The Steel Research Hub plays an important role in the industry talent pipeline by training and mentoring the PhD candidates, to ensure their adaptability to succeed in industry or academic careers. With now a total of 23 PhD’s, development of future leaders is a key output of the Hub.

The Steel Research Hub has already been successful in delivering an increased capacity of highly skilled researchers into industry.

Brianna Knowles

Brianna recently completed her PhD studying with the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute at the University of Wollongong. This work was in collaboration with BlueScope as an affiliate of the Australian Steel Manufacturing Research Hub. Her research focused on developing thin-film coatings for the protection of surfaces from biological fouling. Brianna’s former role was within BlueScope as Coating Innovation officer where she investigated novel surface coatings of metal coated and painted steel strip.

Brianna has recently accepted a new position as a Policy Officer working for the Federal Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Her new role will have a focus on the translation of scientific research into commercial products where she is hoping her collaborative experiences within the Steel research Hub (engaging both academic and industry partners) will help inform policy design. This will be a step away from traditional laboratory type research and she is interested to see how the work of this department shapes the future of science, research and innovation in Australia.

Phillip Drain

Phillip Drain, a former Steel Research Hub PhD candidate at the University of Wollongong research focused on understanding the effects of titanium (as [Ti] and TiO2) in the Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) charge on the removal of phosphorus (P) from the steel.

Starting as a BlueScope cadet he completed an undergraduate degree in Engineering from 2006 to 2010, then a Masters of Engineering from 2011 to 2013 and a PhD in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from 2014 to 2018. He graduated for the final time with a Doctor of Philosophy on Thursday, 25 July, 2019.

Philip now works for mining and metals company South32, based in Western Australia. His current position is Calcination, Liquor burner & Energy Technical Superintendent.

“I’m happy my experience in industry and research has been recognised in my recent promotion to superintendent, leading a team of nine people,” he said.

Thomas Jurak

Thomas Jurak, a former Steel Research Hub PhD candidate at the University of Wollongong explored alternative surface treatment approaches to increase corrosion protection of metallic coated products.

Thomas Jurak began his engineering career in 2008 as a BlueScope cadet, completing his cadetship and graduating from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Engineering (Materials) with Honours in 2013. During his time at BlueScope, he spent a total of 4 years as a Metallographic Metallurgist, performing light and electron optics analysis work on a wide variety of samples and investigations with a focus on coated products, in particular, Next Generation ZINCALUME® Steel. He has also spent time working at BlueScope’s Metal Coating Lines at the Port Kembla Steelworks, and has previously investigated barrier and passivation thin films for Al-Zn coatings.

Thomas was successful in retaining a position at BlueScope Steel as a Corrosion Specialist working in Coated Products Evaluation.

Deside Chibwe

Deside Chibwe, a former Steel Research Hub PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle studies focused on looking at optimization of burden (charge material) delivery for blast furnaces operation.

The period in the Steel Research Hub (SRH) during his Doctoral studies gave him an opportunity to explore his passion for the ironmaking process and how it can be improved.

“It was indeed a period of discoveries, contributions and acquiring of in-depth knowledge within the field” he said.

Currently he is working as a Research Associate in the Centre for Iron-making Materials Research (CIMR) at the University of Newcastle utilising mostly, the knowledge and skills gained during the Doctoral studies. He strongly values the analytical, research and many soft skills he has acquired during this time.

“Numerous industrial problems across many industries have allowed me to be a successful industry professional. Going forward, I look to be more involved with industrial related work”, he said.

Joel Samsu

Joel Samsu, a former Steel Research Hub PhD candidate at Monash University research focused on studying the burden wall interaction in the ironmaking blast furnace.

Joel received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Process Engineering at the University of Leoben, Austria in 2012 and 2014. In his master’s degree he studied the heat and mass transfer mechanisms in the iron ore sintering process.

Joel Samsu is currently employed at the HRL Technology Group as a Process Engineer in the Process and Environmental Services Team.

Huibin Li –Huibin Li

Huibin Li, a former Steel Research Hub PhD candidate at the University of Wollongong research focused on a fundamental study into the use of different iron-bearing materials.

Huibin Li is currently working as a Research Fellow within the University of Wollongong. He has had an offer that is about research on Laser sintering and Materials Application in Biomedical Engineering at Peking University Shenzhen Campus (in China).

Matt Gear

Matt Gear, a former Steel Research Hub PhD candidate at the University of Queensland research focused on understanding the effects of elemental additions to BlueScope’s Zincalume coating alloys.

Since completing his PhD with the Steel Hub, Matt has moved from Brisbane to Melbourne and joined Defence Science and Technology. Here he works on stress-corrosion cracking of steels. He will be graduating in December 2019.