Board of Regents approves establishment of National Corrosion Center

The Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System has approved the establishment of a new center in the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).

The National Corrosion Center (NCC) will function in the general areas of corrosion science and technology through research, training, education, testing and outreach.

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said, "This center is a shining example of our system's unique ability to solve substantial problems and serve the needs of the nation."

Corrosion is the natural deterioration that occurs with all materials because of a reaction of the material with its environment. This degradation process affects the assets of nearly every industrial sector and government agency and has direct impact on the economy, health, safety, infrastructure, environment and national security.

The most recent congressionally mandated U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) study showed that metal corrosion had a total direct cost of $276 billion per year or 3.1 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. But it is estimated that approximately 30 percent of the annual costs of corrosion could be eliminated through the implementation of sound engineering practices.

The demand for corrosion professionals, particularly in certain industrial sectors (such as oil and gas) has exceeded the supply provided by existing centers and programs. Existing corrosion research and training centers have limited experience and facilities capable of addressing complex corrosion issues encountered in Texas' largest industrial sector - oil and gas.

"There is a clear need for an internationally recognized corrosion center in Texas that educates and trains the next generation of corrosion experts and assists industries and agencies in materials infrastructure needs," said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, TEES director and vice chancellor and dean of engineering at Texas A&M.

A National Corrosion Center (NCC) was established in 2008 through an initiative at Rice University in Houston. Bringing this center under the TEES banner will allow NCC to leverage the ongoing advancements in materials research in The Texas A&M University System. NCC will bring a focus on corrosion research and technologies that will add another dimension to the developing, multidisciplinary programs in material science and engineering.

The center will harness the technical and academic strength and breadth of the A&M System and Rice, the training and workforce development capability of Houston Community College, and the technological expertise and financial resources of Houston's industrial base.

"This fits precisely within the TEES mission to foster innovation in research, education and technology transfer that support and aid business and industrial communities, and enhance the economic development of Texas and the nation," said Banks.