Engineering courses must focus more on metallurgy, says NCH Europe

- Leadership - Jul 21, 2017

NCH Europe is putting pressure on higher education institutions to focus more on metallurgy studies within engineering degrees, in order to help the industrial sector to tackle costly problems relating to rust and corrosion.

Metallurgy courses allow students to better understand the chemical compositions and behaviours of metals and alloys, but their popularity has declined recently. There are now less than 20 metallurgy courses in the UK, but understanding of metals is more important than ever to combat plant management issues.

The cost of metal corrosion damage accounts for around three percent of every European country’s GDP every year, which equaled around £186.3 billion last year alone. This is likely to increase as growing populations drive a rise in mass manufacturing.


Peter Crossen, VP of the Maintenance and Partsmaster Innovation Platform at NCH Europe, said:

“We have seen for many years that rust is becoming an increasingly costly problem for the industrial sector. Many of the costs associated with rust can be easily prevented with a thorough understanding of metals and solutions, yet most engineers have not received an effective education in metallurgy.

“NCH Europe regularly audits businesses to determine the root cause of persistent corrosion problems. We often find that plant and maintenance engineers are using ineffective rust prevention coatings for their applications, resulting in frequent occurrences of corrosion. Better teaching at a degree level will ensure that these incidents and the costs associated with them are kept to a minimum.”

Skills shortages are a huge and worsening problem in manufacturing; a recent state of engineering report revealed that another 265,000 skilled engineers are required every year to meet demand. NCH Europe believes that a significant number of metallurgists are also required alongside this.

“Most calls for trained engineers are very general and do not clarify the kinds of skills that are most valuable,” continued Crossen. “The rising demand for engineers brings with it an increased relevance for a strong understanding of metallurgy. For engineering businesses such as NCH Europe, this skill set is critical in ensuring the long-term delivery of innovative and effective products.”

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