The Real Cost of Poor Corrosion Prevention Practices Is Human
The financial cost of corrosion to the global economy is enormous, and estimated to be more than 3% of global GDP. Corrosion control is essential to reducing this cost, and is critical within infrastructure and transport. The economic benefits of longer life of transport and infrastructure assets are clear. Therefore, it is crucial that governments and businesses invest in corrosion control.
However, there is a far bigger reason why the Institute of Corrosion is leading the global corrosion conversation. People’s lives depend upon it.
Catastrophe is the real cost of infrastructure corrosion
In August 2015, the catastrophic effects of a lack of corrosion management was made abundantly clear in Italy. During a violent storm in Genoa, the Morandi Bridge collapsed. 43 people lost their lives. It is not as if the disaster could not have been foreseen. Its designer Riccardo Morandi warned of the risk of corrosion to the bridge all the way back in 1979. He said:
“Sooner or later, maybe in a few years, it will be necessary to resort to a treatment consisting of the removal of all traces of rust on the exposure of the reinforcements, to fill in the patches.”
Indeed, of all infrastructure, bridge collapses have been one of the most common examples of the cost of lack of corrosion control. Other notable bridge collapses include the following tragedies:
- Silver Bridge, on a major highway in the United States, collapsed under the weight of rush hour traffic one afternoon in December 1967. A total of 75 vehicles crashed into the Ohio River. Nine people were seriously injured. 46 people were killed. The cause? Corrosion fatigue of the bridge’s suspension chain.
- The pedestrian section of the Gokhale Bridge in Mumbai collapsed in July 2019 due to corrosion, killing one person and injuring four others.
- Preliminary evidence points to corrosion as the cause for the sudden collapse of the Nanfang’ao Bridge in Taiwan. One of only two bifurcated single-arch bridges in the world – and only 20 years old – the 320-ton bridge killed six people when it fell in October 2019.
Inevitably, when corrosion control is ignored or mismanaged on highway bridges, buildings and other infrastructure, that infrastructure is weakened and lives are put at risk.
Corrosion causes tragedy in transport disasters
Corrosion is also a huge financial cost to the transport economy. Components that corrode must be repaired or replaced, and can cause breakdown and costly delays. Massive ships have enabled vast amounts of goods to be transported around the world, but they only last around 30 years before they must be scrapped due to the effects of corrosion.
Once more, though, the financial cost pales into insignificance when compared to the human cost of poor corrosion management. Examples include:
Join the corrosion control conversation
The first of our core values is Trust and Respect. The Institute of Corrosion is an independent professional body, trusted and respected by the public with the goal of reducing the environmental impact of corrosion on our infrastructure.
It is crucial that we encourage the innovation that enables greater sustainability of our infrastructure and transport. Developments in corrosion science, prevention and management should reduce (and, eventually, eliminate) the cost of corrosion to society.
To this end, we have designed this year’s Corrosion Engineering Division (CED) Working Day around corrosion control in transport and infrastructure. Held on 29th April 2020, only five days after Worldwide Corrosion Awareness Day, the original venue could not have been more appropriate – the meeting was to be held at the National Railway Museum, York. However, as you know, world events have overtaken us this year. Consequently, we are now holding the Working Day online.
It remains a fantastic opportunity to network with other professionals from different industry sectors (albeit through cyberspace and not face-to-face) and to learn about some of the latest developments in the field of corrosion control in a variety of transport and infrastructure applications across diverse industries.
This full day event will now be free. We have an excellent group of speakers lined up, including Phillip Watkinson (Corrocoat), Chris Atkins (Mott MacDonald), Steve Paterson (Arbeadie Consultants), Cliff Harris and Clive Harrison (Jacobs), and Pablo Merino (CLH Pipeline Systems). The series of lectures will cover:
- Fascinating Uses of Heavy Duty Glassflake Coatings in Transport Applications
- Innovations in Preserving Transport Infrastructure
- Managing Corrosion in Ageing Offshore Infrastructures
- Corrosion Monitoring of Dry Fuel Storage Containers in Nuclear Facilities
- A New CP Approach on Non-Isolated and Aged Pipelines: A Case Study
If you are interested in taking part, please send an email to email@example.com by 24th April. In return we will send you a link to be able to join the meeting. Please also indicate which working group discussion you would like to join in the afternoon.
