Materials.Business Weekly ⚙️

February 02, 2021

Quote of the week: “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." — Carl Sagan, USA Physicist and science communicator (1934 - 1996).

From The Editor's Corner


An international overview

A useful tool

Studyportals B.V. is a private enterprise created as a spin-off of various international study associations in 2007 and based in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. The company is devoted to spreading information through several WEB portals about higher education programs. Its mission is to “Empower the world to choose education,” and one of its primary purposes is to “help universities with easier and more effective international marketing and recruitment solutions.” Frostudents’the perspective, one other goal of the platform is to promote better experiences studying abroad. These are two very valuable purposes. Some of their current partners include the European Commission, The British Council, Pearson, the German Academic Exchange Service – DAAD, and UNESCO. Recently, Studyportals published interesting information showing figures on worldwide English-taught higher education programs. Principally this information is useful for promoting these institutions offering specific study programs and helps the students in decision-making. Additionally, the data is also suitable for other purposes like benchmarking. Besides supporting universities and students interested in internationalization, the information included in their platforms shows additional features that can be analyzed from different sectors and, finally, society. For example, the information about offered curricula is essential for enterprises. Furthermore, the gap between training and what is needed is a significant concern for companies, governments, families, and society.

Leaders in swimming in the middle of the storm

On the one hand, internationalization is a small but fundamental piece of higher education (HE). On the other hand, HE is a relevant factor in one of the essential Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) recommended by the United Nations, the SDG 4 – “Quality Education.” Right now, some significant challenges are merging together. We are talking about technological disruption, climate change, a growing social intolerance, and the deepened inequalities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As an answer to these challenges, high-quality HE for all serves a global purpose. However, social, economic, and digital divides have put the most disadvantaged even in the worst conditions imaginable, where skill-knowledge is disparate. For instance, only about 7% of adults in lower-middle-income countries show necessary ICT skills, while 20% in upper-middle countries and 40% in high-income ones. Global participation in tertiary education reached 224 million students in 2018, equivalent to 38%' gross enrollment ratio. Enrollment rates ranged from 9% in low-income to 75% in high-income countries. In addition, disadvantaged youth require more support to enter tertiary education but, in fact, receive less in the end. It is a vicious cycle that must be broken. Recent events have shown that globalization without internationalization is catastrophic. These vicious cycles are linked to coverage and education quality, so breaking them is a global challenge related to internationalization. As always, universities are so-called engines for positive change and have been the drivers of a more resilient and equal society in the future. Universities must be recognized as the global leaders of internationalization. But it is a societal task encompassed by enterprises, governments, and other social actors. It is a Triple Helix challenge.

Other barriers to be overcome

The Studyportals platform's starting point is proof that education opportunities are unequally distributed, and HE quality barriers are too high for students in most countries. So the risk of the perpetuation of the gap is increased. The collected data is just related to programs taught in English. English is the lingua franca in the international science and technology arena. All academics must recognize this situation as a leveraging condition for global HE of quality for all. In other words, the figures that will be analyzed below do not include all the non-taught English tertiary education programs, which undoubtedly, is one more barrier that must be overcome in the coming years. Global estimations say that 68% of tertiary students are currently enrolled in English-taught bachelor’s degree programs, 11% in masters, and 1% in doctorate. The platform shows that the total English taught bachelor’s degrees offered is 85.324, where 8.587 programs, or about 10%, are in Engineering & Technology – E&T, excluding Computing & IT. Master’s degrees are 67.816, where 8.218 are in E&T (~12%). Lastly, Ph.D. degrees taught in English are 5671, and 849 of those are in E&T (15%). These Percentages bring to mind other gaps such as the relatively low number of students in the STEM fields and the lower proportion of women in E&T and STEM.

Materials Science and Engineering taught worldwide

At this point, it is crucial to recognize the bias in the analysis. For all of us, corrosion and protection of materials and asset integrity are duties of several professions, further than just scientists and material engineers. When discussing the E&T programs mentioned above, other programs were not included as Natural Science, Environmental Studies, and others, which also have a relationship with material care. When we put the magnifying glass on the E&T programs, this bias reappears of what we constitute as the ideal study program in this field. When choosing programs directly related to the materials’ protection and performance, it is essential to consider that the problems are complex, and solutions are too. This means that for us to find answers, it would usually require crossing into other disciplines, and many times professionals from many other E&T programs are in front of the situations. Accepting such limitations, the figures concerning English taught programs on Materials Science and Engineering MS&E can be seen. Results show that there are 449 bachelor's degree programs (5% of the E&T programs), 661 master programs (8%), and 103 Ph.D. programs (12%) that are taught in English. Furthermore, only 18 short courses are included in the figures (646 is the total of E&T short courses), and 119 distance learning degrees (5% of the E&T degrees). A quick look at this data shows that MS&E programs are viewed more as specializations, as demonstrated by the percentage increase in courses offered when we move from bachelor's to master to Ph.D. Similarly, MS&E programs have not been and are not following the global trends in the realm of materials care. Some of us may use such figures to explain the national corrosion costs’ linear growing behavior since the first estimation in the 1950s compared to the GDP. On the other hand, most of us may be waiting for the higher demand of MS&E programs to come for us to face the enormous challenges brought by sustainability goals.

