Intersection of metallurgy and electronics


Four Steps to Turn Your Idea Into a Business – The Simple Dollar

This post is very useful if you are thinking about having and running your own business. It is worth a read if you need to come up with a decision as to whether or how to turn your idea into business:

7 Ways Women Can Thrive In A Male-Dominated Workplace – Forbes

Women of diverse backgrounds have much added difficulties in going up the career ladder and obviously experience higher level of stress in male dominated environments. Although it is a reality of our lives, It is very important that we stay focused rather than distracted by our complex emotions while confronting the stress of working as a double-bind minority. We should take the time to reflect on our situation every now and then to not to lose the sight of our career goals. We should remind ourselves that we are all human with our own vulnerabilities and it is absolutely ok to take the time to stitch ourselves back up if needed. Below article adds a few more to this reminding list:

Stress Corrosion Cracking: My New Baby

I recently started to work on a new project related to stress corrosion cracking or in short SCC. For me new projects equal with a lot of happy moments as I have to overcome a lot of challenges initially (needless to say that I belong to that spectrum in which people strive for challenge). One of the challenges is obviously and naturally about learning stuff and based on evidence learning and Serotonin level in my brain are directly linked making me feel happy.



To show appreciation for the source of my happiness then, I am sharing here some basics about my project and generally SCC, a serious engineering problem intimidating mainly nuclear power, chemical, oil and gas industries. In my case, my project deals with SCC in gas pipeline so I will go through the basics of SCC in gas pipelines.

Interaction of a reactive environment and a susceptible material with tensile stresses lead to crack initiation and growth and eventually (catastrophic) failure. This phenomenon in which three requirements of environment, material and stress has to be met in order for failure to occur is called stress corrosion cracking (SCC). SCC is different from corrosion as in the latter the element of stress is not required for failure to occur. In fact, SCC can occur at instances where varieties of corrosion protection strategies has been applied on the buried energy pipelines. Gas pipelines are manly made of low carbon steel possessing low cost and suitable mechanical properties though with low corrosion resistance. To mitigate the low corrosion resistance, cathodic protection in conjunction with coating is applied. The aim of cathodic protection is to catholically polarize the surface of pipeline in contact with soil. In other words, the surface of the pipeline is covered with electric current (free electrons) converting active metal surface (anodic sites) to passive or cathodic sites. Coating is also applied to further mitigate corrosion by blocking the contact between soil and the pipe surface. However, interestingly enough, application of coating and cathodic protection although preventing one type can lead to another type of damage known as SCC. To explain the mechanism through which the SCC occurs I need to the categorize SCC phenomenon first.

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Another difference between high-PH SCC and near-neutral SCC is the contribution of temperature. In high-PH SCC, temperature has a role to play and that is why high-PH SCC is normally detected immediately downstream of compressor stations where high temperature is more likely. In contrast, near-neutral SCC can be detected well away from the compressor stations, as it is independent of temperature.Generally, there are two types of SCC damage in the gas pipeline system, so-called high-PH SCC and near-neutral SCC. High-PH SCC is a more classical version of SCC in the energy pipelines discovered from mid-1960s while the latter was not documented until mid-1980s (mainly in Canada). In both cases, localized disbondment of the coating is the source of the damage. However in high-PH SCC, the cathodic current reaches the pipeline inside the disbondment while in near-neutral SCC exactly opposite occurs and cathodic current does not reach inside the disbondment because of the shielding effect of the coating or the soil surrounding the pipe. The area under the disbondment could be filled with solutions from the surrounding environment (which act as a corrosive environment on the surface of steel) and whether or not cathodic current reach the solution under disbondment determine the PH of the corrosive environment. Nevertheless, the reaction between the corrosive environment and pipeline steel generates pits and if these generated pits reach to a critical size and depth can act as stress concentration sites leading to crack initiations. The stress required for SCC to occur can be directly applied (hoop stress) or residual in nature (introduced by cold forming, welding, pipe resistance to soil movement, heat treatment, etc).

