The Steel Research Hub recently joined the ARC Research Hub for Advanced Technologies for Australian Iron Ore to hold a two-day Sintering Symposium on April 5 and 6, 2016.

The Iron Ore Hub is administered by the University of Newcastle’s Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), and it was here that the Symposium was held. The symposium’s aim was to discuss possible synergies between the Sustainable Steel Manufacturing Program of the Steel Research Hub, and the Properties and end-use Functionality of Iron Ore Program of the Iron-Ore Hub. Attendees included academic researchers from each Hub, industrial researchers from key partners, BlueScope and BHP Billiton, as well as researchers from CSIRO’s Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies (QCAT).

A variety of speakers made presentations on their current research on Day 1. The emphasis was on iron ore sintering, handling and waste recycling. Two of our PhD students, Huibin Li and Deside Chibwe, presented the current status and direction of their work, along with Research Fellow Ray Longbottom (value from waste) and Chief Investigator Guangqing Zhang (utilising of unconventional raw materials in sintering).

Day 2 was set aside for discussion and mapping of future collaborative opportunities amongst the group. At least five areas were identified where collaboration may be possible. The parties all agreed an annual Sinter Symposium was desirable and should be planned for a similar time next year in Newcastle. In the meantime, they will work on enhancing the relationships. Who knows, we could see the CSIRO and BHPB being added to the Steel Research Hub as participants in the not too distant future. Congratulations to the Iron Ore for hosting the event and the participants for their openness to collaboration.