ICorr’s Young Engineer Programme once again broke new ground as it held its first ever meeting online in May, for the reveal of its 2020 case study.

The grand surroundings of the Royal Over-Seas League might have been replaced with the homespun comforts of participants’ living rooms, but the content of the meeting remained as topical as ever with Steve Paterson from Arbeadie Consultants Ltd presenting the 2020 case study for the seven participating groups.

Focusing on an onshore titanium pipe corrosion failure, Steve described a scenario where several leaks were experienced in the piping at an onshore glycol desalination plant that required further investigation, giving the participants plenty to think about ahead of presenting their findings in November.

As an experienced technical expert with a deep knowledge of subsea engineering and corrosion management systems, Steve’s puzzling scenario ensured that the 32 participating young engineers – representing 19 companies, each with a wide and interesting variety of specialist backgrounds – had plenty to discuss on the evening.

The young engineer’s broad set of specialities include mechanical and materials engineering, welding, materials and more. These were all put to the test when discussing the desalination plant, which is used to periodically remove the salts from mono-ethylene glycol, used for hydration and corrosion control in gas pipelines from three offshore fields.

With the help of a mentor assigned to assist each group, the young engineers were posed with problems at the end of the presentation. These included proposing root causes for the defect, how to perform a corrosion risk assessment to determine if the plant is safe to operate, suggesting alternative materials, and identifying what mitigation options could be applied to prolong the service life of this section of the desalination plant, among others.

The YEP has been running for a number of years and delivers a technical competency framework that’s consistent with the Institute of Corrosion’s professional standards, to help prepare graduates for entry into the industry with a broad range of knowledge. As well as providing an opportunity to network with likeminded professionals, the programme also offers participants a stepping stone into the industry, and is the first stage in achieving MICorr and CEng status.

In what might be the first of many online meetings, the evening ran according to schedule, although participants and guests had to make their own tea and coffee during the scheduled break. Prior to that though they were entertained by Tim Evans, Caroline Allanach and Danny Burkle who offered a reflection on their 2018 winning case study.

Caroline and Danny discussed how they approached the case study and the fantastic resulting prize of a trip to the 2019 NACE Conference in Nashville, while Tim provided a critical assessment of their reaction and solution to the failure that occurred.

The case study was concluded by a series of questions and answers, before Trevor Osborne from Deepwater Corrosion Services brought the first ever online YEP meeting to a close with a message of thanks. The participants will attend four more lectures before reconvening in November to present their case study.