What engineer training is best for young engineers?
Despite the UK government pushing engineering as a career choice in 2018 (the ‘Year of Engineering’), apprenticeship starts fell by 2.5% in engineering and manufacturing technologies between 2017/18 and 2018/19 (House of Commons Library Apprenticeship Statistics). That’s bad news in a sector that is suffering from a skills shortage, and in which it is estimated that 203,000 people with Level 3+ engineering skills will be required each year to 2024 to keep pace with demand.
To combat the skills shortage in UK engineering, it is incumbent on the industry to ensure that young engineers have access to the very best engineer training opportunities. Here at the Institute of Corrosion we are committed to professional development and training, with a particular focus on our early career members.
In this article, you’ll learn more about one of the most prestigious training initiatives for young engineers – the Young Engineer Programme (YEP).
Investing in the future
At the back end of 2018, IMechE Argyll Ruane noted that ICorr are investing in the future with initiatives that focus on attracting the younger people from our community. It noted the success of Young ICorr, the redevelopment of inspector training, and the new engineer training programmes such as ‘Fundamentals of Corrosion’.
The Young Engineer Programme is pivotal in the development of young engineers.
What is the Young Engineer Programme?
Designed for the engineer who has been practicing in industry for a few years but wishes to develop their skills and knowledge more broadly, the Young Engineer Programme is an 11-month programme run every two years.
The 2018 programme reached its climax in November 2018, when teams presented to a judging panel, with the winning team crowned and given its reward – a trip to the NACE Corrosion Conference & Expo 2019.
How could the Young Engineer Programme benefit you?
The Young Engineer Programme provides a threefold process of learning:
- Delegates receive a series of lectures from industry experts in a range of subjects. This helps them broaden their own knowledge outside their own specific area of industry.
- Delegates then work in ‘project teams’ of four. The objective is to collaborate to discuss a real-world corrosion case study provided by an industry partner and come up with a practical engineering solution.
- The teams make a presentation of their findings to a panel of ICorr judges and the winning team gets to attend the NACE Corrosion Conference the following year.
In this way, delegates broaden their knowledge, improve their collaborative and project management skills, and develop their communication skills.
Other benefits of becoming a delegate on the Young Engineer Programme include expansion of your professional network and, of course, a major plus on your CV.
You receive mentoring throughout the Young Engineer Programme
With the group of young engineers split into teams of four, each team is assigned a dedicated mentor. It is the mentor’s job to ensure that their team stays on track and works as a team. The mentor will make sure that the team answers the questions raised by the case study.
As a delegate, you and your team will meet face-to-face with your mentor during the May to November period of the programme. You’ll also meet with your mentor on Skype, and the mentor can ask the author of the case study any questions that your team may have.
What do delegates say about engineer training during the Young Engineer Programme?
Word gets out when engineer training does what it says on the tin – and then some. Responses from 2018 delegates included:
“This programme has altered the way I think about my work and how I carry it out.”
“I hadn’t realised the value of ICorr and I will go back to work on Monday and encourage them to engage.”
A senior engineer in the ICorr fraternity said:
“This is probably the most important function in the UK Corrosion calendar, it’s truly fantastic.”
How do you join the Young Engineer Programme?
The Young Engineer Programme runs every two years. We open the programme to applicants in the September of the year before the programme starts and email our entire membership about the programme prior to this. We also send personal emails to the engineering community.
The programme has exploded in popularity. In 2018, there were 12 delegates in three teams of four who presented their findings on the case study. The current crop numbers eight teams of four. We expect programme applicant numbers to increase further next time round.
To ensure you learn of the next Young Engineer Programme at the earliest opportunity, we recommend that you become a member of the Institute of Corrosion. There are several grades of membership.
The Young Engineer Programme – a summary
As a ‘cradle to grave’ organisation, we support our members with engineer training throughout their career, from apprenticeship to Chartered Engineer status. Young ICorr (aimed at young professionals aged 35 and under) has an expanding membership base, supported by ICorr initiatives such as our free student membership.
