BP donates $500,000 to corrosion program


Energy industry giant BP has donated $500,000 to The University of Akron College of Engineering to support continued development of UA’s new Corrosion Engineering program.

Housed within the College of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, the Corrosion Engineering program is the nation’s first baccalaureate program of its kind. The program, to begin this fall, will incorporate a multidisciplinary curriculum designed to train engineers to understand and manage the effects of corrosion.

The gift, from BP Exploration’s Inherently Reliable Facilities (IRF) Flagship Technology Program, will be used to develop curriculum, deliver courses to undergraduate and graduate students, and advance workforce development, particularly as it relates to the gas and oil industry.

“We appreciate the vote of confidence that BP has given to this innovative new program,” says Dr. Luis M. Proenza, UA president. “At The University of Akron, we take pride in partnering with industry to create the materials of the future – both literally through groundbreaking research and figuratively by graduating the work force of the future. This generous gift reflects the value of strong public-private partnerships that will seed mutual success.”

Effective corrosion management technologies sought

Simon Webster, vice president for BP’s IRF Program, emphasizes the value BP places on the University’s forthcoming corrosion engineering program. He says as BP’s operations move into more severe environments – deeper reservoirs, higher pressures, higher temperatures, higher fluid velocities – it needs materials and corrosion technologies to perform in these increasingly harsh environments. As oil and gas assets age, he adds, corrosion management becomes crucial to achieving safe, reliable and efficient operation of processing facilities and infrastructure.

“Corrosion control, mitigation and monitoring are significant concerns in our industry,” Webster says. “We recognized that the future success of the IRF program depends on having reliable long-term access to highly specialized materials and corrosion expertise.”

“Corporate support from a leading company such as BP not only recognizes what we are achieving here at Akron in this innovative degree focus, but underscores the importance of putting resources toward the soaring costs of corrosion and its effects on safety and reliability of crucial equipment and infrastructure,” says Dr. George Haritos, dean of UA’s College of Engineering.

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or henryd@uakron.edu.