A Diamond Anniversary
NACE celebrates a rich and dynamic 60-year history in
By Gretchen A. Jacobson
Materials Performance Managing Editor
Built upon decades of knowledge and expertise
from dedicated members all over
the world, NACE International is involved
in every industry and area of corrosion
prevention and control, from
chemical processing and water systems
to transportation and infrastructure protection.
At the time the Association was established, however,
it was solely focused on the field of cathodic
protection (CP) for pipelines.
|The Founding 11
The following engineers established NACE 60 years ago:
B. Bond, Texas Pipe Line Co.
R.A. Brannon,(A) Humble Pipe Line Co.
D. Holsteyn, Shell Oil Co., Inc.
F.J. McElhatton,(B) Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line
M.C. Miller, Ebasco Services, Inc.
O.C. Mudd,(C) Shell Oil Co., Inc.
W.P. Noser, Humble Pipe Line Co.
G.R. Olson,(D) United Gas Corp.
W.F. Rogers,(E) Gulf Oil Corp.
J.A. South, The Texas Co.
H.W. Wahlquist, Ebasco Services, Inc.
(A) President, 1943-1946
(B) President, 1946-1947
(C) Treasurer, 1943-1950
(D) President, 1947-1948
(E) President, 1953-1954
The Founding of NACE
Little was known about the science of corrosion
control at the beginning of the 20th Century,
but by the 1930s, significant strides had been
made and CP had come into widespread use to
control corrosion on underground pipelines. This
generated well-founded concern about potential
damage to adjacent structures from stray current.
It soon became apparent that a dedicated organization
was needed to serve as a clearinghouse
for information about underground operations
and to establish standard procedures for installing
and maintaining CP systems. This led to the
formation of the Houston, Texas-based Mid-Continent
Cathodic Protection Association in 1938.
In 1940, the Petroleum Industry Electrical Association
(PIEA) offered to sponsor the work of this
group, which then became the PIEA Cathodic
Section. Members of this section soon determined
the value of forming a separate association
dedicated specifically to corrosion and its
control. On October 9, 1943, 11 corrosion engineers
agreed to found this endeavor, and the
National Association of Corrosion Engineers
The fledgling organization was led by President
R.A. Brannon, Vice President F.J.
McElhatton, Secretary-Treasurer O.C. Mudd, and
Directors G. Gorfield, G.R. Olson, R. Pope, W.F.
Rogers, and L.R. Sheppard. By the time it was
officially incorporated under Texas law as a not
for-profit technical association in 1945, NACE had
268 members. Formation of local sections was authorized
that year, with the Houston Section being
the first to form in 1946. The South Central
and Western Regions were established in 1946,
followed by the Southeast and North Central Regions
in 1947. By the end of the 1940s, NACE
had five regions, 17 sections, and more than 1,700
Left to right: 1947/1948 NACE officers G.R. Olson, President; F.L.
LaQue, Vice President; and O.C. Mudd, Treasurer.
NACE also began broadening its scope during
its formative years, expanding from purely a CP
and pipeline focus to the oil and gas production,
chemical process, and refining industries, as well
as other methods of corrosion control that included
protective coatings and linings, chemical treatment,
and materials selection and design. This,
along with increasing public knowledge and concern
about the costly and damaging effects of corrosion,
served to fuel impressive membership
growth throughout subsequent years. Today,
NACE, renamed NACE International, The Corrosion
Society in 1993, has five areas and 62 sections
in North America, four international regions
with 20 sections, and a total of more than 15,000
members from 91 countries around the world.
"Prior to 1904 not more than
half a dozen men in this country
were devoting much of their time
to this subject. Now the study
and control of corrosion provides
work for several hundred
engineers and investigators."
Frank N. Speller, "Corrosion
Research and Abatement Yesterday and Today",
One of the primary driving forces for forming
NACE was the need to develop corrosion control
technologies and to document them for use
in industry. Two technical committees were established
in 1944 to make headway in the areas
of condensate well corrosion and galvanic anode
testing. These committees were soon merged
into the newly established NACE Technical Practices
Committee (TPC) under the leadership of
R.B. Mears. The TPC grew rapidly, by 1949 it
comprised 13 subcommittees encompassing all
methods of corrosion control and prevention.
