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OHIO corrosion engineering students bring home international conference’s top awards

Megan Reed | Apr 10, 2017
Portrait of doctoral student Saba Navabzadeh

OHIO corrosion engineering students bring home international conference’s top awards

Megan Reed | Apr 10, 2017

Four Russ College chemical engineering graduate students with the Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology (ICMT) have received top awards from the NACE International, the largest worldwide professional organization in corrosion engineering, while attending the annual CORROSION conference in New Orleans from March 26-30.

Doctoral student Saba Navabzadeh Esmaeely received the Outstanding Student Award, given to just two student members each year. Having also received her master’s degree from the Russ College, Navabzadeh Esmaeely has researched at the ICMT since 2011, after working as a pipe and materials engineer for an oil and gas company in Iran.

“On a daily basis, I would see how corrosion impacted the company’s production and the environment,” she said. “I have a passion for the environment, and one of the concerns was how we could minimize corrosion to prevent spilling or explosions.”

Serious pipeline corrosion can lead to dangerous situations, spills and production interruptions, with significant human, environmental and economic cost. The direct cost of corrosion is estimated at $276 billion annually, or about three percent of the U.S. GDP, according to a study from NACE.

Russ Professor of Chemical Engineering and ICMT Director Srdjan Nesic has advised Navabzadeh Esmaeely through both her master’s and doctoral degrees and said her research has a positive impact and will contribute to safe operation of oil and gas transportation facilities.

“Oil and gas are parts of our lives, whether we like it or not. They’re used to produce energy, to pave roads, they’re used to make plastics, they’re everywhere,” he said. “We help the industry stay safe, by preventing spills and larger catastrophes.”

At the conference’s student poster award session, doctoral student Shujun Gao took first place for the Marcel Pourbaix Prize for Corrosion Science.

“I feel so happy that my work can be recognized by NACE. I’m working on hydrogen sulfide corrosion at high temperatures, and this is an extremely difficult and dangerous area,” Gao said. “Now I have more confidence to explore more.”

Doctoral student Aria Kahyarian received the Graduate Student Book Award, a $1,500 award given to students so they can expand their corrosion libraries, and master’s student Yathish Kurapati received the Outstanding Student Poster Award from STG 34, a NACE committee focusing on petroleum refining and gas processing.