. 
  5. Two letters of recommendation from faculty members, especially from M.S. Committee, if appropriate. 
  6. Statement about your qualifications, your career goals/plans, and expected outcomes of the fellowship. 

Applicant will be reviewed in the spring, prior to the second and final year of the Fellowship for satisfactory academic progress and continued commitment to Nondestructive Evaluation research. (See below) 

Renewal — 2nd Year Review Process 

For continuation of the existing Thompson Fellowship for the second and final year, two reports must be submitted by the Fellowship recipient at mid-year, due by October 31st of the first year.  

The reports, one by the student and one by the Department Head, should be submitted by email to ASME Engineering Education at, in PDF format, from the Fellowship recipient. They should address: 

  • The student's continued commitment to Nondestructive Evaluation research 
  • Satisfactory academic progress 
  • Research status 
  • Fulfillment of research requirements  
  • The report from the Department Head should give feedback on the recipient's progress and express the university's interest in continuing the Fellowship for an additional year. 

Current Donald O. Thompson Graduate Fellow


Sarah Malik (2022-24), Drexel University,

You are now leaving