The steelChallenge-11 World Championship begins with the ‘champions dinner’ the evening before the competition in Beijing, China. The dinner is an informal opportunity to bring the ten Regional Champions, along with advisors, friends, and worldsteel together in a friendly environment for a chance to get to know each other.
The five student and five industry champions come from diverse backgrounds all over the world. People like Nageshwar Kumar of Tata Steel Limited in India. Nageshwar has an educational background in metallurgy and joined the company’s Junior Engineer Trainee programme in Jamshedpur. In July 2017, he takes up a new position in the steelmaking department, which also happened to be the subject of this year’s challenge.
Or Jeová da Silva Melo of the Universidade Federal do Ceará in Brazil. Jeová is in his final year of study for a degree in Metallurgical Engineering. His focus this year is on projects for the simulation of steel fabrication and another on sustainability. On Saturdays, he teaches physics to public school students.
A highlight of steelChallenge for me is the opportunity to meet such interesting people and welcome them to the worldsteel community. Each of these people has a great story and our competition brings them together to share it.
The friendliness of the dinner continues into the morning of competition day. The basic oxygen furnace steelmaking simulation is opened and everyone has 2 hours to make the right steel at the lowest cost. It’s friendly, but there is also pressure, everyone wants to do well, represent their organisations well, and everyone wants to win.
After a short break for lunch, we gather with the worldsteel Board of Directors for the award ceremony. The leaders of the world’s leading steel companies are truly appreciative of the work these champions put in and are genuinely pleased with their success. The announcements are followed by a lot of smiles, and a lot of photos.
I won’t tell you who won. To keep the suspense a while longer, you can find the results in our media centre.