The number grew to 19 subcommittees before
reorganization in 1954 to combine them into several
group committees. The evolution of the TPC
is documented in L. Perrigo's book, A History of
the NACE Technical Practices Committee and
Technical Committees, which was released in
1993 to coincide with NACE's 50th Anniversary.
The Northeast Region May meeting planners at the 1955 NACE
The TPC generated numerous technical reports
in the 1950s and early 1960s. In 1966, the
Board of Directors approved the Association's
next step toward becoming a standards-writing
organization to document emerging corrosion
control technologies and how they should be
used. By 1969, NACE completed and issued two
standards: TM0169, "Laboratory Corrosion Testing
of Metals for the Process Industries", and RP0169,
"Control of External Corrosion on Underground
or Submerged Metallic Piping Systems."
Three decades later, NACE offers 118 standards,
including recommended practices, test methods,
and materials requirements, with another 42 currently
under development. There also are 60 current
reports, with 22 more under development.
The TPC held its first Technical Committee
Week (now called Fall Committee Week) in 1970
in Dallas, Texas, which attracted 260 members in
50 technical groups that held 146 meetings, two
TPC sessions, and three Headquarters training sessions
as well as other gatherings and events. Today,
more than 1,500 NACE members participate
in the activities of more than 250 technical committees.
Fall Committee Week remains their traditional
workweek, with most committees also meeting
at Annual Conference each spring.
The TPC underwent a significant reorganization
in 2000 that was designed to speed up standards
development, reduce the number of administrative
meetings, simplify information exchange, and
make it easier to develop joint standards across
NACE subcommittees and other associations. Led
by the Technical Coordination Committee (TCC),
the technical committees now are organized by
Specific Technology Groups (STGs) that sponsor
Task Groups (TGs) and Technology Exchange
Groups (TEGs). There are 31 STGs, 148 TGs, and
102 TEGs in operation today.
NACE's first annual meeting was held April 10
to 12, 1944, at the Rice Hotel in Houston. There
were 250 attendees and the proceedings included
25 papers. As with membership, conference
attendance swelled steadily in ensuing
years, reaching 2,000 participants in the mid-
1950s and 3,000 in the mid-1970s. The record
for conference total registration was 6,747, set
in Houston in 2001; the second-largest attendance
was 6,447 at CORROSION/98 in San Diego.
Annual Conference returns to San Diego in
March 2003. Approximately 500 papers will be
presented in 36 technical symposia, 235 technical
and administrative committee meetings will
be held, and 350 companies will exhibit from
more than 600 booths at NACExpo/2003.
Annual Banquet attendees at the
first NACE Annual Conference, held April 10 to 12, 1944, at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas.
Recipients of the prestigious NACE Awards have
been honored at Annual Conferences since 1947,
when the first two awards were named for and
given to W.R. Whitney and F.N. Speller. Additional
awards were established in 1953 (A.B.
Campbell), 1973 (R.A. Brannon), and 1987 (T.J.
Hull). Distinguished Service and Technical
Achievement Awards honor outstanding contributions
to the Association and the field of corrosion
control. On the occasion of its 50th Anniversary,
NACE created two new categories of
awards: NACE Fellow and Distinguished Organization
Highlights from the evolution of NACE periodicals.
CORROSION journal debuted in March 1945 as
the official publication of NACE to provide a
permanent record of the papers prepared for the
Association at meetings and annual conferences,
and from other editorial sources. The journal was
produced by I.M. Parker, Editor; E. Sterrett, Managing
Editor; and C. McNeese, Business Manager.
Its frequency changed from quarterly to monthly
in 1946, and in 1949 the size was changed from
6 by 9 inches to the standard 8 1/2 by 11 inches.
The publication contained several technical articles,
editorials, abstracts from other corrosion
papers, information about Association activities,
and a roster of NACE members.
