International steelmaker partners with MSU

Contact: Jim Laird

STARKVILLE, Miss.--A research partnership between Mississippi State and one of the world's leading steelmakers is expected to help grow the region's high-tech manufacturing economy and foster national and international participation in ferrous alloy education and development.

The land-grant institution's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems and Severstal North America recently launched the Steel Research Center to establish and operate a world-class steelmaking technology hub, according to a senior MSU researcher.

"We plan to deploy enhanced capabilities in multi-scale modeling and characterization developed at Mississippi State, and utilize steelmaking expertise from industrial partners, like SNA, to guide current and future R&D activities at the new center," said Roger King, CAVS director and Giles Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The 4,000-square-foot SRC is located in the Edwards Reactor Building on Herbert Street on the university's main campus.

According to King, the SRC with the support of Severstal technical advisers will help drive advanced predictive capabilities focusing on steel manufacturing processes and the design of new alloys for key flat rolled products to support the steel consuming industries.

"We envision the SRC as a completely functional laboratory that will simulate critical processing steps used in the steel manufacturing industry, using both lab-scale processing equipment and robust numerical tools," he said.

SRC will design and implement experimental apparatus that represent the processing paths of steel-related material manufacturing. Once the experimental framework is established, simulation tools will be proposed and design ideas validated with the experimental equipment, he explained.

SNA has contributed funding to support the SRC in purchasing a state-of-the-art melting furnace with vacuum capability. The commissioning of the lab-scale furnace is set for later this year.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with such a prestigious university to further educate young people on the advanced technologies in the steelmaking process. Through this association, Severstal hopes to participate in the development of metallurgical and material engineers at MSU and receive the benefit of laboratory scale product and process improvement trials," said Chris Kristock, vice president for quality and product development for Severstal North America.

The university's partnership with SNA includes plans to acquire additional equipment, including a rolling mill and a heat-treat furnace.

"In the near future, we will form an advisory committee comprised of industry and academic members to help us develop action plans for the center's mission," King said.

Severstal's facility in Lowndes County started production in 2007, and an expansion in 2011 doubled capacity. It covers more than one million square feet on a 1,400-acre site. The cutting-edge plant offers cost-effective, high-quality steel solutions in a wide range of grades to customers in the automotive industry, agriculture, appliance, building and construction products, electrical and energy, furniture, HVAC, lighting, machinery and rack manufacturers, as well as a variety of pipe and tube, and service center companies. (For more, see

Housed in the Bagley College of Engineering, CAVS is an interdisciplinary center comprised of research, engineering design and development, and technology transfer teams for industry and government partners. Its activities are clustered around material science, manufacturing process modeling, computational mechanics, computational fluid dynamics, multi-scale modeling, vehicular systems engineering, design optimization, human factors and ergonomics, alternative powered systems and intelligent electronic systems. (For more, see

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