AIST Midwest Chapter Dinner Keynote Highlights Transition to Renewable Energy in the Region

October 24, 2023

On October 10, more than 25 CIVS undergraduate and graduate research students, faculty mentors, and professors attended the AIST Midwest Member Chapter Dinner at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville. During the event, words of praise and acknowledgment were given to CIVS students in attendance, who were called to stand up by the speaker and given a round of applause. This impactful gesture allows students to be recognized as the next generation of the industry’s workforce.

The event started with a speech by Mike Schwentor, AIST Midwest Member Chapter Chair, highlighting the growth of the Midwest chapter as the largest AIST member chapter. The keynote speaker, Ron Talbot, Senior Vice President of Electrical Operations at Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), highlighted NIPSCO’s roadmap to retire all coal-fired generation by 2028. This drive toward renewable energy has environmental benefits and lower-cost energy options for customers. Adding wind, solar, and battery technology to our region’s electric generation portfolio is an essential transition for the infrastructure of Northwest Indiana.

The outline of where energy consortiums in Indiana and the US are directing their future initiatives helped me understand the shift of energy production methods and its impact on our research goals at CIVS.

Omer Raza, CIVS Research Assistant

The AIST Midwest Chapter 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. Proceeds from this event fund continuing education programs and AIST Midwest Member Chapter Scholarships. The Midwest Member Chapter is the largest AIST member chapter, with over 1,600 members. It includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Northern Indiana, and a small portion of Northwestern Illinois.

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