There are also differences in the mechanisms through which these two types of SCC develops, but I’m not going through that in this post and I might write a separate post around the mechanism later in the future. But a distinct feature in terms of failure analysis is that in high-PH SCC crack normally propagates inter-granular (along grain boundaries) while in near-neutral SCC crack propagates trans-granular (crossing grains).



It is time to act on gender equality more seroiusly

Recent heartbreaking terrorist attack in Orlando is not merely a result of gun laws in the United States. Don’t take me wrong, I am not supporting the right to possess arms in the US. I am not going to point my finger to Islam either. The problem is not religion related.  The cause of such vast hatred is far more fundamental than passing additional gun control laws or militarized counterterrorism operations to control the hatred acts.

Gender equality is probably not near the top of your list, nor it is something people even think about it when it comes to terrorism  and hatred. But as a matter of fact, research investigating the roots of terrorism have found a strong correlation between terrorism and exclusion and inequality (For example, refer to the work of Caprioli). The role of gender equality in global security and peace is further underscored by UN Security Council resolution 1325 where economic and political empowerment of women worldwide is a foundation to fight against terrorism.

‘Women make up half the world’s population but earn only 10% of the world’s income. This leads to greater vulnerability of women, lower standards of living, inequality and injustice. A direct consequence of which could be raising vulnerable family  with a strong feeling of discrimination and marginalisation. In contrast, empowering women will allow them to have an equal voice with self-confidence providing them with appropriate tools to contribute to a happier, healthier and highly educated family and community. In addition, if women reach their full economic potential, the global economy could benefit up to 12$ trillions by 2025. This potentially reduce  poverty considerably around the globe. Needless to say, poverty, discrimination and marginalisation could be the root cause of  anger and hatred motivating people to commit such devastating acts in the sought of lost happiness and empowerment. it is not to say that all poor or marginalized people will go around killing but the impact of inequality and exclusion is huge and the world cannot afford not to pay attention to it any longer.

Isn’t it really the time to turn the focus of preventing efforts on equality as a precondition to a healthier, prosperous and peaceful world rather than responding hatred with hatred or military strategies?

Culturally Diverse Women in STEMM: Smashing Two Ceilings

Going up the career ladder in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) is indeed hard. Even harder if you are a woman and hardest when you are a woman of diverse background. A significant proportion of graduates in western countries are culturally diverse women, many of them amongst our top performers; but this is […]

From the page of Paola Elefante: Lego stay-at-home dad: a reflection on role and hidden bias

Few days ago, Lego Group presented some new figurines which depicted a father caring for an infant baby, along with the mother in an office outfit. The goal is to “mirror the world we live in today,” Lego says. I came across the news through one of the major Italian newspaper, La Repubblica. The title, translated…

Remarkably Simple: how sharing the stories of women in science can bring people together

“It has been hard for me, therefore it will have to be hard for you and I won’t help you with any of it.” I can still hear my Honours supervisor telling me this, when I asked her about her journey as a scientist. She was one of the very few female group leaders in […]

Lessons of Moore’s Law Guide Intel Internet of Things

I ran into this fascinating Post today. It is about how Moore’s law has paved the path for the emergence of IoT (internet of things), a breakthrough technology, which is on its way to revolutionise our lives even further. It also reminded me of another fascinating articles titled: “Multiple lives of Moore’s law” by Chris Mack. If you are fascinated by technology and wonder about its boundaries / limits, I strongly recommend reading these articles. 

Childcare in academia: hall of fame

Balancing family and work, childcare requirement while travelling for work and flexibile family friendly work arrangement are concerns of all working mothers/families. If you are like me and my husband and prefer to travel with kids, this is a nice post listing family friendly conferences for mothers/fathers who need or want to travel with their kids. I am aware that this list is in the process of expanding further. Let’s keep all our fingers and toes crossed for the day when all conferences and events provide kids friendly facilities.