11 Questions in 11 Minutes

We kicked off our monthly ‘Meet the Corrosion Specialist’ last month, with our magnifying lens on Bill Hedges. This month we’ve had the spotlight on Dr Jane Lomas (FICorr), Corrosion & Coatings Engineer at Amtec Corrosion Consultants.

We asked Dr Lomas about her professional life, career advice she would give to younger corrosion specialists, and took a peep into her private life.

Here’s the 11 questions we posed in the 11 minutes we took of Jane’s valuable time.

1.      What did you aspire to be when you were younger?

Whilst at junior school I was always interested in science and wanted to be a famous scientist. Later I aspired to a career in genetic engineering.

2.      So how did you end up as a corrosion specialist?

Having completed a degree in biochemistry and considering my options, my attention was caught by an advertisement for a course in corrosion engineering at the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology (UMIST), which would allow me to use my knowledge of microbes in an unusual industry. I applied and was accepted on the course and have ‘been in rust’ ever since.

3.      What was your first job like?

After passing the corrosion course, I stayed at UMIST for a few years and carried out research into a range of corrosion-related problems including car paint, concrete repair materials, ship paint, water treatment, batteries, and others! I was also involved in a number of investigations into paint failures.

4.      You decided to stick with coating failures. How did your career progress?

In 1985 I started a small business with a couple of colleagues to work on paint failures. Initially the projects were mainly on ships and I spent a lot of time at sea carrying out paint failure investigations.  Later the work diversified into paint on land-based structures including buildings, factories, trains and Blackpool Tower. 35 years after starting up, we are still running the business and still enjoying the varied and interesting work.

5.      What have you enjoyed most about your career in corrosion?

It is great finding out details about industries that I haven’t worked in before, as there is always something new to learn. I also like being able to ask a lot of questions!

6.      What career advice would you give to a young corrosion specialist?

Find a comfortable pair of boots and overcome a fear of heights! Seriously though, most of my early jobs involved a lot of walking and climbing up and down ladders and scaffolding. The corrosion always seemed to be at the top of a building or the bottom of a deep tank on a ship. I would also say never be afraid to ask questions.

7.      What is in store for corrosion professionals?

Managing and adapting to the new corrosion issues that will arise as novel materials are invented or used in increasingly challenging environments.

  1. What have you gained from your membership of ICorr?

As a young corrosion engineer, Professional Membership of the Institute of Corrosion provided prospective employers with assurance that I had proven skills in corrosion, whilst I built up my years of experience.

Meet the Corrosion Specialist – This Month, Dr Jane Lomas9.      What is your favourite food?

It varies because I love to try the local food when travelling. Often my short-term favourite is from the last country visited, but I like to cook curries at home.

10. What do you like doing most outside of your professional life?

Walking in the countryside with family and friends.

11. Tell us a secret about yourself, something that might surprise fellow members (and something we can print!).

I sometimes sing with a rock and blues band to raise money for charity.

What do you want to ask a corrosion specialist?

Our members never cease to amaze us. How about a long walk in the countryside, before tucking into a homemade curry, and then attending a gig in which Dr Jane Lomas is starring? Sounds like a perfect way to relax at the weekend.

Now, over to you. Let us know what you’d like us to ask the next ICorr member we put in the hotseat for 11 questions in 11 minutes. Send us an email, and we’ll try to include your question.