The Young Engineer Programme is an invaluable addition to our training initiatives, helping you to expand your knowledge and network, improve your competencies and capabilities, and add prestigious training and development experience to your CV.
To learn more about the Young Engineer Programme, visit our YEP pages or email the Institute of Corrosion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As has already been announced, the Institute has a new image and this will involve rebranding of the website, stationery, documentation and marketing material, and of course this magazine. To help with this new image, the Institute launched a photo competition to find images that are people-focused and celebrate the people that make ICorr, or capture a wide range of activities, such as people networking, working on-site, people in labs, people inspecting, or people achieving accreditations and awards, rather than tired-looking images of rusty components previously used. The designers were looking for uplifting photos of pristine, gleaming infrastructure to emphasise that our members get things right!
The winning photo of an under-deck inspection on an offshore wind turbine jacket, picked by a panel of ICorr judges, was submitted by Simon Dunn, Dangle Ltd, and is featured on the cover of this issue of the magazine. It will also feature on the landing page backdrop of the rebranded website.
Mr Steve Barke, the Managing Director of CORREX (which manages the ICATS programme), retired in December 2019 after several years at the helm. Steve took up the reigns at CORREX during a time of change and created much needed stability and new enthusiasm during this most important phase of ICATS. Kevin Harold, was appointed as the new MD effective from 1st January 2020, and Steve will remain on the CORREX board and continue to help during 2020.
Towards the end of 2019, meetings were held between CORREX, IMechE and Hodge Clemco, which culminated in the creation of a new ICATS ‘Approved Training Centre’ in Sheffield. The ICATS courses will be delivered in Sheffield starting early 2020, with the theoretical aspects being taught at IMechE and the practical aspects of the courses held two miles down the road at the equally superb facilities of Hodge Clemco.
I think you will agree as a collaboration this has the ‘hallmark’ of quality written all over it.
ICATS Apprenticeship Update
The new Industrial Coatings Apprenticeship scheme started at the beginning of 2019 with CORREX (ICorr) providing the technical information, DN Colleges supplying the mandatory apprentice information and Jack Tighe would deliver the whole package. This was the first Industrial Coating Apprenticeship ever (in the UK).
Training continued throughout 2019, with a second wave of students started training during the summer of 2019. The first students will complete their apprentice training in May/June of 2020 and our industry will have the first ever qualified, industrial coating applicators apprentices.
Corrosion and Protective Coatings Management, CPCM course
The CPCM course (previously the ‘managers course’) was launched in 2019. It was created for managers and engineers or anyone involved in management of protective coating applications, but who didn’t have the best understanding of what the Industrial Coating Applicator, ICA, was really doing. The one-day course takes attendees on a journey of the ICA and includes, H&S, preparation techniques, ISO standards, paint technology and paint faults. The course has been presented a number of times during 2019, and in fact has proved so popular that it is soon to be mandated for all trainees and apprentices at the Sellafield Nuclear Facility, thereby bridging the gap between management and applicators. By the time this issue goes to print the latest course would have been delivered, exciting times.
The ICATS Family
ICATS continues to grow in the UK, with new companies joining, new trainers teaching, many more safe applicators on our projects, plus three new approved training centres in 2019.
ICATS has some representation overseas, but the family is about to grow with our delivery partner, IMechE, who have global distribution of many courses that includes Painting Inspection and NDT testing. IMechE will be expanding the ICATS family on a global basis during 2020 under the direction of Director Mr Chris Kirby and his team in Sheffield.
Dates for your diary
For those requiring a company trainer certification, the next ICATS Company Trainer Course will be held on 31st March – 1st April at Corrosion House, Northampton. This course teaches presentation skills, tests knowledge and demonstration of the ICATS ICA, Industrial Coating Applicator course and the ICATS Sprayer and Blaster specialist modules.
The next Supervisor course is on the 25th and 26th of February at Corrosion House. The supervisor course is now mandated in many places/industries including Highways.
Finally, the next Corrosion and Protective Coatings Management course (CPCM) is on the 2nd of April, also at Corrosion House.
Up-to date course information can be found at www.icats-training.org/