Abstract Heterogeneous electrochemical processes are very common in industry and are important, but difficult topics in electrochemical and corrosion science studies. Traditional electrochemical techniques which employ a conventional one-piece electrode have major limitations in studying heterogeneous electrochemical processes since the one-piece electrode has major difficulties in measuring electrochemical parameters from local areas of the electrode surface. In order to overcome this problem, a multi-piece electrode, namely the wire beam electrode, has been developed. This new electrode enables the measurement of electrochemical parameters from local areas over a working electrode surface and thus it can be used to study heterogeneous electrochemical processes. This paper describes how this new electrode was applied in studying several typical heterogeneous electrochemical processes including water-drop corrosion, corrosion under non-uniform organic films and cathodic protection.