AIST Welcomes CIVS Students at Midwest Chapter Dinner

February 20, 2023

On February 15th, 24 CIVS undergraduate and graduate research students along with faculty mentors and professors attended the AIST Midwest Member Chapter Dinner at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville. At the beginning of the event, Midwest Chapter Chair Ted Vrehas welcomed our students by calling them to stand up in front of over 300 meeting attendees and be recognized as future leaders of the iron and steel technology industry.

Ron Ashburn, Executive Director of AIST, began the presentation portion of the event by presenting a preview of AISTech2023 to be held in Detroit this May. He also presented Mrs. Kelly Dallas with the 2023 AIST EUTC Energy Achievement Award, which she accepted on behalf of the “Burns Harbor Walking Beam Furnace Project.” Kelly is the Director of Engineering at Cleveland-Cliffs and a Mechanical Engineering Alumna at Purdue University Northwest.

The keynote presentation was given by Keith Howell, Chief Operating Officer of ArcelorMittal North America and AIST President 2022–2023. He gave an overview of AIST and ArcelorMittal’s new technologies. He stated that ArcelorMittal and collaborating members of the AIST Midwest Chapter remain committed to decarbonization and reaching net zero by 2050.

ArcelorMittal is a charter member of the Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC), a nationwide industry-led sustainable consortium founded by CIVS in 2016.

It was great to hear the speaker mention some prominent females in the field. It's a great reminder that women are making significant contributions to engineering and the steel industry. Encouraging and supporting women like Professor Zhou, in these fields is essential to promote diversity and inclusivity, and I hope to be a part of this movement myself.

Dianzhi Meng, CIVS graduate research student

These monthly dinners provide PNW students opportunities to learn about the steel industry and gain practical knowledge through keynotes and networking with over 300 attendees from numerous local and regional steel producers and suppliers.

Each time, the keynote presentation is about the work that a company is doing and ideas the company is implementing. This is beneficial for everybody, as we can learn from this work and keep up to date from direct sources.

Orlando Ugarte, CIVS Postdoctoral Researcher

The Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST) is a non-profit organization with 15,500 members from more than 70 countries. With 30 Technology Committees and 22 Local Members Chapters, AIST represents an incomparable network of steel industry knowledge and expertise. Its mission is to advance the technical development, production, processing, and application of iron and steel.

AISTech welcomes over 7,000 industry professionals from more than 40 countries. It is an opportunity for research students to showcase their findings and contribute their knowledge to their field of study.

The Midwest Member Chapter is one of the largest AIST member chapters with more than 1,600 members and includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Northern Indiana, and a small portion of Northwestern Illinois.