Having a closer look, it is interesting to explore the details of the MS&E programs. From this point of view, comparison at master and doctorate levels are less significant due to the emphasis on research at both levels. Now, just looking at the bachelor’s degree level, of the 449 programs worldwide, 201 are taught in the USA, 120 in the UK, 25 in Australia, 17 in Canada, 9 in Malaysia, 8 in Ireland, 5 in Hong Kong, 5 in India, 4 in Germany, and 3 in South Korea. Many of the programs are related to a specific family of materials ( paper, rubber, polymers, and so on). Simultaneously, others are related to specific industrial sectors ( aeronautics, etc.). These are most of the MS&E bachelor programs ready to face the new wave of international student mobility after the impact of factors like the Corona pandemic, Brexit, and the USA's changing immigrant policies. Furthermore, assessing the offered curricula could be interesting considering the often critics received from the industry side because of the gap between curricula and required skills. After a quick check of the information published on the website of a few randomly selected programs, with the relevance of subjects like corrosion, anticorrosion, and asset integrity in mind, shows that at:

- The University of Arizona, USA. Materials Science and Engineering, B.Sc., the only approach is taken through the mention of failure analysis as one of the four kinds of courses.

- The University of Strathclyde, UK. Mechanical Engineering with Materials Engineering, MEng. The nature of the courses does not mention the keywords above-mentioned.

- The VIA University College, Denmark. Materials Science Engineering, B.Eng., the word “corrosion” is not included in the full curriculum.

- The University of Manchester, UK. Materials Science and Engineering with Corrosion (Hons), MEng. Has a Corrosion Science Engineering as a mandatory course in year 3, and Corrosion Management and Oilfield Corrosion & Control are two optional courses in year 4.

- The Monash University, Australia. Materials Engineering (Honours), B.Eng. It is presented as a specialization, where one of the working fields is corrosion or fracture engineer. Additionally, corrosion or durability engineers are given as one of the future career options.

- The Seoul National University, South Korea. Materials Science and Engineering, Bachelor the information presented on the site does not mention words like “corrosion” or anything alike.

The above results are not strange. People involved with HE and caring of materials know that education on the current needs about materials protection and performance is not the expected. Furthermore, concerns about that increase because the gap between tertiary education and materials protections is growing deeper. Now, as we face the complexity of the New Normal, answers must be given. Institutions have a lot to do, but companies and governments do too. It is an issue of the Triple Helix. Fortunately, answers are beginning to appear. An example is the new Materials Science Technologist degree program designed between a group of universities, a group of employers, supported by some institutions from the UK government, set to be offered by the Sheffield Hallam University. In summary, globally, there are few HE programs in MS&E, and most of them are not focused on materials and equipment protection. Thinking about the future challenges, it is crucial to consider that many of them are related to having better management of materials protection. So it is vital to promote something like a Triple Helix approach towards new education methods on corrosion, anticorrosion, and asset integrity.

Remember: Protection of materials and equipment is a profitable business!

Prof. Carlos Arroyave, Ph.D. Editor.

Materials Biz News

​Transferring knowledge to the O&G industry

The Institute of Functional Surfaces (iFS) of the School of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Leeds, UK, is a center of excellence on research about tribology, surface engineering, and corrosion & flow assurance. The following is a summary of a Ph.D. thesis developed at iFS about a subject concerning a problem in the O&G production, according to the author, Dr. Kabir Raheem: "My research is focused on the crystallization mechanisms and kinetics of inorganic mineral scale particularly calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in oil and gas production. This PhD studied substrate effect on CaCO3 crystal nucleation and growth under different hydrodynamic flow conditions using a capillary flow rig (a modification of the conventional dynamic tube blocking technique), proposing semi-empirical models for the prediction of surface induction time and heterogeneous crystal growth on plain and modified stainless steel surfaces.”


Corrosionists innovate!

The former NACE International, currently AMPP, has announced the 40 finalists of its MP-s Corrosion Innovation of the Year Awards. Winners will be announced at the CORROSION 2021 Conference next April. Eligible are corrosionists, companies, organizations, and governments from around the world. The following are the subjects considered, and some examples arbitrarily picked from the list of finalist:

- Coatings & linings: “Smart, Sustainable Corrosion Inhibitors” by Hexigone.

