International Society for Neutron Radiology (ISNR)

Marton BalaskoM. Balaskó is a pioneer in the application of neutron radiography techniques for engineering and industry related projects. He was born on June 15th 1944 in Budapest (Hungary) and studied at the Technical University where he graduated in the Department of Electrical Engineering in1974. He got his PhD in 1984 about the topic of “Qualification of epitaxial layers grown from liquid phase” before he changed that field towards the neutron research, in particular for radiography applications. Probably, it was his wife Erzsebet Sváb, a still active expert in neutron scattering, who pushed the interest into the neutrons direction?
At the 10 MW WWS reactor of Russian origin he started to built a neutron radiography facility in 1984, mainly based on a video camera system, a precursor of the presently very common detection systems. This system was very unique in the Eastern part of Europe where such kind of experimental infra-structure was rare and the access to Western components quite limited. The goal was dynamic radiography and the visualization of two-phase flow phenomena.

Since 1990, M. Balaskó qualified very professionally and consequently for all kinds of degrees in non-destructive testing according to national rules and to EN 473.
M. Balaskó was very active in the promotion of neutron imaging techniques and their practical application, predominantly for defect analysis (e.g. Hungarian army’s helicopter blades, refrigerator operation failures) or material research (super critical water behavior with respect to heat and pressure). Therefore, he became member of several national, European and international boards like International Society of Neutron Radiology (1996-2010), Applied Vehicle Technology Panel (AVT) of the Research Technology Organization (RTO) in the NATO (2003-2008), ACADEMIA NDT International (2009 -today) and the Advisory Committee for Neutron Imaging for SINQ, PSI, Switzerland.

Based on his knowledge he also practiced many teaching activities such on Schools abroad, for supervision of PhD students and for IAEA trainees. Until today he is co-author of 213 published papers and owner of 7 patents.

Because of the preliminary shut-down of the Budapest reactor M. Balasko had to move his equipment and he succeed to establish new setups at the ASTRA research reactor in Seibersdorf/Austria (1987), and at the Maria research reactor in Swierk/Poland (2001). After the upgrade in Budapest, he reinstalled and improved the neutron radiography system again.

His emphasis was on the comparison of the results of radiography methods to other non-destructive testing methods as vibration diagnostics, acoustic emission, thermo vision, ultrasonic and liquid penetration.

What is to highlight most:

M. Balaskó has been pioneering in film-free neutron imaging, in particular with dynamic options. He built one of the first imaging facilities in Europe under complicate conditions. He established very early the close link to industry and to engineering aspects. He managed to overcame difficulties in an Eastern country for collaboration and exchange of know-how before 1989. After «change of the system» Marton Balaskó became good moderator between East and West, e.g. transfer of the imaging device to Seibersdorf (A) and as active member of the COST action 524 about “Non-destructive testing using neutrons.

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