It’s impossible for me to open this column without mentioning the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The situation is unprecedented in the history of the Institute and is clearly going to dominate the activities and priorities of our members for many months. We have put in place policies, working arrangements and contingency plans where possible but of course there is still a lot of uncertainty. Our main priority is the wellbeing and safety of our members, officers and staff and our thoughts go out to all those who have been affected in any way. I trust that you are all are all following the official government guidelines and looking after each other where possible.
It has been a very difficult time for everyone and the Institute is no exception. Cancellations have hit local branch and division events, committee meetings and training courses. However, it has been great to see our tight knit community rally round and show a positive spirit in the face of adversity. This makes me very proud and I would like to commend you all for your kindness and solidarity!
In other news, now that the rebranding of the Institute has been completed attention has turned to our Digital Strategy, which is racing ahead under the guidance of Bill Hedges and David Horrocks. You will have noticed the weekly blogs that we have been publishing on our website and sharing on our social media platforms. These have been enormously successful in driving traffic to our website and raising awareness of who we are and what we do. We are keen to build on this in the coming months and I would strongly encourage you all to share the blogs as widely as possible, comment on them and stimulate discussion to maximise their impact. We are also planning to hold more of our events online going forward, which should enable us all to stay connected in these challenging circumstances
We are always striving to improve the quality of service we provide to our members and a recent useful addition has been the facility for free download of papers from every EuroCorr conference since 2004, which can now be found in the Members Area of the ICorr website. Credit goes to the eagle eye of Brian Wyatt, who spotted on the EFC website that Member Societies are entitled to this facility. If you are aware of any other benefits that we should be offering to our members, or would like to make any suggestions, please let us know.
One significant change at Corrosion House in the past few weeks has been the retirement of Gwynneth Moore. I would like to thank Gwynneth sincerely for the outstanding job she has done over the past few years, particularly in keeping on top of membership administration, which is by no means an easy task. In fact, such was her dedication to the Institute that she postponed her planned retirement at the end of 2019 to cover a temporary staff shortage in the office, which was very much appreciated by Denise and the Trustees. Her proof reading skills will also be sorely missed. We wish Gwynneth all the best in her retirement – although I wouldn’t be surprised to see her helping out in the office again from time to time!
As one chapter closes another one begins and I am pleased to announce the two latest additions to our office team; Dorota Maliszewska and Rebecca Hurst. I’m sure you will join me in offering them a very warm welcome to the Institute.
Please keep an eye on the Institute of Corrosion website for updates on our response to the ongoing coronavirus situation. Stay safe and look after each other.
Gareth Hinds, Institute of Corrosion President