- Cathodic protection: “Touchscreen Bidirectional GPS Current Interrupter” by Cathodic Technology.

- Materials & design: “High-Strength Austenite for Additive Manufacturing” by DEW Specialty Steel GmbH & Co.KG.

- Instrumentation: “iLINE Dig Manager” by Lake Superior Consulting, Shawcor.

- Testing: “Differential Reflectometry Mapping” by HEURISTECH and Texas A&M University.

- Modeling/risk assessment: “Water Main Breaks and Corrosion” by Robert A. Leishear.

- Mitigation technologies:

- Other: “Tethered Aerial Robotic Drone for Visible Surface Cleaning and Removal of Nonvisible Contamination on Elevated Structures” by Apellix ().​

-Learn More-

Monitoring risk with the coating color

EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, has announced the invention, in a partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich - ETH Zurich, of a system of various layers of fibers useful in applications as color-changing coating with temperature, able to diagnose damage to climbing ropes, safety equipment and so on.

-Read More-


​​Caring sophisticated process engineering assignments Florida, USA.

Pall is a global company aimed at providing filtration, separation, and purification solutions, covering a fan of life science applications to industrial ones. The company is seeking a senior product engineer for its branch in Pensacola, Florida, USA. Minimum requirements include a BS/BA in chemical engineering or equivalent and eight or more years of experience dealing with high-quality web polymers. The incumbent will be responsible for planning, executing, and managing product design, process development, material testing, material changes, continuous improvement, and product/process validation.

Lead Inspection Engineer Grangemouth, UK.

INEOS, a global chemical company, seeks a professional to be in charge of the asset inspection strategy in its new energy plant in Grangemouth, UK. Some of the basic requirements are Mechanical or Materials Engineer with ten or more years of experience in service inspection of pipelines and vessels and power plant operation in high hazard sites. The critical role will be to support the project demand for delivering the mechanical asset inspection strategy for the project in compliance with statutory regulations and business goals. To provide, implement, develop and manage the inspection program.

Sabbatical stay in the UK London, UK.

The Royal Society, UK, offers an excellent opportunity to candidates of any nationality to spend a sabbatical year in a UK University or research institution. The visiting fellowship’s primary purpose is to “foster international collaborative links and enriching scientific research in the host organization as well as the wider UK science base.” The minimum stay must be three months with a maximum of 12 months, with the flexibility of distributing over two years. Also, funding can be used flexibly, covering bursary for the visiting fellow and research expenses up to £125,000 in total. Application deadlines for the two established rounds are:

- Wednesday, March 17th, 2021 (currently open).

- Wednesday, July 14th, 2021 (to be opened on 19.05.2021).

Networking & Knowledge Exchange

​​​21st International Corrosion Congress - ICC Virtual.

New format. On behalf of the International Corrosion Council, the Brazilian Association of Corrosion – ABRACO is organizing the next International Corrosion Congress. In this opportunity, the ICC will be held together with the most representative Brazilian corrosion and anticorrosion event – INTERCORR. Based on the Corona situation, the Organizing Committee has decided to postpone the conference until July 20th to 23rd, 2021. Furthermore, they have decided to move the Congress to a virtual format. Also, there are other changes oriented to take the maximum advantage of the new situation. New deadlines are:

- Abstracts submission: Up to Sunday, February 28th, 2021.

- Acceptance of abstracts: Up to Wednesday, 31st, 2021.

Maintenance and Intelligent Asset Management. Victoria, Australia.

The School of Engineering, Information Technology and Physical Sciences of the Federation University, in Ballarat, Melbourne (Victoria – Australia), supported by Asset Management Council, Australia and Manipal University, India, will be held the International Conference on Maintenance and Intelligent Asset Management (ICMIAM2021), from February 7th to 10th, 2021. The program of the event includes presentations, workshops, and technical tours. Subjects included are digital asset management, lifecycle cost analysis, water asset management, industrial IoT, reliability & resilience, etc.

Fracture matters. Virtual

Following the exciting series of speeches organized by Prof. Luca Susmel, Editor-in-Chief of “Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics” - TAFMEC, and supported by Elsevier, the next speaker will be Prof. Reinhard Pippan, from the Erich Schmid Institute of Materials Science of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Leoben, Austria. The title of the seminar is “Crack closure: frequently asked questions.” Prof. Pippan is a senior academic and expert on plasticity, fracture and fatigue of advanced materials, and nanomaterials' synthesis by severe plastic deformation.

Date: Friday, February 5th, 2021.

Time: 9:00 (GMT).

Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash