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We want to bring the best practices on Corrosion Prevention to India: NACE, CEO

Adi Singh
Defined as the World’s corrosion authority, NACE International serves nearly 33000 members in 116 countries and is recognized globally as the premier authority for corrosion control solutions. NACE which is the acronym for National Association for Corrosion Engineers was established way back in 1943 by 11 corrosion engineers from the pipeline industry. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the organization offers technical training, certification programs, industry standards and more.
The NACE India gateway section (NIGIS) was established in 1992 and has more than 1000 members. In the recently held Corcon 2014 in Mumbai, NACE International CEO, Mr Bob Chalker spoke exclusively to Vizag Industrial Scan, about NACE international, its mandate on education and the way forward.
Edited excerpts of the interview below.

Could you briefly talk about NACE international?
Sure. NACE is a professional, not for profit association and is the world’s corrosion authority. Its prime focus is on education and formal training in the field of corrosion. The organization addresses everything from technicians that are out in the field to scientists doing research to the executives in the board room.

Could you elaborate on the education bit?
To share some numbers with you NACE international last year did 800 courses and trained over 15000 people around the world in just our formal education program.
Our formal education program is run in 35 countries and NACE International has around 136 chapters across the world.
We have a standard that we set and each chapter has to showcase that they meet that certain standard before associating with us. In regards to India we did about 50 courses in India last year.
We have a foundation that is separate from NACE but under the NACE umbrella which has two programs. One of it teaches Math, Science & technology. It’s currently offered only in the USA and is funded by the industry and reaches about 50000 students. I must also state that we are in talks for bringing it to India too.
We also work at the university level through a variety of initiatives. Some universities have dedicated corrosion programs wherein we help provide education material. Recently the US Department of Defence has issued a grant to NACE. This program is designed to give students a hands on world type of experience. The students will be given a problem to solve and will be done in a competition format. The idea is to give universities around the world an opportunity to expose their students on how to address the issue of corrosion.

How important is India to NACE international?
Very important. India is one of the largest memberships groups we have. It is our largest area for training outside the USA. The immediate past president of NACE international was
Mr. Tushar Jhaveri while Mr. Samir Degan (current NIGIS Chairman) has been on the board so India is an important market for us. We are a global organization but act and serve our members locally. We will continue to invest in conferences and programs like these.

How seriously do Companies take corrosion?

Corrosion is a lot like insurance. If you don’t buy insurance you are at a risk and if you do buy insurance and nothing happens then you regret having paid for it.
A lot of companies approach corrosion like that. And that notion is a mistake because we know something bad is going to happen when you have a steel structure out there. Companies have to realise the fact that corrosion prevention is crucial, hence have to be proactive in preventing it.

What are some of the challenges you see in this industry?
One of things we are a bit challenged by is industry standards. What NACE does is we produce industry consensus standards wherein people come together under the NACE umbrella and develop the best practices to address the problem of corrosion.
Standards have a huge impact on commerce. If you don’t have best standards you will not have the best products.
Hence one of our initiatives is to bring to India the best practices from around the world on how to prevent and stop corrosion. So we are working closely with the Indian government and academics here.

What is the objective for the cost of corrosion study?
The cost of corrosion study which is a two year study will be out in a year and will give more recent figures for the cost of corrosion. One of our biggest drivers in doing this study is to give the corrosion engineer/technician the tools for him explain to his respective business heads (CFOs, business owners etc.) as to why spending on corrosion prevention is paramount. Companies, governments need to take corrosion more seriously as it would help them make good financial decisions.

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