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SwRI’s Elizabeth Trillo named NACE Fellow

January 3, 2022 — Dr. Elizabeth Trillo, a principal engineer in Southwest Research Institute’s Mechanical and Materials Section, has been named a National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) Fellow. She was chosen as one of 13 fellows recognized in 2021 for their distinguished contributions in the field of corrosion and its prevention.

“I am earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received for my work.  It is an honor to be among such distinguished engineers and scientists from the corrosion field,” Trillo said. “But in the end, I am happy to be able to work on topics that I find interesting and challenging.  The rest is icing on the cake.”

Trillo was nominated for “using her intellect and engineering skills to make the world a safer place through mentoring  and finding measures to minimize the effects of corrosion.” As a NACE Fellow, Trillo will help develop a broadly based forum for technical and professional leaders to serve as advisers to the association.

Trillo’s work is focused on environmental performance, hydrogen embrittlement, stress corrosion cracking, sulfide stress cracking, and materials selection and evaluation, as well as general and localized corrosion and failure analysis. She also has extensive experience with high-temperature and high-pressure testing, including environments that contain hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2). She has authored or co-authored 66 articles for technical journals.

At SwRI, Trillo participated in a joint industry program (JIP) to assess the hydrogen-induced stress cracking behavior of precipitation-hardened nitrogen alloys.  Through this program  a new test environment was developed to screen materials for hydrogen embrittlement resistance, which is now included as an annex cited in the NACE TM0198 standard. Trillo was also the principal project manager for a JIP that investigated cracking in welds to duplex stainless steel reactor effluent air cooler systems.

She has been working on an American Petroleum Institute (API) program to determine the stress corrosion cracking (SCC) susceptibility limits of corrosion-resistant alloys in heavy brine solutions.  This work produced an API Technical Report 13, “Stress Corrosion Cracking of Corrosion Resistant Alloys in Halide Brines Exposed to Acidic Production Gas” and has led to improved high pressure/high temperature autoclave testing techniques that has been adopted by the member companies and the broader corrosion community, in addition to a new understanding of the effects of temperature and halide brines on certain corrosion resistant alloys under high pressure and in the presence of CO2 and/or H2S.

Trillo has also performed API research to test and monitor SCC of carbon steel in fuel-grade ethanol and has helped create a NACE standard for slow strain rate testing in ethanol-based solutions (NACE TM0111). She is currently participating in several working groups within NACE to upgrade current SCC and sulfide stress cracking standards. Additionally, she also supported a DARPA program that created a model of the galvanic interactions of more than 30 different materials. This model is now used to improve the design of the new military vehicles.

In the biomedical field, Trillo led efforts to evaluate the wear and corrosion in overlapping endovascular NiTi (Nitinol) stents used to treat peripheral arterial disease. She has also characterized the biocompatibility of titanium tantalum alloys and diamond-like coatings for biomedical devices. Recently, Trillo performed electrochemical testing on Additive Manufactured Ti6Al4V and NiTi in a biological fluid.

Due to her expertise in the area of sulfide stress cracking and stress corrosion cracking, Trillo was invited to be a Maintenance Panel member for the MR0175/ISO 15156 committee. In this role, Trillo reviews incoming ballots that propose changes to the ISO 15156 document “Petroleum and natural gas industries – Materials for use in H2S containing environments in oil and gas production,” and votes on whether the technical changes are justified. She has also been an active participant in several NACE/AMPP task groups for the development and advancement of laboratory testing techniques.

Trillo is also the current Chair for the ASM Alamo Chapter of San Antonio, which offers educational opportunities to local students and teachers. She also serves on the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) for the Metallurgical, Materials, and Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Trillo has a doctorate in materials science and engineering, a master’s degree in metallurgical and materials engineering and a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering, all from The University of Texas at El Paso. She joined the SwRI staff in 2008.

For more information, visit Stress Corrosion Cracking or contact Joanna Carver, +1 210 522 2073, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.