In 1977 Bob joined Michael A Brett & Partners (MAB&P) as a coating inspector. At that time, there was no formal training for an inspector, and Bob learnt the ropes under the able mentorship of Michael Brett and the military influence of Michael’s father, affectionately remembered by all who knew him as “The Colonel”
Bob spent several months working on site on refurbishment projects at Cooksite & Rustenburg Platinum Mines before being seconded to ESKOM to kick start the newly formed Corrosion Group under the guidance of Dr Colin Alvey. This corrosion group has seen many Institute “NAMES” pass through its doors, including past presidents Brian Statham, Steve Lennon and Meryl Nixon, and long time treasurer Chris Gross.
Bob was transferred to Cape Town as ESKOM’s site representative to oversee corrosion protection aspects of the construction and commissioning of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station. In spite of having no formal training, Bob undertook this assignment with a will and determination that earned the respect of client and contractor alike. This era saw the ushering in of Quality Assurance, a term that saw the demise of many a quality practitioner in favour of a “tick in the block”, but Bob made sure that the true meaning of the term was executed on this crucial project. On completion of Koeberg, Bob returned to Johannesburg to head up the ESKOM corrosion Group.
From 1986 to 1989 Bob worked on the Mossgas FA Platform construction project before being head hunted as quality manager for corrosion protection and construction of the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station in China. This was indeed a compliment as the appointment came from the principal contractor to whom he had given such a hard time during the construction of Koeberg.
On returning to South Africa in 1994, Bob worked at Koeberg and Saldanha Steel before setting up his own corrosion consulting business based in Saldanha Bay in 1999. He still provides ad-hoc services to Koeberg and has been responsible for setting up a long term corrosion management programme, one of only 2 such programmes in nuclear powerstations worldwide
The Corrosion Institute is therefore pleased to present Bob Cochrane the 2009 silver medal award for 32 years of unbroken and exceptional service to the corrosion industry.