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University, steelmaker strike new R&D partnership

STARKVILLE —Mississippi State University and steelmaker Severstal North America (SNA) has established a research partnership aimed at helping grow the region’s high-tech manufacturing economy and foster national and international participation in ferrous alloy education and development.

MSU’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems and SNA recently launched the Steel Research Center to establish and operate a steelmaking technology hub.

“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 SNA technical advisors 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.

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 SNA.

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

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