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Postdoc Spotlight: Zineb Belarbi conducts research on pipeline corrosion

From staff reports | Sep 23, 2015

In honor of National Postdoc Appreciation Week Sept. 21-25, the Office of Research Communications is spotlighting Ohio University postdoctoral fellows across campus.

Zineb Belarbi is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology (ICMT), Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. She works with Marc Singer, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, and Fernando Farelas, project leader of the Top of the Line Corrosion (TLC) project at the ICMT. A native of Algeria, she earned a doctoral degree in process engineering and advanced technology at the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, France, before joining Ohio University.

Belarbi recently participated in a Q&A for the Office of Research Communications.

Zineb Belarbi
Zineb Belarbi. Photo by Jean Andrews/Ohio University.

Please tell us about your research, scholarship or creative work.

Dr. Singer has given me the opportunity to work on several projects at ICMT. One of our research projects is focused on the study of volatile corrosion inhibitors for Top of the Line Corrosion (TLC), a difficult problem found in wet natural gas pipelines made from mild steel in the oil and gas industry. Water vapor condensation causes an internal corrosion attack through dissolved CO 2 and condensed organic acids. The objective of our research was to investigate novel methods and mechanisms of corrosion inhibition of TLC under various operating conditions, which requires good understanding of chemical and electrochemical aspects of the problem, development and application of innovative electrochemical techniques and modeling tools. Simultaneously, I have been studying the properties of an adsorbed corrosion inhibitor on mica using in-situ atomic force microscopy.

How long have you been a postdoctoral fellow, and what are your primary responsibilities in your lab, program or team?

I have been working at ICMT for 18 months. My primary responsibilities are designing and developing experiments, data analysis and writing papers, as well as mentoring undergraduate and graduate students.

How does your postdoc position benefit you and how will it help you in your career?

Working as a postdoc at ICMT has given me the chance to get up-to-date on current research as well as take the time to learn several different things related to research. Additional benefits include the ability to develop a new or underdeveloped area of expertise, time to transition from student to professional, and the opportunity to gain a general “portfolio of experience” that may make applying for a faculty position a bit easier later on.

How do university research programs benefit from postdocs?

Postdocs can help faculty members make progress on research projects, mentor students, maintain equipment and facilities and help secure funding. Postdocs are researchers who dedicate their time and energy to research and publication, which benefits the university by increasing its visibility and reputation on the national and international levels.