Nation’s first corrosion engineering baccalaureate graduates


corrosion engineering group

Here are members of UA's first class of baccalaureate graduates in corrosion engineering. In the front row, from left, are Dr. George K. Haritos, dean of the College of Engineering, Jacob Sines, David Waligorski, David Keith Dahlstein, Kyle Platt, Stephen Ball and Dr. H. Michael Cheung, chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. In the back row, from left, are Dr. Edward Evans, associate professor of chemical engineering and associate chair for education; Ian Coleman, Derek Coy, Stephen Callow and Zackary Lerch. Not Pictured is Timothy Robertson.

Stephen Callow was determined to graduate into a career that would allow him to make an impact on society. As one of the nation’s first baccalaureate graduates in corrosion engineering, he is on the path to solving one of the world’s most “challenging and fascinating problems.” And a most expensive one — it’s estimated that corrosion is a $400 billion per year national problem. 

Callow, of Girard, is one of 10 graduates in the nation’s first such program who will cross the stage at The University of Akron’s commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, in E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall. With degrees in hand, they have jobs awaiting them at employers as diverse as Marathon, ExxonMobil, Hendrickson, Corrpro and BP, and one goes on to graduate school. 

Multidisciplinary approach

Launched in 2010, UA's corrosion engineering program was initiated at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight to prepare corrosion engineers to tackle the nation’s growing corrosion problem by bridging the work of corrosion scientists who research and develop technology with corrosion technicians who apply that technology in the field. The robust co-op program at UA ensures promising career placements.

“We understand both theory and its application. The program here at UA takes a multidisciplinary approach to corrosion, so a graduate from our school is able to work in any industry to solve any corrosion problem,” says Callow, who goes to work for BP Pipelines in Naperville, Ill. “The folks at BP who have championed the UA-BP co-op program have worked really hard to arrange incredible assignments and experiences. The emphasis of the internships has always been to learn as much as possible and I feel lucky to have had such an awesome opportunity.”

Callow completed four co-op assignments with BP America, ranging from its Upstream Engineering Center in Houston to the North Slope of Alaska.

Meeting a growing demand

“The University introduced the corrosion engineering program as a response to one of our nation’s most costly and crippling issues, aging infrastructure, and a growing demand from corporations and potential employers,” said Dr. George Haritos, dean of the College of Engineering. “We are extremely proud to see our students, the country’s first, develop and execute solutions that address corrosion and meet the intentions and expectations of the program and their employers.”

Richard Hays, deputy director of the Department of Defense Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight, will sit on stage at commencement to honor this first class of graduates. 

The graduates are all Ohioans, In addition to Callow, they include: Stephen Ball and Derrick Coy, both of Kingsville; David (Keith) Dahlstein of Clinton; Zackary Lerch of Napoleon; Kyle Platt and Ian Coleman of Brunswick; Timothy Robertson of North Royalton; Jacob Sines of Poland; and David Waligorski of Canal Fulton.

They will be among 3,097 students receiving degrees during five commencement ceremonies, May 8-10.  At the May 9, 2 p.m., ceremony, the featured speaker is Mario Garzia, retired Microsoft partner, mathematician, engineer and proud UA graduate.

Media contacts: Lisa Craig, 330-972-7429 or, or Dan Minnich, 330-972-6476 or