Students get grant to study environmental impact of steel products

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On August 7, 2006

A team of materials science and engineering students at the University of Missouri-Rolla has been awarded a total of $47,500 by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and the Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST) to study the environmental impact of steel construction and manufacturing materials.

AISI and AIST awarded 2006 design grants to teams from two universities, UMR and Carnegie Mellon University. The two teams submitted winning proposals addressing the theme, “Comparative Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Assessments of Steel Products.” Each institution will receive $47,500 to support student research.

Under the direction of Dr. Kent Peaslee, professor of materials science and engineering, a team of about 10 UMR seniors will quantify the energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions of various steel products through their life cycles, from extraction through end use.

The UMR students will then compare the steel products to other materials in the same market, according to Peaslee. Products to be compared include structural steel versus wood in residential construction, steel cans versus plastic frozen food containers in the food container market, steel roofing versus standard asphalt shingles in residential construction and automotive-quality steel body panels versus aluminum.

“The universities are addressing one of steel’s most important attributes – sustainability – and we look forward to seeing the progress the teams and projects make in the coming year,” says Andrew Sharkey, president and chief executive officer of AISI. “The design grant program will expose metallurgy and materials science students and professors to real-life issues and enable them to acquire better knowledge of the North American steel industry.”

AISI serves as the voice of member companies operating in the North American steel industry. The organization’s mission is to represent member companies in the public policy arena and advance the case for steel in the marketplace.

AIST is an international technical organization that represents more than 9,000 iron and steel producers, allied suppliers and researchers. The association is dedicated to advancing the technical development, production, processing and application of iron and steel. The AIST Foundation seeks to attract young, technology-oriented professionals to the industry by promoting career opportunities in modern steelmaking.

“Not only will the design grant initiative bring practical working knowledge in ferrous metallurgy to students, but it will also bring the industry insight into how steel competes with other materials with respect to environmental sustainability,” says Ronald Ashburn, executive director of the AIST Foundation.

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On August 7, 2006. Posted in News