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Connecting Science to Typical Engineering Problems: An Effective Pedagogy to Teach Complex and Diverse Concepts in Corrosion

Dr V. S. Raja | Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

Connecting Science to Typical Engineering Problems: An Effective Pedagogy to Teach Complex and Diverse Concepts in Corrosion

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The discipline materials science and engineering is not the prime choice of the subject of engineering education for students who enter university after their higher secondary education in India. The subject neither adds glamour nor does pay higher compared to the other branches of engineering to choose materials engineering as professional career. When it comes to the subject of corrosion, it is the last option for a student to study. The subject doesn�t fascinate as much as the ones related to biosciences, nanosciences, electronic materials and the like. In stark contrast, if one is to talk to practicing engineers it would be easy to realize that they have great appreciation to the subject of corrosion and feel that it wasn�t emphasized in the curriculum when they studied. So it becomes imperative that conventional subjects are not only emphasized in engineering curriculum but taught in a way that their importance is realized. Teaching a multidisciplinary course such as corrosion science and engineering has some inherent problems. Addressing corrosion issues requires that a person acquires adequate understanding of electrochemistry, metallurgy and design related issues. The science and engineering of these three subjects are somewhat mutually exclusive although there are intertwined in any typical corrosion failure. The industrial conditions are so divorce that addressing a corrosion problem is possible not only when fundamentals of electrochemistry and metallurgy is understood but also the relationships between the two are appreciated. However, most non-chemistry and even a few chemistry students consider the electrochemical concepts such as polarization �repelling� though it is one of the key sciences that govern the most forms of industrial corrosion failures. So it is imperative to illustrate, with typical industrial corrosion failures, as to how the electrochemistry is connected to corrosion failures to emphasis the need for understanding this subject, and the same must be done with respect learning the required metallurgy and or design for understanding corrosion phenomena. The talk will highlight the pedagogy adopted by the author for teaching corrosion science engineering to undergraduates and postgraduates.