Ποιος είναι όμως ο Σωτήριος Βαχαβιώλος; Ας δούμε πως περιγράφεται η επαγγελματική και κοινωνική δραστηριότητα του σε ένα συνοπτικό σημείωμα.
Dr. Sotirios J. Vahaviolos was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Physical Acoustics Corporation (PAC) that was founded in 1978 and was transformed into MISTRAS Group, Inc. in 1994/1995 to become a “Total NDT Solutions Company” (Products, Services and Inspection Information Technologies) whose headquarters are located in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. After acquiring CONAM Inspection Inc. in 2003 he transformed and pioneered the expanded MISTRAS Group as the undisputed leader of Technology Enabled Asset Protection Solutions Company for the World’s ageing industrial and public infrastructure. By providing customers with unique advanced technology proprietary asset protection solutions MISTRAS is well positioned in the outsourced inspection business. In addition to NDT-Services the Group designs and manufactures NDT-Products and writes Software to be used for “On-Line Internet Based Expert Systems for Plant Asset Integrity Monitoring” of such infrastructure assets as bridges, pipelines, platforms, vessels etc. Today MISTRAS employees more than 2,400 employees in 75 worldwide offices.In October 2009 Dr. Vahaviolos lead a successful Initial Public offering (IPO) of the MISTRAS Group in the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “MG”.After finishing No. 1 in his Science and Engineering class at Fairleigh Dickinson University with a BSEE in 1970, he became the recipient of the prestigious AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories Graduate Study Program on a full-time Scholarship to attend Columbia University as Doctoral Candidate. In 1972, he received his MSEE and in 1976 his Ph.D., both from Columbia University School of Engineering. In 1975 he also received a Masters in Philosophy from Columbia University.His NDT career started in August of 1970 experimenting with Acoustic Emission first and then with High Frequency Ultrasonics. From 1970 - 1978, he served AT&T in various technical and managerial capacities at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Engineering Research Center, Princeton, New Jersey all dealing with Advanced-NDT signal processing. Starting as Research Scientist he was eventually elevated to the position of Department Head responsible for the work of more than
50-Ph.D.s. Dr.Vahaviolos holds over fifteen and foreign patents relating to Signal Processing of NDT and Preventive Maintenance solutions. Over the years he has written more than 100-Reviewed Technical Papers. The technology he invented in AT&T found broad use in Semiconductor Manufacturing and Military and Space Applications and he was frequently mentioned in AT&T’s annual reports. U.S.In 1978, Dr. Vahaviolos, after licensing his AT&T patents, founded PAC which has grown over the years to capture more than 85% of the world’s market in Acoustic Emission with broad applications in environmental safety of petrochemical concerns, aging aircraft, life extension of power generating plants, “on-line monitoring of bridges and plant assets”, offshore platforms etc. With headquarters in Princeton Junction, New Jersey, the Company has subsidiaries in Alberta, Paris, Cambridge, Rotterdam, Buenos Aires, Kuala Lumpur, Nuevo Mumbai, Beijing, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Moscow and Athens Greece.
Dr. Vahaviolos is an elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) and the Acoustic Emission Working Group. Additionally, he is an elected member of the New York Academy of Science, the Sigma Chi Scientific Society and the American Society of Testing & Materials. He is a senior member of the Instrument Society of America and other scientific and honorary societies. He is mentioned in "Marquis Who's Who in America", ”Who's Who in Science and Engineering”, “Who’s Who in Finance and Industry”, and ”Who’s Who in the World”.In 1989 Dr. Vahaviolos was elected as the Secretary of the American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) and in 1993 became its President. For 1994 he served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of ASNT. During the 1994 Nice European Conference on NDT (ECND), he was elected Chairman of the International Committee on NDT (ICNDT’s ) Policy and General Purpose Committee (PGPC) representing USA (ASNT). Again he was re-elected Co-Chair of PGPC in the 1996 during the World (WCNDT) meeting in New Delhi. In 2000 in Rome during the WCNDT, was one of the two PGPC Committee’s “Members-at-Large” elected by the ICND General Assembly. In Montreal in 2004 WCNDT was elected by ICNDT’s General Assembly as the first American ICNDT Life Fellow serving on it’s Board for life. Dr. Vahaviolos is a Founding Member, with 5-other world renowned scientists, of Academia NDT International in 2009.Dr. Vahaviolos wrote and edited three books on Acoustic Emission, has more than 100 publications and has lectured nationally and internationally as a visiting scholar at the invitation of a number of National Academies and Conferences. A practicing NDT professional since 1970 he has served ASNT as Director from 1985 to 1994, helped establish AE as a full NDT method for ASNT working on both the AE Technical and PQ Committees, he was the Permanent Delegate to ICNDT for USA for over 15-years, a long-time member of the Business and Finance Committee (1984-91 and 1996 - 2000). Member and Chair of the International Committee from 1988 - 2000 when it was finally incorporated into the mainstream of ASNT due to its success in recruiting a large number of members living outside of the USA. In 1998 he received the Lester Honor Award and in 2001 was the Gold Medal Recipient both from ASNT. In 2005 was awarded the Gold Medal for the Acoustic Emission Working Group.
A member of IEEE since 1968 he served the Society as Transactions Editor of Industrial Electronics for five (5) years, and was the 1979 recipient of its Meritorious Award; in 1984 was awarded the "Outstanding Young Engineer" of the Industrial Electronics Society of IEEE and was a IEEE Centennial Medal Winner of the Institute for his contributions for “Introducing Microprocessor Technology to Industrial Applications”. As a student he won in the 2ND Prize of the 1970 IEEE Student Paper Contest.Dr. Vahaviolos has consistently supported Greek religious and ethnic causes both in USA and Greece. He served St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Trenton/Hamilton N.J. as Committee Chair, Vice president and Past President for over 10-years. He is a proud elected Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople. He has also served as the Chairman of the Greek Independence NY Parade in 2002 and 2003. A past Vice president of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of greater New York he continues serving this important organization when needed and as available. He has served as an adviser for technical matters to past Ministers of foreign affairs and defense in the conservative governments of Greece.