Stephen Dexter quips that his knowledge "gets rustier everyday." The University of Delaware professor, an expert on marine corrosion and control, will share this knowledge as part of the Lewes public lecture series sponsored by the Graduate College of Marine Studies (CMS). The free lecture, "Corrosion Control vs. Environmental Protection: A Tug of War," will be held at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 24.
"Annually billions of dollars are lost to marine corrosion. The affected structures include bridges and oil platforms as well as ships," says Dexter. "Biofouling, the excessive growth of aquatic organisms, contributes to the decay. A conflict arises between protecting against this expensive corrosion and biofouling and the negative impact that some protective measures have on the environment."
The scientist explains that many antifouling coatings, such as those that contain mercury, have been banned because of their dire effects on the environment. Meanwhile, industries are paying an enormous price in replacing corroded structures and in trying to keep biofouling and corrosion under control. The cost ultimately gets passed on to the consumer.
Dexter has been a professor of applied marine biology and materials science at the University of Delaware since 1976. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering and a doctorate in applied science, metallurgy from the University of Delaware. After completing his degrees, he spent five years at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where he began his research on corrosion and biofouling.
Dexter was one of the first marine scientists to begin studying how the processes of chemical corrosion and biofouling influence each other. His main research areas include marine corrosion and the influence of microorganisms and microbial films on corrosion electrochemistry.
In addition to his research, Dexter teaches courses on biological interactions at surfaces, corrosion measurements and mechanisms, and corrosion and corrosion control. He also acts as an advisor for graduate students and undergraduate summer interns.
Active in professional societies, Dexter is a long-term member of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), International, and has served on the board of directors and on several of NACE's committees. He also is a member of the American Society of Metals, International, and has served on the editorial board of Corrosion Journal since 1988.
Dexter's lecture will begin at 7 p.m., June 24, in Room 104, Cannon Laboratory, at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus, 700 Pilottown Road, Lewes. The hour-long talk will be followed by light refreshments. While the lecture is free and open to the public, seating is limited and reservations are required. To reserve your seat for Dexter's presentation, please contact the college at (302) 645-4279. For more information, visit the college's Web site at www.ocean.udel.edu.