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voestalpine Steel Research Award for innovation in high-tech steel

20 May 2015 | 

Technology and capital goods group voestalpine awarded the Steel Research Award, which comes with EUR 12,000 in prize money, for the first time yesterday.

Ronald Schnitzer was the clear winner from amongst 18 entrants who submitted high-quality research projects in the fields of metallurgy, materials science, processing technology, and their application. The R&D Head of the specialist department for cored wires and stick electrodes at voestalpine Böhler Welding Austria GmbH impressed the jury with his dissertation on metallic high-performance materials.

The awards ceremony for the voestalpine Steel Research Award was held during the ASMET forum at the Montanuniversität Leoben. Twelve dissertations were considered from the 18 submitted projects. Ronald Schnitzer’s paper on the ‘Structure-Properties Relationship of a Stainless Maraging Steel’ fulfilled all the evaluation criteria, and stood out for its scientific relevance, timeliness, originality, practicality, and feasbility. Schnitzer researched the correlations between atomic structure and material characteristics for a new high-strength, high-tech steel for use in the aerospace industry. The results are unmatched worldwide and thus play a key role in understanding this new class of steel. The independent jury of experts included representatives from the Montanuniversität Leoben, the Graz University of Technology, and the management at voestalpine Group Research.

Franz Michael Androsch, Head of Research and Development at the voestalpine Group, praised this outstanding voestalpine employee as a “worthy winner of the voestalpine Steel Research Award, whose success was not only due to his first class dissertation, but also to his excellent research work within the Group.” Schnitzer has run the specialist R&D department for cored wires and stick electrodes with its 17 employees since 2014. Prior to that date he was Head of the New Product Development and Applied Research departments at Böhler Schweißtechnik GmbH. This materials scientist and graduate of the Montanuniversität Leoben is also the proud recipient of numerous nominations including the Best Paper Award and the Metallurgy Award.

The voestalpine Steel Research Award to be granted every two years

As part of an international tender and in cooperation with the Montanuniversität Leoben and the Austrian Society for Metallurgy and Materials (ASMET), in future the prize will be awarded every two years to young academics (up to the age of 35) in the fields of science and business who submit outstanding research projects on the subject of steel.

By presenting the Steel Research Award voestalpine underlines its commitment to supporting research at universities and within the Group. Highly qualified employees such as Ronald Schnitzer are the embodiment of the Group’s power to innovate, a factor which accounts for our success as a leading global producer of high-performance materials.

Franz Rotter Franz Rotter, Member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG and President of ASMET

voestalpine is Austria’s most research-intensive company, with a record research budget of EUR 141 million for the business year 2014/15. “Research and development enjoys the highest priority in the voestalpine Group globally, as demonstrated by the 760 employees working in R&D at voestalpine around the world,” adds Androsch. He regards networking and cooperation with external R&D partners, in particular universities, as the most significant factor in the Group’s success. voestalpine is currently running hundreds of research projects which are being undertaken together with around 80 universities and research institutes in over 20 countries. In order to secure its technological and quality leadership, voestalpine is focusing on the mobility and energy sectors by developing ultra-high strength steel for the automotive and aerospace industries.

The voestalpine Group

The voestalpine Group is a steel-based technology and capital goods group that operates worldwide. With around 500 Group companies and locations in more than 50 countries and on all five continents, the Group has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1995. With its top-quality products, the Group is one of the leading partners to the automotive and consumer goods industries in Europe and to the oil and gas industries worldwide. The voestalpine Group is also the world market leader in turnout technology, special rails, tool steel, and special sections. In the business year 2013/14, the voestalpine Group reported revenue of EUR 11.2 billion and an operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 1.4 billion; it had around 48,100 employees worldwide.