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Assessment of Corrosion Education
The 2001 report Corrosion Costs and Preventive Strategies in the United States noted that technological changes and the wider use of available corrosion management techniques have improved corrosion mitigation.2 However, better corrosion management can also be achieved using preventive strategies in nontechnical and technical areas. These preventive strategies include (1) increase awareness of the large costs of corrosion and the potential for savings, (2) change the misconception that nothing can be done about corrosion, (3) change policies, regulations, standards, and management practices to decrease corrosion costs through sound corrosion management, (4) improve education and training of staff in recognition and control of corrosion, (5) improve design practices for better corrosion management, (6) advance life prediction and performance assessment methods, and (7) advance corrosion technology through research, development, and implementation. Although there are likely to be many reasons why these strategies are not routinely followed, in the committee’s view strengthening corrosion education would be a major step toward improved corrosion control and management. An engineering workforce that is ill-equipped to deal with corrosion problems begs the question, What are engineers being taught about corrosion? Is it sufficient? This study was commissioned to do two things:
Assess the level and effectiveness of existing engineering curricula in corrosion science and technology, including corrosion prevention and control, and
Recommend actions that could enhance the corrosion-based skill and knowledge base of graduating and practicing engineers.
From the perspective of assessing corrosion education, the workforce of graduating and practicing engineers is divided as follows:
Technologists who perform repeated critical tasks;
Undergraduate engineering students in materials science and engineering (MSE), who upon graduation should be knowledgeable in materials selection;
Undergraduate students in other engineering disciplines; and
MSE graduate students, who upon graduation should be very knowledgeable in materials selection.
Advances in corrosion control are integral to the development of technologies that can solve the engineering grand challenges related to the sustainability