Ferrous Metallurgy Symposium goes from strength to strength

1 Apr 2020

On Tuesday 25 February, Armourers Hall, London, played host to the 3rd Annual Postgraduate Research Symposium on Ferrous Metallurgy. The event organised by the Materials Processing Institute in collaboration with the Armourers and Brasiers’ Company and the IOM3 Iron and Steel Society provides the perfect opportunity for postgraduate students from industry and academia to showcase their research.

This year, both the poster and presentations sessions were over-subscribed and the Hall was packed with an enthusiastic audience all keen to find out about the latest developments in steel research. The first of the three sessions, chaired by Dr Richard Thackray of the University of Sheffield, UK, focussed on characterisation and modelling and featured three presentations from students from the universities of Leicester and Swansea covering topics as diverse as the modelling of MnS inclusions, the application of machine learning in material research, and the use of novel coatings to reduce oxidation of carbon steel tubes at high temperatures.

After a drink and the first opportunity to take a look at the posters and speak to their creators, the second session commenced. Gill Thornton of Liberty Powder Metals Ltd, chaired the session on property measurement and characterisation. Presenters from the universities of Warwick, Newcastle and Swansea informed the audience of their research into the multi-scale characterisation of hot-rolled AHSS, the effect of microstructure on hydrogen permeation ultra-high strength steels, and the effects of hydrogen on edge dislocation mobility in BCC iron.

Over lunch the delegates had the opportunity to network, have a further look at the poster presentations and watch Materials Processing Institute, CEO, Chris McDonald conduct an interview for the Institute’s YouTube channel with Liberty Steel Group (UK), Senior Adviser, Jon Bolton ahead of his keynote presentation later in the proceedings.

The final session of the day focussed on the development of steel grades and properties. The Chair, Professor Hongbaio Dong of the University of Leicester, introduced presentations on best practice for welding duplex stainless steel seamless pipes, an investigation of the deformation of iron-base hard facing alloys at elevated temperatures, the deformation mechanism of FCC alloys at low temperatures, and the microstructural evolution of neutron irradiated T91 steel in an advanced test reactor from students studying at Leicester, Imperial College, Birmingham and Oxford, respectively.

While the delegates enjoyed further refreshments, the judges (comprised of representatives from the Armourers and Brasiers’ Company, Materials Processing Institute and IOM3), who had been studiously taking notes throughout the day, met to discuss the first and second place presentation prizes and the award for the best poster. After some incredibly difficult deliberations, these were presented by the Master, Mike Goulette, to Benjamin Poole of Imperial College, James Grant from Swansea University and Rebecca Dewfall, also from Swansea, respectively. Dr Stuart Millman then presented the second Millman Scholarship to Robert Hillier, who is currently in his first year at the University of Sheffield, where he is studying for an MEng in Materials Science and Engineering. The Scholarship programme is designed to support those that are planning or already studying a materials-related discipline at university that are from the Tees Valley region and the recipient receives an annual bursary, a salaried industrial placement during the summer and mentoring from an industrial supervisor.

Jon Bolton then gave a fascinating keynote presentation on the global and economic challenges facing the steel industry. He discussed the GREENSTEEL strategy which will reduce the carbon footprint of steel making and support Liberty Steel’s vision to be carbon neutral
by 2030. Jon presented a number of innovative ways of putting UK steelmaking back on the map and finished off with a very optimistic and uplifting vision of the industry in the future. Liberty Steel UK, Technical Director, Dr Simon Pike, offered a vote of thanks before the day’s formal proceedings came to an end.

The organisers would like to thank the event sponsors, Liberty and M2A, for their support for the event and the staff at Armourers Hall for their incredible hospitality. Registrations and sponsorship opportunities for the 4th Ferrous Metallurgy Symposium on 23 February 2021 are now open and researchers are invited to submit applications to present.

For more information please visit the website at www.mpiuk.com/doctoral-academy-symposium.htm or contact academy@mpiuk.com.