Adrian Normanton Prize

For the best technical paper on the topic of steelmaking or casting.

Adrian Normanton Prize

The Adrian Normanton Prize is awarded to the best technical paper on the topic of steelmaking or casting, published in the Ironmaking and Steelmaking journal.

The winner will receive a medal and £450.00

Award judging

Nominations for the Adrian Normanton Prize are judged by the Iron & Steel Society Board.

Past winners

2020
The structure of foaming BOF-converter slag
Du Sichen, Bjorn Glaser, Johan Martinsson

2019
Improved cold-finger measurement of heat flux through solidified mould flux
K L S Assis & P C Pistorius

2018
A manganese distribution prediction model for CaO–SiO2–FeO–MgO–MnO–Al2O3 slags based on IMCT
S Duan, X L Guo, H J Guo & J Guo

2017
Development and application of mould-breakout prediction system with on-line thermal map for steel continuous casting
F. He, D.-F. He, Z.-H. Deng, A.-J. Xu & N.-Y. Tian

2016
Characterisation of BOS steelmaking dust and techniques for reducing zinc contamination
J Steer, C Grainger, A Griffiths, M Griffiths, T Heinrich & A Hopkins 

2015
Effect of surface roughness of MgO substrate on size distribution of inclusions
Y. S. Lee, S.-M. Jung & D.-J. Min

2014
Removal of hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur from tool steel during vacuum degassing
K Steneholm, M Andersson, A Tilliander & P G Jönsson 
 

About Dr Adrian Normanton FIMMM

Adrian graduated in metallurgy at Manchester University, where his doctorate research was a study of vaporisation of zirconium and titanium bromides, and in 1968 he moved to a senior research fellowship at the University of Sheffield working on the thermodynamics of iron alloy. With that background it is not surprising that in December 1973 he was invited to join the steelmaking research group at BISRA, the British Iron and Steel Research Association's laboratories in Sheffield, to work in Bob Baker's team on bath stirring in the basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS) process. He moved straight from the laboratory bench to operations on a 0-5t pilot converter, specially constructed for studies on the BOS process and operated by research staff.

In 1976, the BISRA Group was merged into the new British Steel Laboratories at Grangetown near Middlesbrough and Adrian moved north to continue his steelmaking development on the 3T converter there, taking it through to full scale commercial application. This involved not only leading a research team but working closely with works operatives and management in the UK and abroad.

His interests were then extended to the problems of achieving high internal and surface quality in continuously cast steels. Continuous casting was barely out of its infancy in the UK at that time, though now many plants worldwide incorporate the improvements which he and his team over the years have prescribed and developed: initially new designs of instruments; tight control of liquid steel composition and temperature; strict operating and plant maintenance procedures; and later, changes to the design of the casting machine itself. He and his team have published more than a hundred papers and technical reports on their researchers and recommendations.

As Adrian's interests widened so did his managerial responsibilities; after a period as PA to the MD Technical, he became Corus Research's Manager, Steelmaking and Casting, with a team of 80 engineers and scientists and responsibilities for research groups in the UK and The Netherlands. He also masterminded the complete refurbishment of the Grangetown pilot plant, completed in 2007.

Adrian was an active member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and was elected a Fellow in 1985. For many years he played a leading role in the Institute's affairs, being chair of the Editorial Board of I&S. Over the past 20 years or so he also organised a series of national and international conferences and seminars on technical conferences and seminars on technical developments in the industry, which have led to productive cross-fertilisation of ideas from many sources and their wide application.

In recognition of his technical work on steelmaking and casting, Adrian received the Hadfield Medal of the Institute in 1999 and in 2007 was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal for his sustained efforts on behalf of the industry and the Institute. Illness prevented his travelling to London to receive the medal but it was presented to him in Sheffield in July 2007, at the Celebrity Lecture, part of the Sheffield Metallurgical and Engineering Association (SMEA) annual conference series with which he and his team had been closely associated for many years. 

Although he had an international reputation in steel research Adrian was not just another boffin; he complemented his academic knowledge with strong practical engineering skills, which is a rare combination. He had strong loyalties; you could call him a good leader, but some thought that platoon commander might be more appropriate. He had formidable powers of persuasion (that is shorthand for saying Adrian had his own way of doing things and he usually got his own way!). He had drive, enthusiasm, commitment, and he loved the work; vital qualities to get things done in the demanding conditions; he would finish the job and at the same time preserve the respect of those around him, plant management and production staff. He has another vital quality; he respected technical truth. His answer to any query presented the situation exactly as he saw it, without in any way being compromised by the opinion of the questioner or others, a valuable characteristic.

Despite the severity of his illness Adrian, typically, was working up to the weekend before his death. But there was more to his life than steelmaking and casting, though few saw all the facets. He had a lifelong association with Old Otliensians RUFC which he joined on leaving Prince Henry's Grammar School. In his playing days he has the reputation of being a ferocious tackler and for a number of years was captain of the first XV. He was the club's President and also its fixture secretary, and he regularly returned to Otley at weekends to his presidential and other duties, and to the parish church where he had been a chorister for nearly 50 years. It is fair to say that the many rugger players, choristers and ordinary folk of Otley who attended his funeral at the Parish Church were as surprised to learn of his achievements in the steelmaking world as were his steel industry friends and colleagues surprised to learn of his rugby and choral life in Otley. Truly, this remarkable, many faceted man will be sadly missed in may spheres, by very many, who generally were aware of only one part of his very full life.

Our sympathies go out to his wife Pauline, who supported him unstintingly throughout his distinguished career and in his final illness.

Frank Fitzgerald

Ironmaking and Steelmaking 2008 vol 35 No4 p244