You are here

National Science Award for Expert in Aircraft Corrosion

27 August 2007
Media Release
Dr Bruce Hinton with his Minister's aircraft maintenance Award for Achievement in Defence Science.
Dr Bruce Hinton with his Minister's Award for Achievement in Defence Science.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Mr Peter Lindsay, today presented a national science award to Dr Bruce Hinton for his outstanding achievement in preventing and controlling corrosion in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) aircraft fleet.

Dr Bruce Hinton, from the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), was presented with the 2007 Minister’s Award for Achievement in Defence Science at the Centenary of Defence Science Dinner in Melbourne.

Mr Lindsay said Dr Hinton’s innovative research had saved the Defence Force many millions of dollars over the years in maintenance and repair costs while ensuring the availability of aircraft for operational use.

"His work has contributed directly to the cost-effective maintenance, life extension and ongoing safety of Defence aircraft," Mr Lindsay said.

Aircraft Maintenance

One of the most significant contributions made by Dr Hinton and his research team has been their pioneering use of preventative compounds for treating existing corrosion, saving many maintenance hours, decreasing aircraft downtime and contributing to overall aircraft safety.

Dr Hinton has also been responsible for another cost-reducing innovation – the environmental monitoring which enables aircraft maintenance to be carried out as required depending on the actual condition of the structure rather than through spot checks at periodic intervals.

Together with the CSIRO, Dr Hinton developed a computer model that can predict the start and spread of corrosion pitting on aluminium alloy surfaces. This model is also used to manage preventative corrosion maintenance on ADF aircraft.

Mr Lindsay said Dr Hinton’s environmental and corrosion sensors and prediction models have now become the basis for programs to monitor the health of aircraft for maintenance purposes. His pioneering work will also be applied to the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft when it comes into service with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

A recognised leader in corrosion technology around the world, Dr Hinton has co-authored 3 patents, delivered more than 70 conference papers and published 40 refereed papers, many of which have won awards for best research.

"For more than 35 years Dr Hinton has provided extremely valuable and pertinent technical advice to Defence for the acquisition of major air and maritime platforms," Mr Lindsay said.