If collaboration is the key to success, then members of our Innovative Coatings Group leapt towards it over two days in July. UOW, where the Steel Research Hub is headquartered, played host to researchers, post-doctoral fellows and PhD candidates from BlueScope, the University of Queensland, RMIT and UOW. This wasn’t the first time that members of Program C have come together, however previous meetings have been focused on scoping the research activities within the program and that research is now well underway. Importantly, this was the first opportunity for the Early Career Researchers (ECRs) involved, who have been recruited over recent months, to come together and exchange ideas.

Day one saw members of each project make presentations to the larger group about the nature and scope of their research and how they plan to tackle the challenges ahead of them. Given the great deal of overlap between projects, which range from the formation of intermetallics in the metal coating pot, to performance on the jet-stripping line, and surface treatment of metallic coatings, this proved to be extremely informative to those at the coal-face of the work.

Day two provided an opportunity to reflect on the information presented, to consolidate new collaborative connections and to explore opportunities to share expertise. Visitors also had a chance to see the various facilities available at UOW.

Program Leaders, Jason Hodges of BlueScope and David StJohn of UQ, both agreed that the meeting was extremely productive and valuable, with excellent cross-fertilisation of ideas between the various projects. Members took away with them a renew sense of vigour for their research, which can only be a good thing for the Hub.