First of all, I hope you are all keeping safe and well. We are living through very challenging times and the future remains uncertain, which can be unsettling. My thoughts are particularly with those who have lost loved ones or whose livelihoods have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever the importance of community comes to the fore. The Institute of Corrosion is in many ways like a family, and we are determined to support our members in any way we can.
I will be highlighting below the ways in which we are continuing to provide services to our members through online platforms during the lockdown period, but we also have a duty to look after our more vulnerable members. If you require assistance with delivery of food or medical supplies or if you are living alone and would appreciate the opportunity to have a chat with another member (not necessarily just about corrosion!) please let me know by emailing email@example.com, and we will endeavour to help where possible.
We have been very pleased at the success of our online activities in recent weeks. The Corrosion Engineering Division (CED) Working Day on April 29 was attended by more than 50 people from as far afield as India and New Zealand, while the series of five webinars organised at the end of April by the Aberdeen Branch, in conjunction with the Marine Corrosion Forum, attracted over 100 participants to each event. I also gave a presentation at a World Corrosion Organisation (WCO) webinar to mark World Corrosion Awareness Day on April 24, which was attended by over 250 people.
In order to facilitate these and other events, the Institute has signed up to a Zoom Pro account, which is available for use by all branches, divisions and committees. This online meeting software has a number of useful features, including parallel breakout rooms, which were trialled very successfully for the five Working Group meetings during the CED Working Day. Please contact Head Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details on how to access the Institute of Corrosion Zoom facility for online meetings and events.
Our Young Engineer Programme has also gone online. This year’s programme was heavily oversubscribed, with more than 60 applicants of which 32 were selected to participate, highlighting the success and growing popularity of the programme. The delegates will receive online training and mentoring in a range of corrosion-related disciplines and will work together in groups on an industry case study. Each group will present its solution to a panel of Institute of Corrosion judges in November – hopefully in person by that time! The winning team will be rewarded with a free trip to the NACE conference in Salt Lake City in 2021.
Training courses are an important component of the Institute’s commitment to upskilling and professional development of our members. We offer a range of online training courses (check the website for details) so if you are finding that you have time to spare during the lockdown it may be worth looking into attending one of these. It could be a valuable use of your time that will boost your career when life returns to normal.
Our social media activities continue to expand and I hope you are finding it easier to keep track of what is going on across the wide range of Institute activities. I encourage you all to share and comment on our posts and blogs to take maximum advantage of the functionality these digital tools provide.
Finally, I wish you and those close to you continued health and strength and hope that we will all have the opportunity to enjoy meeting in person again when we have made it through this difficult period.
Gareth Hinds, Institute of Corrosion President