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Research Opportunities in Corrosion Science and Engineering
Effective dissemination of meaningful corrosion research results is a multifaceted challenge for the scientific and engineering communities. Communication across multicultural disciplines is difficult, as is educating and informing engineering practitioners with prioritized, useful results. Furthermore, the engineering community is often not able to accept research results that may not have been fully validated for the problem at hand, nor is it ready for implementation due to scale-up issues, the lack of supporting supplier infrastructure, instrumentation, proven track record of in-service performance and durability, and so on.
In corrosion research and the application of its results, the engineering practitioners are often separated from the researchers by background, philosophy, interest, and educational level. Anecdotal examples of these differences are evident in the major national conferences held several times each year. Many of the technical symposia at the annual conference of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) are devoted to corrosion protection and are attended by individuals who are not directly connected with research activities. Also included in the conference, however, is a research-in-progress symposium at which the latest research results are presented; the audience for these sessions generally numbers fewer than 100, and many of these are presenters or individuals at the cutting edge of research. Few in that audience are individuals who practice corrosion mitigation. The Electrochemical Society (ECS) has an active corrosion division that holds biannual research symposia devoted to both aqueous and elevated temperature corrosion processes. However, few corrosion mitigation practitioners attend the ECS meetings.
The separation of researchers and practitioners is apparent at the many topical research symposia held worldwide. However, it should be noted that a 1-day symposium on a focused topic, the Research Technical Symposium, is held each year at the NACE international annual conference in an effort to bring together researchers and practitioners. The topic is intentionally a relatively mature subject. The presentations are by invitation only and are longer than usual, allowing considerable detail of the applications to be presented. These symposia typically attract hundreds of attendees. Unfortunately, one such symposium per year allows for only limited coverage of the technical topics. For example, research data in the elevated temperature corrosion area are presented at national materials meetings, such as the annual Materials Science and Technology meeting. But the attendance at corrosion-specific sessions within this large conference is generally limited.
Cutting-edge research results are also communicated via publication in scientific journals. However, these journals are either not readily accessible to or not widely read by many corrosion mitigation practitioners. Consequently, cross-