I had the pleasure of attending the North East Branch summer event in Durham recently, it was well attended by members old and new. We had a tour of the Castle followed by an excellent presentation from Professor Jon Gluyas entitled “Energy past, present and future”. It was a thoroughly interesting evening enjoyed by all.
This month has been a busy one, I was invited to join the BCF meeting on behalf of ICORR, where it was great to see so many ICORR members round the table.
We have also launched the re-vamped website this month, which has been a great effort by many behind the scenes, and I do hope that you will see the benefit.One of the big changes is that new members are able to sign up directly on the website, and moving on, this reminds me that you should have all received your renewal letter and I hope you have found time to renew your subscriptions, which from next year is also something that will be available to members, who would prefer to do this online.
As some of you will recall we have now organised two programmes of educational training courses aimed at Young Engineers, which involve a series of lectures and a group case study, the conclusions of which are then presented to an audience of their peers and judged by a panel of industry experts.The winners from the last programme won the prize of attending the NACE conference in Vancouver.We are planning to run this event again, so if you are interested in being a candidate, or would like to nominate a candidate, please let me know.
I would finally like to highlight an upcoming event being held by the Aberdeen Branch, the ICorr Corrosion Awareness Training Day on the 29th August.This is an annual event and always well worth attending.
After a year’s hiatus the North West Branch held a lively Golf Day followed by the AGM. The meeting was well attended and the incoming Chairman is Andy Bradley of Omniflex, a manufacturer of specialist monitoring and control systems including cathodic protection power supplies for reinforced concrete.
At the meeting several options for the forthcoming year were discussed, including the Christmas meal, golf day and AGM, together with an initial couple of technical events. On the 4th of September, Chris Atkins will be outlining the new international standard on cathodic protection training and certification at an evening meeting. This is an important document that extends the remit of the current BS EN 15257 to draw in NACE influenced areas. There are a number of changes that need to be highlighted, along with the Institute of Corrosion’s programme for rolling the new scheme out.
On 4 October the Branch will be supporting Salford University in the one day ‘hackathon’ on Lean Construction. Lean is all about removing waste, be it physical waste, or wasted time, energy and effort in processes (see technical article later in this issue). Salford hope to bring together key people who represent the processes involved in corrosion protection of structures with Highways England. The outcome of the day is aimed at producing a research package, or series of packages, that they can obtain funding for and develop something that is not only academically interesting, but of practical added value to the industry.
The Branch had their summer event at Hatfield College Durham on 6 July, including a very interesting tour of Durham Castle with a wee bit of a history lesson!
Durham castle is the ancient palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham. It was built on the order of William the Conqueror on his return from Scotland in 1072 as a projection of the Norman kings power in the North of England. Strangely enough he thought we were a bit ‘wild’, no change there then! The tour took us around the two chapels, the Norman chapel built in 1078 & Tunstall’s chapel built in 1540 exclusively for the Prince Bishop. The last wish of the Prince Bishop in 1837 was to leave the castle and all surrounding land to form the University, which at the time was heavily challenged by London and the government, but they thankfully lost. To this date it it is still owned as used by Durham University and quite frankly is impressive. It is a fully functional home to students who use the grand ballroom for breakfast and dinner, and the upper floors are now student accommodation for the lucky ones.
The second part of the evening was taken up by a very informative and interesting look at “UK Energy Past, Present and Future” presented by Prof Jon Gluyas, who is currently Dean of Knowledge Exchange and Director of Energy Institute Durham University. The presentation covered the issues of the ENERGY TRILEMA which within the UK is seen as relating to Equity/Sustainability/Security. The origins of the petroleum age were described with three important landmark discoveries, Bibi – Aybat Caspian 1846, Spindletop – Texas 1901, and Masjed e Suleyman – Iran 1908. The use of Mineral Oil really took off in the 1860’s and led to reduction in use of Whale Oil therefore resulting in the reduction of whale Hunting! One of the most frightening statistics was that there have been no large Oil discoveries for over 50 years which has resulted in a decline in global reserves. The audience was taken through the issues of declining oil and gas prices and the resultant increase in consumption which again is putting major stresses on reserves. The increase in USA on Shale Gas is having little effect on the reserves which were steady from the 80’s but the gap is narrowing.
The presentation then turned to the situation in the UK showing the trend in energy production and consumption and again a widening energy gap was described through which we as a nation need to address from within the UK. Recent headlines show what is happening to our energy base, the last three deep coal mines are to close resulting in increased imports of coal for the remaining coal fired power stations, Ferrybridge power station to close, and oil & gas platform decommissioning accelerating in some cases 10 years early.
In the 1980’s the UK was self-sufficient in coal/gas/oil, but today is increasing our import of these. Most of our gas consumption is imported from Norway and Qatar, which is a real issue at the moment and we are talking about increasing imports. Most of Europe’s gas in controlled by Russia! Currently UK has 14 days of gas reserves whereas France & Germany have 100 days.
Finally the UK is cancelling many green energy policies making renewables more expensive as currently gas and oil are low in price. UK is considering following US lead and drawing upon fracking as an energy source as well as increasing reliance on nuclear. In summary these are interesting times in the energy industry and the UK needs to find ways of improving its self-sufficiency. One potential source is Geothermal which is estimated to be around 100 years worth of low carbon heating here in the UK, with potential centres in Cheshire, East Yorkshire and Wessex, to name a few. Utilisation of this technology could cut UK emissions by up to 38%.
The Midland Branch welcomed two new sustaining members, Mapei Ltd based in Halesowen, West Midlands, and Cathodic Protection Engineering based in Wythall, Birmingham.
The last Midland Branch meeting took place on 27 June at Amey’s office in Birmingham. As well as updates on Branch and ICorr news; discussions were held regarding future branch meetings and presentations. Peter McCloskey, of Vector Corrosion Technologies then gave two presentations, “ Cable impregnation techniques for protection of grouted post tensioned tendons” and “Introduction to Termarust corrosion mitigation system for steel structures”.
Both presentations were well received and a detailed Q&A session ensued. The Branch would like to thank Amey, Birmingham, for providing the venue.
The first meeting of the new season is a joint meeting with LMS on 12 October, and the evening has been handed over to the Young ICorr Group, who have organised a presentation by Simon Bowcock of BP on “Corrosion challenges and considerations for the design and installation of 316 stainless steel-clad subsea flowlines’.
The meeting will be held at the usual venue, Imperial College, Skempton Building, London, with the presentation at 18.30, followed by refreshments and networking between 19.30 and 21.00.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
On 19 October there is a meeting, organised by the Society of Chemical Industry’s London group, and the Branch entitled “From the Foundations of Electricity to Modern Corrosion Failures “ – see diary page, and advert on page 11.
This free evening event includes two presentations, the first on the historical background of electricity, by Dr F Parrett, and the second on the recent problems of AC Corrosion on pipelines, by Dr David Eyre.
Planning is well underway for the forthcoming 29th Annual Christmas Luncheon which will be held on the 7th December in London at the normal venue, the Royal Overseas League. Formal advertising and the ability to book tables will take place later in the year. At this time the London Branch – Luncheon Subcommittee would like to offer companies the opportunity of supporting the event in terms of contributing to the cost of the entertainment and the raffle prizes. All companies who contribute to the cost of the entertainment will receive visual publicity on the day for the duration of the event. If you would like to support this event by providing sponsorship, please email ICorr head office (firstname.lastname@example.org) indicating the amount, and they will email you an invoice by return. To help with planning, it would be appreciated if you could respond by 31st August.