22 February 2023
by Dr Diane Aston

Materials Matter at Tata Steel

School students from South Wales visit the steelworks at Port Talbot

We are delighted to report that the Materials Matter at Tata Steel event took place on 18 January.  Sixteen young people and their teachers joined Dr Aimee Goodall  (Chair of IOM3 Student & Early Career Group) and her colleagues for an exciting opportunity to look round the steelworks and Port Talbot and find out more about the importance of and careers in the steel industry.

The day started with an inspiring lecture from Dr Laura Baker CEng FIMMM,  Chair of the IOM3 Iron and Steel Group, exploring how steel has changed the world we live in and how it is made.  This was followed by the opportunity to tour the vast Port Talbot site to appreciate the scale of operations and visit the hotmill.  One of the group commented "My favourite bit of the day was the tour as it gave me my first experience of manufacturing", another said "I've never seen anything like it!" and a third exclaimed "I had no idea of the huge scale of everything!". 
After lunch the group undertook a design and build activity to hone their team working and problem solving skills.  This brought the competitive spirit out in the groups and everyone had a great time.  The day concluded with the chance to hear the career stories of a number of the Tata Steel team, including graduates and apprentices and to find out more about how to get in to a materials career.

When asked whether the day had changed their perception of the steel industry the students said "The day has shown me that the industry is much more environmentally-focussed than I thought" and "It helped me to realise how crucial people are to the operations".  They were also asked whether the day had influenced their choice of future career, one learner commented that it had because the industry was more interesting than they thought and another said that the day had cemented their wish to pursue a career in the steel industry.

The organisers would like to thank everyone involved at Tata Steel for their support in making the event happen after a number of covid-related postponements, and the South Wales Materials Association and Newport & Cardiff Materials Society for their kind sponsorship of the event.

Materials Matter events, run with the support of the Student & Early Career Group, are designed to showcase careers in materials, minerals and mining to young people by giving them the opportunity to visit companies and industrial sites in the sector.  For more information please get in touch.





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Dr Diane Aston

Dr Diane Aston

Head of Education & Professional Development, IOM3