Corrosion @ Manchester

In 1956 the Manchester College of Science and Technology (also the Faculty of Technology of the Victoria University of Manchester through which body the College awarded degrees) gained its Royal Charter. Vivian Bowden, the Principal of the College, invited Professor Frank Morton and T.K. (Ken) Ross to move from Birmingham and establish a new department of chemical engineering bringing together the College’s existing interests in applied chemistry.

Ross had become aware of corrosion problems in industry around 1947 during his PhD in London and was amongst the first to recognise that the adverse impact of corrosion on industry also directly affected everyday life by increasing costs and reducing service life. After moving to Manchester, Ross established a new and vibrant research activity within the new Department of Chemical Engineering concerned with the study and practical prevention of corrosion in the chemical and process industries. In 1966, the Manchester College of Science and Technology gained its Royal Charter as the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). 

The Hoar Report

In 1968 Ken Ross was invited by T.P (Sam) Hoar (its chair at the University of Cambridge) to join the Committee on Corrosion and its Prevention established by Tony Benn. In February 1971, the committee reported its conclusions that the cost of materials degradation amounted to around 3% of the UK’s Gross National Product annually and that around one-quarter of this sum could be saved by the application of known technologies. Amongst the committee’s recommendations were the establishment of a National Corrosion Service, to undertake forensic analysis of corrosion failures and provide supporting advice to industry, and the expansion of research and teaching in the subject of corrosion at university level.

Corrosion and Protection Centre