WG 9 Session A - Observability to Prioritize Resources for External Corrosion Management
Date & Time
Thursday, April 8, 2021, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM


There is a concept emerging from the consumer technology business called "observability." The thesis is that the state of components in a system should be known (or inferred) at all times. Consider running a website or an app -- what is the state of your servers? What about your cloud infrastructure? How are users interacting with the app? Are they encountering errors or having a difficult time using the app? How can you build this at scale - for one user or one million? Technology to observe systems has existed for a long time in databases, reporting tools, and dashboards. However, the technology to do this at scale is new, driven by the massive expansion of "cloud" data collection tools, machine learning, and improvements in lowering bandwidth costs. Consider Amazon Web Services (AWS), which barely existed a decade ago and now does more than USD 40 billion in net sales annually. Consider a cathodic protection system -- a system with various levels of observability. Technicians collect readings at test points in the field. Remote monitoring units (RMU) report measurements back to proprietary data systems. Some rectifiers also do the same. Exogeneous data comes in from third parties reporting climate and soil conditions. All these sources synthesize data at different resolutions across massive geographic areas. This talk presents a data collection model and filtering (using machine learning) to conceptualize a real-time observable cathodic protection system. To the business, observability is centrally about using technology to prioritize limited engineering resources. To this end, this talk offers a theoretical approach successful in other industries to optimize resources, decrease overall risk, and improve safety.

Who Should Attend?

This session should be attended by integrity professionals, persons involved in the operation of Cathodic Protection systems, and industry professionals managing interconnect data.

Discussion Leader:

Thomas Hayden – Engineering Director: Throughout his career at GrubHub Inc., Facebook, Northwestern University, to Engineering Director Inc, Thomas Hayden has acquired a breadth (and depth) of knowledge on data that is immense. He has a real knack for conveying complex topics with the most eloquent explanations and has published papers within the external corrosion sector

Expected Outcome:

Change could be recognized collectively that leveraging “Big Data” has large benefits within the external corrosion industry and can provide a more holistic view when preventing the corrosion.

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Session Category
Working Group 9