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World-renowned corrosion expert joins Curtin

News story

Curtin University of Technology has added another world-renowned expert to its ranks, with the appointment of Professor Rolf Gubner recently.

Professor Gubner has been named Professor of Corrosion Chemistry and Director of the Western Australian Corrosion Research Group, a new position funded by energy companies Woodside Petroleum and Chevron Australia.

In 2003 the International Biographical Centre in the United Kingdom named Professor Gubner Scientist of the Year, and he is Vice-President elect for the European Federation of Corrosion.

The Hamburg native said he was looking forward to beginning his work at Curtin’s new Resources & Chemistry Precinct.

‘Curtin is putting a lot of money into corrosion science.’

‘We have two major sponsors in Woodside and Chevron, so the whole environment and climate is just fantastic for doing research.’

Professor Gubner said there was a huge demand for corrosion scientists and engineers, with some universities in Europe closing down their chemistry departments due to a lack of student interest.

‘Woodside and Chevron have basically said they want me at Curtin to establish undergraduate courses for engineers and scientists across the board so they can actually employ these people,’ he said.

‘And they would also like Curtin to develop post-graduate courses such as a master’s course, or to be able to send people here to be trained and then go back to industry.’

According to Professor Gubner corrosion causes every country to lose three to four percent of their gross national product, from repairing corrosion damage to maintenance.

‘So it’s quite a significant sum of money that gets lost, and about half of that could be avoided with proper education and people who simply know what to do at the right point.’

The undergraduate courses are planned to begin in 2011.

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