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Ferrous Metallurgy Symposium goes from strength to strength

Ferrous Metallurgy Symposium goes from strength to strength

Ferrous Metallurgy Symposium goes from strength to strength

Ferrous Metallurgy Symposium goes from strength to strength

Ferrous Metallurgy Symposium goes from strength to strength

Ferrous Metallurgy Symposium goes from strength to strength

Ferrous Metallurgy Symposium goes from strength to strength

Ferrous Metallurgy Symposium goes from strength to strength

Ferrous Metallurgy Symposium goes from strength to strength

Ferrous Metallurgy Symposium goes from strength to strength

The Materials Processing Institute thanks Dr Diane Aston, Head of Education and Professional Development, IOM3 for providing the following review of the symposium which will be published in the April edition of Materials World. Diane was also a member of the judging panel for the presentations and poster displays at the Symposium.

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 our own Iron and Steel Institute, 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, focused 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 Chris McDonald, CEO of Materials Processing Institute, conduct an interview for the Institute’s YouTube channel with Jon Bolton, Senior Adviser for Liberty Steel Group (UK) ahead of his keynote presentation later in the proceedings.

The final session of the day focused on the development of steel grades and properties. The Chair, Professor Hongbaio Dong of the University of Leicester, introduced presentations on the 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 UK steel industry in the future. Dr Simon Pike, Technical Director at Liberty Steel UK 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:

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Review Ends

The 3rd Postgraduate Research Symposium on Ferrous Metallurgy was the busiest yet, the event was oversubscribed, it included a full programme of presentations and the largest poster display to date. A full review page will be published shortly on the Institute website, and here is a selection of some of the post-symposium comments received:

Jon Bolton, Senior Adviser, Liberty Steel Group (UK)

It was a real pleasure to be a part of the Symposium. It’s really encouraging to see so much interest in, and indeed passion about materials and specifically steel, demonstrating that far from being a bygone sector, there is so much more steel can offer to manufacturing. The Symposium was well organised and clearly well attended. The range of presentations and posters was excellent, and I look forward to seeing how these talented and passionate young people develop in their careers.

Professor Bill Lee, FREng and Armourers and Brasiers Freeman

I have enjoyed attending all three of the Symposia to be updated on the latest research in the still massively important field of ferrous metallurgy. The quality of the presentations is always outstanding both in terms of technical content and understandably and enthusiasm. It is always a pleasure to chat informally with the young researchers and their supervisors about their work and feel their excitement to be involved in the Symposium. As a Freeman of the Armourers and Brasiers it is great to be able to use the Hall for such an event, developing the next generation of materials science leaders. New areas of modelling, machine learning and advanced characterisation were particularly exciting for me as I can apply them to my own research specialism in ceramics.

Dr Diane Aston, Head of Education and Professional Development, The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining

I have been privileged to have been on the judging panel since the first Symposium in 2018. These are a great opportunity for early career researchers to present their work to their peers and the wider community with an interest in ferrous metallurgy. Speaking in the prestigious Armourers Hall is an experience that is difficult to forget and I am sure that those that have been involved will have fond memories of being able to present in such esteemed surroundings. The ability to present and tell a good story is a key skill and this is a warm, friendly and nurturing environment for researchers to cut their conference teeth! As ever the standard of the presentations this year was outstanding and choosing the winners was a very difficult decision. Well done to all that took part and thank you to the Materials Processing Institute for putting on such a fabulous and important event!

Dr David Warren, M2A Operations Manager, Swansea University

The symposium was a fantastic opportunity for our students to present their work to industry experts and network with other researchers in the field of ferrous metallurgy.

Stuart Millman, Steel industry Researcher, Materials Processing Institute (Retired)

I was very pleased to be one of the judges on the judging panel to choose the winners at the symposium at the splendid Armourers Hall. The oral and poster presentations covered a wide range of advanced ferrous metallurgy research topics to a very high standard, making winner selection very difficult. The Q & A sessions were particularly lively and interesting. This excellent, informative and important annual symposium offers UK researchers an established platform to showcase UK materials research and helps to promote networking opportunities between UK universities, industry and commerce.

John Boddy, Steel Industry Consultant

I would like to congratulate the Materials Processing Institute for putting together such an excellent programme.

James Grant, PhD Student, Swansea University

Thank you for inviting us all to present at the symposium, it was a great success and a really enjoyable day.

Angel Izquierdo Sanchez, PhD Student, Newcastle University

It was a pleasure to present at the symposium as I received useful feedback on my work and presentation skills. I will have in my plans presenting again at the symposium next year.

Duanxing Cai, PhD Student, University of Leicester

I'm an exchange PhD candidate, and will go back in August. It's been a great honour to present at the symposium this year.

James Lelliott, PhD Student, Swansea University

I will be finished with my studies by the time of the next symposium, although I shall certainly attend as a delegate – I found it to be an enjoyable and engaging event.

Cameron Bee, PhD Student, Warwick University

I’ll be signing up for the 4th symposium in due course.

Ben Poole, PhD Student, Imperial College London

I’d like to thank you all at the Materials Processing Institute for Tuesday’s Symposium; it was a very interesting day with a good selection of talks. 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR THE 4TH POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM ON FERROUS METALLURGY - Find out about registering, presenting, displaying a poster or sponsorship opportunities here.

10 March 2020