Explore Melbourne Polytechnic

Education for Industry and Community – 1940s


Collingwood Technical School teacher, Fred Beringer, made a substantial contribution to the defence and instrumentation industries through his research and experimentation into ‘hard chromium plating’. Industry visitors including the RAAF, BHP, NSW Railways, the Department of Civil Aviation and the Government of New Zealand came to Collingwood Tech to see the new chromium plating technique in action.

Collingwood Tech Teacher leads the nation in electroplating…

The work was so important to aviation, that the Department of Civil Aviation issued Beringer a ‘Ground Engineer’s Licence’ and in 1948 Collingwood was issued a Certificate of Approval to electroplate aircraft parts.

Beringer was much sought after, so much so, that the School Council received requests to release him from teaching duties, so he could concentrate on research and development of the new chromium plating process; in 1943 a request came to Council for him to prepare plans for a plating plant as part of the Bureau of Standards Laboratories in Canberra.

Scott, Ian D. ‘COLTECH: a story of technical education in Collingwood, 1870-1987.’ Melbourne, Collingwood College of TAFE, 1988. This has been the major source of information about Collingwood Technical School, used in this history.

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Last Modified: 14th June 2013

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