These desires are modest but are apparently not being satisfied. How, then, could engineering programs do a better job of ensuring that their graduates know when they are reaching the limits of their knowledge on corrosion and understand that they should consult experts? This would seem to demand more awareness and appreciation of corrosion than is currently imparted at most engineering schools.
More attention to graduate programs that emphasize rigorous, relevant corrosion science and engineering could increase the supply of faculty capable of instituting corrosion programs. Realistically, however, there would not appear to be sufficient funding for every undergraduate program to have its own corrosion specialist. Fortunately, the committee sees opportunities to leverage the expertise of faculty members engaged in complementary research on, say, the applications of electrochemistry (ranging from battery research to work on chemical mechanical planarization) or the mechanical behavior of materials. Alternatively, members of the chemistry faculty or even the MSE faculty (not corrosion specialists) could also teach undergraduate corrosion courses, provided appropriate teaching materials were available. Since most engineering curricula require students to take technical electives, there is an opportunity for nearly every engineering program to offer a course on designing against corrosion.
Graduate education in MSE is the most direct way to produce corrosion specialists, those at the top of the corrosion workforce pyramid. These corrosion specialists, in the committee’s view, are the engineers who can use the fundamentals of corrosion science and engineering to address difficult, out-of-the-ordinary corrosion problems and to advance the field by creating new knowledge, techniques, and instrumentation. Graduate MSE education occurs mostly in MSE departments but also, at times, in a corrosion group or center within a chemical or mechanical engineering department.7 By extension, graduate corrosion education takes place in these departments as well as, in the committee’s experience, in civil engineering departments.
Typically, a graduate student becomes knowledgeable in a particular engineering field by taking a sequence of classes and doing research on a focused topic, leading to a master’s or Ph.D. thesis. Graduate engineering education usually involves approximately eight classes at the M.S. level or 12-15 three-credit classes at the