CIVS Staff Awarded AIST Digital Technologies for Steel Manufacturing Grant

September 7, 2023

Congratulations to CIVS Senior Research Scientist John “Jack” Moreland for receiving the AIST Digital Technologies for Steel Manufacturing Grant for the Hazard Recognition Scenario Builder for On-Site Customizable Virtual Training project. Thanks to Industry Mentor Mike Schwentor, Director of Operational Excellence at U.S. Steel Gary Works.

This project will address ever-present challenges the steel industry faces in ensuring its workforce keeps pace with the rapid advances in digital technologies and transforming the industry while ensuring the safety of its personnel, particularly within complex, hazardous environments. Traditional training methods may not fully prepare employees for the specific risks associated with their unique worksite.

The proposed solution to this challenge is the Hazard Recognition Scenario Builder for On-Site Customizable Virtual Training – a tool designed to bring safety training into the 21st century. The Hazard Recognition Scenario Builder represents an innovative fusion of safety and technology. It promises to elevate safety training standards, cultivate a digital-ready workforce, and contribute significantly to the ongoing digital transformation in the steel industry.

“This project serves a critical need to lower the barrier of entry for steel industry personnel to use cutting-edge technologies like 360-degree video and virtual reality. This will allow personnel to rapidly develop site-specific training scenarios with high impact, providing realistic virtual safety training before personnel enter hazardous areas in person.” – Jack Moreland, Senior Research Scientist.

This grant was established to challenge university teams from engineering, scientific, and mathematical departments at North American universities to submit proposals for grant funding in the theme area of digital technology within the steel industry, including machine learning, computational science, simulation, augmented reality, additive manufacturing, and autonomous robotics, among other related technologies.

The grant will provide funding based on the project’s success in these categories.:

  • Provide new or alternative solutions that deepen the understanding of the technical issues involved in digitizing the steel industry.
  • Increasing direct steel industry engagement with students interested in digital technology and tools.
  • Widespread applicability to the steel industry and probability of success.

CIVS’s project proposal was selected from multiple proposals based on evaluation criteria that include boosting student engagement in digital transformation technologies, the aim of the project proposal and its methodologies, probability of success, the fit of the proposed topic to the theme of digital transformation for the steel manufacturing industry, and the team’s expertise and capabilities to bring the project to a meaningful, on-time completion.

The AIST Foundation is a Pennsylvania-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation organized for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes that seeks to attract technology-oriented professionals to the steel industry by educating the public about the high-tech, diverse, and rewarding nature of careers in modern steelmaking. The Foundation receives contributions from industry corporations and individual members of AIST.