CEng MIEE MICorrST, Cathodic Protection Engineer, June 1927 – November 2018
So many times we have heard the expression, ‘He was a Gentleman and a Scholar’, and that was exactly what Gordon Currer was.
A kindly man, very mild mannered, and thorough to the extreme, in his duties as a dedicated technologist, and always keen to pass on knowledge and learning (with patience) to those students that had an aptitude to learn the mysterious art of Cathodic Protection.
Gordon was a Chartered Engineer and held membership in the Institute of Electrical Engineers; the Institute of Corrosion Science and Technology, the forerunner of ICorr, as well as the National Association of Corrosion Engineers.
He published many papers and gave countless lectures and presentations; both throughout the UK and the rest of the world. With a career spanning over fifty years he once listed all the countries he had visited purely for business purposes – the tally was an impressive thirty seven.
Like many in the enigmatic world of Cathodic Protection he entered it by accident, joining MAPEL. During his pioneering days lot of the CP testing techniques (that are practised today) were trialled and refined by him and his colleagues of that time. It was refreshing to hear some of his humorous memories, which revealed that he too, in all his reverence, went through quite difficult practical learning curves as they built up procedures and routines that now form part of the CP standards of today.
After having worked for many years with MAPEL and as a senior team member, he played a great part in building the Company up to become one of the most respected in the NDT/CP industry. An extremely loyal team of stalwarts was the result of his leadership. There were no bosses unless the chips were down and a serious problem needed attendance and then Gordon would deal with the issue with clarity and a quiet firmness respected and appreciated by all.
With the close co-operation MAPEL had built up with British Gas, Gordon moved across, with some selected engineers, to the Gas Council offices in Hinckley. They helped form the corrosion division responsible for the production and implementation of Cathodic Protection systems for all the major high pressure gas feeder mains throughout the UK. Gordon stayed with British Gas for over 13 years before returning to MAPEL as their Chief Engineering Manager. Even now, crews working in the East Midlands have reported back that they are referring to drawings, drawn from the archives signed by GWC.
His true values and courage came to the fore at MAPEL when let down by two senior engineers he took on recovering a very serious project on the Kori Nuclear Power station in South Korea. He worked in the most arduous conditions without complaint; completing the venture for GEC spanning 1978/79. In 1987/88 his time was focussed on a feasibility study for Mobil Oil based around the Yanbu Oil Refinery on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, and in 1990 he developed a design for the Adnoc Oil Refinery in Abu Dhabi, then in 1993 as a retained consultant for MAPEL, he travelled a circuitous route into Libya to work on the Great Man Made River project for Brown and Root and the Turkish company STFA.
These are just snippets of the countless large projects he was involved with over the years, and on retirement he still maintained the interest and took on some private consultancy work representing the writer on a project in Trinidad and Barbados.
The memories of his work and travels remain on the sideboard at his home in Frisby–on-the-Wreake, enjoyed by his devoted wife Sheila, two daughters Jill and Deborah and their son Tim.
Rest in Peace Gordon… an Icon of your era.
Robin E, Bailey FICorr
Editor’s note: A more detailed description of Gordon’s life and career can be found on the Institute website at, www.icorr.org/respected-and-fond-memories-of-gordon-w-currer-c-eng-miee-micorrst-cathodic-protection-engineer-june-1927-november-2018/ g/