In late June, Paul Zulli travelled to Europe, visiting Tata Steel’s IJmuiden steel plant (Netherlands), Åbo Akademi University (Turku, Finland) and Arcelor Mittal Global Research Centre (France). The trip was instigated and primarily funded by Åbo Akademi.
The purpose of the trip was to explore potential collaborative projects with these organisations. Tata Steel IJmuiden is recognised for its innovation, particularly in the areas of blast furnace productivity, ferrous burden testing and development of new ironmaking and steelmaking technology. Arcelor Mittal is the largest steelmaking company in the world, with footprints in Europe, North America and South America. They are also a company where R&D helps to realise its “ambitions in technological innovation and sustainability”. Åbo Akademi is a well-respected research and training institution in Europe.
At Tata Steel IJmuiden, Paul presented the activities within the Steel Research Hub (Program D) to researchers and plant technologists. Interest in the research activities was high. Paul also discussed specific matters relating to ferrous burden as well as coal combustion. He visited the new pilot plant for the new ironmaking and steelmaking technology, HIsarna, a collaborative project between ULCOS (Europe’s Ultra Low CO2 Steelmaking breakthrough research progam), Tata Steel (owners of the Cyclone Converter Furnace technology) and HIsmelt (owners of the HIsmeltTM technology and 100% owned Rio Tinto).
At the invitation of Åbo Akademi University (Finland) and the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Paul was appointed as the single opponent for a doctoral student defending his thesis in Thermal and Flow Engineering. The thesis title was “Modeling of Burden Distribution in the Blast Furnace”. Happily, the 2-hour public examination/defence saw the researcher successfully defend his work.
At Arcelor Mittal Global Research Centre, Paul also presented the Steel Research Hub’s Program D activities to researchers. Arcelor Mittal was also very interested in the Hub’s research projects and a targeted follow up session is scheduled in September. Discussions concerning possible collaborative projects progressed very well, in areas such as blast furnace lower zone phenomena and modelling, and discrete element modelling.