In 1961, the NACE Board of Directors approved
a recommendation by the Publications
Committee to separate theoretical from practical
papers, and in 1962, NACE became a two journal
society. Materials Protection became the
official NACE membership magazine and CORROSION,
under the editorship of M.G. Fontana, became
primarily a scientific journal. Parker served
as Editor of Materials Protection, stating in a February
1962 editorial, Today's communications
problems demand more strenuous efforts and
different solutions than those which were satisfactory
as recently as five years ago this magazine
is one effort NACE is making to obtain more
attention to useful data.
Materials Protection became Materials Protection
and Performance in 1970 as an interim
step toward the ultimate plan of changing the
title to Materials Performance. This occurred in
1974. Then-editor H. Godard wrote, "I am all for
the shorter name, but it's what's inside that really
counts - papers in MP will continue to be
practical and will be selected to be useful." In
1999 MP underwent a redesign and editorial overhaul
in response to reader needs for an even
wider selection of shorter articles emphasizing
practical, hands-on experiences that can help
them in their jobs. Today, MP is sent to more
than 16,000 corrosion professionals each month.
The early 1960s also saw a departure of the
Corrosion Abstracts department from CORROSION
journal. These were subsequently published in a
quarterly journal entitled Corrosion Abstracts
(COR*AB), edited by H. Byars. COR*AB was
eventually sold to Cambridge Scientific and can
be accessed online. CORROSION, with a current subscription
base of about 3,500, became available
online in 1998. Subscribers
have free access to this
searchable database of articles
dating back to 1993.
NACE also has an extensive
that covers all fields of
corrosion control. One of
the corrosion industry's
most popular books, Control
of Pipeline Corrosion by
A.S. Peabody, was originally
published in 1967 and was
updated and revised in 1999.
The current NACE Products
Guide lists more than 460
NACE and third-party books, as well as numerous
software products, standards, and training
Education and Training
Early on, NACE leaders recognized the critical
need for education and training programs to benefit
anyone involved in the prevention and control
of corrosion. One of the earliest educational efforts
sponsored by NACE was a 1949 short course at
the University of Texas at Austin that was designed
for people who dealt with corrosion problems in
industry but did not have the background or experience
to do so efficiently. NACE developed its first
formal educational course in the late 1960s Basic
Corrosion-which was initially offered as a
correspondence course. The material was then
formatted as a 4-day course and first offered by the
Houston Section in 1971. Two years later, the
course had been held 40 times at various sites.
More than 500 people attend this course each year,
and it has been available on CD-ROM since 1999.
"Mars Fontana once said that solving a
corrosion problem involved 25% knowledge,
50% experience, and 25% luck. By attendance
at NACE national meetings you can increase
your knowledge and make a circle of friends
and acquaintances, many of whom will share
their experience with you when you most need
it for a crisis in your own company."
Hugh P. Godard, Editor, February 1974 MP
Throughout the years, NACE developed 30
more courses focusing on such areas as CP, protective
coatings and linings, materials selection and
design, and corrosion fundamentals. Several of
these are now available on CD-ROM and in other
In 1962, the debut issue of MP announced a
breakthrough NACE program allowing individuals
working in the field of corrosion to obtain professional recognition
for their skills and
Board of Directors
adopted the following
of a corrosion engineer
as the basis
for this recognition:
for such designation
to the Board of Review
that he is a legally
Canada, Mexico, or the United States; and in addition
thereto, present satisfactory evidence to the
Board that he has a minimum of four years in responsible
charge of corrosion engineering work
of a character satisfactory to the Board. After some
modification, a recognition program was made
available in 1964 to members who were qualified
in one or more phases of corrosion work. About
1,500 members were recognized at that time.
A decade later, NACE established its accreditation
program with four levels: Corrosion Specialist,
Senior Corrosion Technologist, Technician, and
Specialist-in-Training. In 1980 the Corrosion Technologist
category was added and the Specialist-in-Training was dropped in 1991. The world renowned
Coating Inspector Program was developed
in the 1980s in response to a request from
Group Committee T-6 on Protective Coatings for a
certification program to upgrade the coatings industry.
By 1985, NACE changed the terminology
in its older accreditation program to certification
and began adding certification in specialty fields.
