The University of Alaska Anchorage's engineering program is getting a big boost from oil giant BP in the form of a $1 million gift, meant to start a corrosion research laboratory.
The space will be designed to cultivate the first generation of home-grown corrosion problem-solvers.
“It’s an investment in the future and it’s an investment that we believe will pay out over time,” said BP Alaska president John Minge following a ceremony, Monday.
Minge said few, if any, corrosion experts call Alaska home. It’s the company’s goal to help raise a generation of engineers who’ll stick around and help fix some of the structural problems which have plagued older pipelines on the North Slope, Minge said.
“Right now we’re dealing with a Pinto that we’re trying to keep running for as long as we can,” said UAA professor Matt Cullin, talking about the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
“In the future we’re just going to need more resources, more corrosion engineers to keep this running,” he said.
The corrosion lab, which will be named after BP and bear its logo, is set to open in fall 2012.
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