CONCLUSION 2. Advances in corrosion control are integral to the development of better technologies that make current, legacy, and future engineered products, systems, and infrastructures more sustainable and less vulnerable. Such advances will require corrosion-knowledgeable engineers and an active corrosion research community.

CONSEQUENCES OF THE CURRENT STATE OF CORROSION EDUCATION

As discussed earlier in this report, most curricula in engineering design disciplines require engineers to take a course in materials engineering, which typically covers some basics of the relationships between structure, properties, and processing.2 While such a course would make an engineer aware of issues related to materials selection, corrosion, if covered at all, is usually discussed in only one lecture at the end of the course. The concepts related to materials selection in general and corrosion specifically are usually not reinforced in the other parts of the curriculum. As a result, graduating engineers have little understanding of corrosion in metals or how to design against it and even less when it comes to the degradation of nonmetals.

Even those with bachelor’s degrees in materials science and engineering (MSE) or related fields such as metallurgy, ceramics engineering, and so on receive little or no education in corrosion science and engineering. Because there is significant pressure on MSE departments to include emerging areas such as nanotechnology and biomaterials, corrosion and other longer established areas of materials engineering are losing out.

The committee is convinced that advances in the durability and longevity of engineered materials and the savings that will accrue are more likely if engineers understand the fundamental principles of corrosion science and engineering and apply them using best engineering practices. This conviction is based on great opportunities in three areas:3

2

ABET, the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology, defines engineering design as the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. It is a decision-making process (often iterative) in which the basic science and mathematics and engineering sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet a stated objective. Engineering design disciplines include mechanical engineering, civil engineering, aeronautical and aerospace engineering, and so on.

3

The Corrosion Costs study, carried out in 2001 for the FWHA and NACE International, noted that technological changes have provided many new ways to prevent corrosion and put available corrosion management techniques to better use. However, better corrosion management can also be achieved using technical and nontechnical preventive strategies. For a summary from NACE International, see http://events.nace.org/publicaffairs/images_cocorr/ccsupp.pdf. Accessed October 2008.



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