Alex Howard

Protecting against corrosion is essential in the steel industry, which manufactures high-quality products used in sectors such as construction, packaging, aerospace and aircraft, and the car industry. 

So it was a major breakthrough when Dr Alex Harold, a Tata Steel UK engineering doctorate student at Swansea University, managed to develop an environmentally friendly and robust new anti-corrosion coating for steel. 

Her research identified that proteins derived from soil bacteria repel water (making them, in effect, waterproof) and could be used to develop a new, more environmentally-friendly coating, without any loss in performance compared to alternative coatings used by industry.