All categories have requirements for work experience
in the field of corrosion and passing of examinations
as well as signing a NACE attestation
concerning professionalism. To date, there are
more than 10,000 persons certified or recognized
NACE Public Affairs has been at the heart of efforts
to promote the Association, educate society
about the importance of corrosion control, and
incorporate NACE standards into government regulations.
The U.S. Federal Government and more
than 40 states reference NACE standards and certification
programs in their regulations, most commonly
in the fields of oil and gas, hazardous wastes,
and water/waste water. The most frequently cited
standards are RP0285, Corrosion Control of Underground
Storage Tank Systems by Cathodic Protection;
RP0169, Control of External Corrosion
on Underground and Submerged Metallic Piping
Systems; and TM0169, Laboratory Corrosion
Testing of Metals. All are incorporated into the
Code of Federal Regulations.
NACE continues to work with government and
public entities to increase awareness about corrosion
and how its prevention is critical to protect
public safety and the environment and reduce the
large expenses associated with corrosion-induced
damage. NACE sponsored the recently released
study, Corrosion Costs and Preventive Strategies
in the United States. Funded by the U.S. Department
of Transportation's U.S. Federal Highway
Administration and conducted by CC Technologies
Laboratories, Inc., the study determined that direct
corrosion costs total $276 billion per year, or 3.1%
of the nation's Gross Domestic Product. It determined
that significant savings could be incurred
by using available corrosion control technologies
and best engineering practices.
Public Affairs has closely followed sweeping
changes in pipeline safety legislation over the past
few years and sponsored several highly successful
pipeline integrity management seminars in the U.S.
and Canada last year. More activities are planned
to keep those in the pipeline industry informed
and knowledgeable about regulations and technologies
for corrosion control just as the 11
NACE founders envisioned back in 1943.
Six Decades of Member-Driven Success
Highlights from the evolution of the NACE logo.
The structure of NACE has grown and changed
over its 60-year history but one thing remains the
same, NACE is driven by its members. The NACE
Board of Directors; Standing and Administrative
Committees; TCC committees; Areas, Regions,
and Sections; and many other active members
provide valuable oversight and input to ensure
that the Association best serves its diverse membership.
NACE leadership is developing a new
Strategic Plan in 2003 that will address the
Association's direction and define its goals and
objectives. In addition to keeping current with
the latest technologies and trends, NACE draws
upon its rich and impressive history as it moves
into the future to fulfill its mission of providing
education and communicating information to
protect people, assets, and the environment from
the effects of corrosion.
Comments from Longtime Members
"NACE has given the corrosion engineer dignity, status, prestige,
education, knowledge, good friends, and the means to
communicate ideas and technology to the community of scientists
and engineers." Harry Hansen, member since 1951
"My first technical committee meetings were a bit overwhelming,
but I was quite impressed at the open interchange
of information and experience. Luckily I had a boss who pushed
me into the activities of some of the technical committees. He
stressed that this was the way to build contacts that would be
important to our company as well as to my professional
growth." Harry Byars, FNACE, member since 1952
"The technical associations and friendships made over the
years have meant a great deal to both my wife and me. These
have been extensive and enduring, and have been both technically
beneficial and personally fulfilling. The ability to interface
with peers on technical problems has been invaluable."
Herbert "Bud" Lawson, FNACE, NACE 1983/1984 Past President
and member since 1950
"The technical committees, to me, are the main raison d'etre
for the society. The main value lies in the personal contacts
and exchange of ideas in the technical committees and hospitality
suites." C.P. Dillon, FNACE, member since 1947
"NACE is a means to become acquainted and work with
many other individuals who have similar interests in an environment
where new ideas can be tried and checked for acceptance."
Lyle Perrigo, FNACE, member since 1965
"My company, Exxon Co. USA, sent me to the Stevens Institute
of Technology to take a Basic Corrosion Course. One of
the course perks was a membership in NACE. As a new member
of T-8, the Refinery Corrosion Committee, I was encouraged
to participate. My advice to new and veteran NACE members
is to be active and participate." William "Bill" Neill, Jr.,
FNACE, NACE 1984/1985 Past President and member since