19 February 2003, Luncheon at
Eisenhower Metro Holiday Inn, Alexandria, VA
Eighteen area members and guests including two students braved the snow-snarled traffic to attend a joint ECS-NACE-ASM luncheon meeting at the Eisenhower Metro Holiday Inn in Alexandria, VA, this afternoon, Wednesday, 19 February.
The guest speaker was Dr. Brenda Little, currently a senior scientist for marine molecular processes at the Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS. The attendees needed little introduction to Dr. Little's talk as she is quite well known for her work in Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion. This afternoon's presentation on "Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion in Humid Environments" which emphasized recent work in fungi as a particularly versatile kind of biology, not requiring liquid water, thriving in 65% relative humididty was, as usual, very intriguing.
The term microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) is used to designate corrosion due to the presence and activities of microorganisms. Microorganisms can accelerate rates of partial reactions in corrosion processes and/or shift the mechanism for corrosion. Most laboratory and field MIC studies have focused on bacterial involvement in aqueous environments; however in humid atmospheric conditions, fungi dominate the microflora. Dr. Little presented some examples of fungal influenced corrosion, emphasizing the environmental conditions contributing to the proliferation of fungi and mechanisms for the resulting corrosion.
In addition to her position at NRL, Dr. Little holds adjunct faculty positions at both the University of Southern Mississippi and Montana State University. She has an extensive publication list and has been awarded for her outstanding research; most recently, she received the NRL Alan Berman Research Publication Award (2002). Dr. Little received her B.S. in Biology/Chemistry from Baylor University in 1967 and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Tulane University in 1983.