Deon joined Mintek as a student metallurgical technician in 1991, working through the then parallel course between the Wits Technikon and Industry. After spending 2 years with Columbus Stainless, Deon decided he preferred the research and development environment and returned to Mintek in 2002.
Deon continued his studies while working at Mintek and obtained his B.Tech Degree from University of Johannesburg and a Diploma in Business Management from Wits Business School.
Deon has specialized in materials selection for aggressive plant applications, and regularly undertakes failure investigations, plant audits, benchmarking of alloys and material characterization for industry.
Deon has been associated with the Corrosion Institute for many years, culminating with a term as President from 2007 to 2009.
During his term of Office, Deon took it upon himself to canvass for support for corrosion education at Tertiary level in South Africa. The acute lack of trained corrosion professionals is not only a South African phenomenon, but it is exacerbated by the departure of many of our talented engineers and academics to foreign pastures. This brain-drain coupled with the lack of corrosion related courses at universities has resulted in a generation of engineers who are released into industry with no awareness of corrosion, a problem common to virtually all disciplines of engineering.
Deon has persistently lobbied various government departments in order to bring this issue to the attention of the relevant authorities. He has targeted Centres of Excellence, university post graduate diplomate modules, the National Research Foundation and the Technical Innovation Agency amongst others. The latest development has been the motivation to re-establish a Research Chair in Corrosion at Wits University. If this was not enough, Deon has also single handedly organized workshops and short courses in sour service corrosion and metallography over the last few years.
The Institute therefore takes great pleasure in awarding a Bronze Medal to Deon Slabbert for his dedicated efforts toward re-establishing corrosion as a subject in tertiary and continued engineering education.