On 19th February, the Grand Final of the World Steel Association (Worldsteel) steelChallenge was held in Brussels, Belgium, in the presence of global steel industry leaders.
The event let young steel industry professionals and students from the whole world test their skills and it can best be described as the steelChallenge World Championship. In November last year, more than 2000 teams from 41 countries participated in the first round which was held online during a 24-hour period. The task then was to produce steel billets with a continuous casting simulator. The regional winners were invited to Brussels, all expenses paid, to compete in the Grand Final. The task was to produce a steel as cost efficient as possible using a secondary steelmaking simulator. The teams had two and a half hours to find the best process. After an intense and very even competition, Tata Steel Ltd. won the Industrial category and students from Universidad Nacional del Sur in Argentina became Student Champions.
The voestalpine Group had a small supporting part in this year’s event. The worldsteel member companies can send co-workers as so-called “Fellows” to support the World Steel Association in different projects. Ulf Wisen from Uddeholms AB, Sweden, is currently Fellow from voestalpine. He is working on the relaunch of steeluniversity.org, the e-learning platform that worldsteel offer to anyone who wants to learn about steel and steelmaking. The steelChallenge uses many of the advanced simulators available in the Steeluniversity and Ulf helped with the communication around the event.
"I feel very fortunate to have been here to support the Steelmaking Challenge and meet the contestants. They are all extremely talented and passionate about the science of steelmaking. I hope that that we will see more young voestalpine professionals participate next time as well as students from the universities we cooperate with. "
The contest is open to all students and any steel industry employee with less than 5 year industry experience. Just getting to the final is a true achievement and becoming Champion is a sign that you are among the very best in the world. As one former Champion said: It doesn’t hurt to have the title in my résumé.