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CTC attracts international talent for research staff stays

The CTC Technology Centre has become very attractive to researchers from other innovation or knowledge centres thanks to its research capacities in specific areas, such as marine corrosion, along with its marked commercial vocation and its unique facilities for testing specific projects.

This is Rosa Griñón’s case, a PhD student from the University of Leicester, who spent two months researching in the only technology centre in the region. “Being at the CTC has allowed me to advance enormously in my PhD studies at an experimental level” she explains. “Collaborations like this broaden your knowledge and bring new perspectives into the research at hand”.

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MCTS El Bocal

Griñón is currently working on a thesis co-directed by the University of Leicester and TWI Ltd. on the behaviour of some metallic coatings when subjected to corrosion in marine environments. The researcher is analysing the corrosion protection mechanism offered by certain metallic coatings obtained by thermal projection, such as aluminium. This coating can be used on structures such as bridges, oil rigs or windmills, thus extending their operating life. “With this, we could design an adequate protection system according to the environmental conditions surrounding the structure” she says. “Controlling variables such as salinity, temperature or pressure translates into economic savings, a reduction in repairs and, above all, less risk of catastrophe or casualties due to the aggressiveness of the marine environment”.

Rob Thornton (University of Leicester), Shiladitya Paul (TWI/University of Leicester) and Álvaro Rodríguez (CTC) are in charge of overseeing this project that has found a great ally in the Marine Laboratory MCTS El Bocal. “There is nothing similar neither in Leicester nor in TWI” argues the researcher. “Extensive and detailed studies can be conducted on the exposure of the samples in the marine environment thanks to the three test conditions made available by these facilities.”

Rosa Griñón’s stay, which has also allowed DEGIMA to improve its capabilities in the aluminium metallisation technique, has been no exception for the CTC Technological Centre. In fact, a few months ago, the centre welcomed another researcher from the Scottish University of Dundee. On this occasion, he aimed to deepen his knowledge of cavitation. This type of collaboration -brought about thanks to CTC’s excellent relationship with other European research agents- allows the region’s only technology centre to increase its capacities in certain areas as well as strengthen its network of continental contacts. In this case, the collaboration established by CTC with TWI in the execution of the ACORN project has served as a basis to materialise this training period.

In like manner, in Rosa Griñón’s particular case, her stay at CTC has opened the door for her return to Spain after two years out of the country. “It is always a personal challenge to start from scratch in an unknown environment such as Santander and CTC” says the scientist. “However, it has been an absolute pleasure for me to be here both personally and professionally”.