European Steel Forum

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Schedule of Events

27–29 October 2021 | Virtual Conference

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Wednesday, 27 October 2021

7:00 AM ET/ 13:00 CET 

Welcome and Introduction


Ronald Ashburn, Executive Director, AIST

7:15 AM ET/ 13:15 CET

Keynote: A Green Future for Steel: Challenges and Opportunities

Decarbonizing the European steel industry, ideals and perspectives from the European Union and vision of AIM


Federico Mazzolari, President of Italian Association Metallurgy; Arvedi Group

8:00 AM ET/ 14:00 CET

CO2-Free Steelmaking: The Roadmap

The steel industry is a fundamental sector in the EU, and it is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. To that end, the industry in the past year has placed a number of pilot-scale, hydrogen-based iron reduction plants into operation. At the same time, CAPEX plans for industrial-scale plants have been further sharpened, and public support and funding is being secured for a wide range of decarbonization solutions. EU steel producers will break down recent developments in the industry’s decarbonization effort and share the updates on their own companies' investments.


Dr. Jürgen Cappel, Managing Director, Cappel Stahl Consulting GmbH



Dr. Frank Ahrenhold, Head of Sustainable Steel Production, Thyssenkrupp

Tim Peeters, Department Manager, Iron and Steel R&D, Tata Steel

Thomas Büergler, Head of R&D Ironmaking, and CEO Metallurgial Competence Center, voestalpine Stahl GmbH

Kristian Notebaert, Chief Technology Officer, Decarbonization, ArcelorMittal Flat Europe

Dr. Martin Pei, Executive Vice President & CTO, SSAB

10:00 AM ET/ 16:00 CET 

CO2-Free Energy: The Evolution of Green Hydrogen

The EU steel industry is rapidly evolving, with hydrogen-based iron reduction at the forefront of the transformation. However, huge amounts of hydrogen and renewably powered electrolysis capacity will be required to facilitate the transition. In addition, hydrogen storage and distribution infrastructure must be developed. With these obstacles in mind, EU energy and gas producers will discuss their strategies and actions to create a hydrogen value chain.  


Johannes Schenk, Chair of Ferrous Metallurgy, University of Leoben


Dr. Martin Johannes Schneider, Representative, DWV Association

Dr. Joachim von Schéele, Director Global Commercialization, Linde plc

Michael Grant, Global Technology Director, International Senior Expert, Steel Production, Air Liquide

Hergen Wolf, Head of Product Management, Sunfire

Mario Federico Forgnone, Head of Technology Innovation Management, Saipem

Dr. Sebastian Vogel, Head of Hydrogen Strategy, RWE Generation SE

Thursday, 28 October 2021

7:30 AM ET / 13:30 CET

Sponsored Presentation: AI-based Operational Excellence in Steel Manufacturing 

Find out what it takes to apply AI at scale to reduce downtime, improve quality and get real-time plant visibility.

8:00 AM ET / 14:00 CET

Feedstock: The Role of Iron Units in The Green Steel Transition

The decarbonization of the steel industry will drive innovation and demand flexibility from an industry that's typically viewed as conservative. That will be especially so for the iron sector, which faces a significant change in the way that iron units are produced, traded and utilized throughout the world. From this change arises many questions: Will EAF steelmakers easily replace scrap and high Carbon metallics with hydrogen-based, Carbon-free DRI? Can iron ore miners meet expected growth in direct-reduction-grade pellet demand? If they can't, will blast furnace grade pellets be an adequate substitute?  With increasing demands for scrap, will national governments revise border policies to discourage exports? Will HBI be an effective way to both increase blast-furnace productivity and reducing CO2 emissions?  In this panel, experts will share their views and discuss the changing role of iron units in green steel production.


José Noldin, Head of Technology Strategy, CSN


Dr. Sara Hornby, President, Global Strategic Solutions, Inc.

Steve Potter, Metallics Director, Vale

Maurizio Calcinoni, Board Member and Vice President, Arvedi

Chris McDonald, CEO, Materials Processing Institute 

Arno Habermann, Senior Vice President, Ironmaking, voestalpine Stahl Donawitz GmbH

10:00 AM ET / 16:00 CET

Digitalization: Successful Applications of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence, neural networks, deep learning and other digital technologies are being introduced to the steel industry through various projects in different production areas. These projects often involve “boutique” software developers working in cooperation with end users and well-known equipment manufacturers, who together have successfully pioneered the implementation of these technologies. In this panel, some of these companies will share examples of successful applications and offer their outlook on future implementations.


Gianluca Maccani, CTO, Polytec USA



Dr. Michael Florian Peintinger, Managing Director North America, Smart Steel Technologies

Michael H. Eder, Global Chief Digital Officer // Managing Director, voestalpine High Performance Metals DIGITAL SOLUTIONS GmbH

Antonio Ambra, Business Development Manager, AIC Capitanio & Sandeep Kapur, Technology Manager – Power & Control, Rockwell Automation

Michele Vezzola, VP Mechatronics, BM Group Polytec Spa & Paolo Stagnoli, Tenova Upstream Commercial Director EAF & LF, Tenova

Marco Ometto, Executive Vice President, DIGI&MET, Danieli Automation R&D

Noon ET / 18:00 CET

Sponsored Presentation: Sarralle EPC Projects

An overview of the scope of our EPC projects executed worldwide for the environment, energy and iron and steel sectors.

Friday, 29 October 2021

5:30 AM ET / 11:30 CET

Attract and Retain Talent: Industry Strategies

Sustainability consists of three elements: profit, planet and people. In this session, we'll focus on the ways steel companies are finding the right people to sustain their business. We’ll explore the steel industry’s unique characteristics that make it an interesting field to work in as well as the strategies steel producers are employing to attract and retain the talent they need to evolve. Some of the industry’s leaders will discuss what has worked for them and share some inspiring ideas.


Alessandra Spaghetti, Global Product Strategy & Market Manager, Bead Wire, Bekaert


Vlasta Rojkova, Global L&D Manager, Bekaert University Lead

Sara Busolini, Technical Account, ABS Acciai S.p.A.

Laura Pamini, Plant Manager, Pittini

Irina Stultus, People & Organization Development Director, Danieli Academy

Marion Hermanns, Head of Professional Training, SMS group GmbH

8:00 AM ET / 14:00 CET

Innovation in Plant Design: Outlook for Climate Neutral Platforms

The pandemic has presented steel producers and the steel market with considerable uncertainty and unprecedented challenges. But standing beside them even in the most difficult of times were the trusted equipment manufacturers and suppliers, who yet again proved the value of partnering with them. In this panel, attendees will learn how the top equipment manufacturers responded to the pandemic and offered new ideas and technologies to their customers.


Mauro Bianchi Ferri, Managing Director, Acciarium S.r.l.


Paolo Argenta, Executive Vice President Metals, Tenova

Dr. Christian Redl, Deputy Managing Director, Inteco

Gerald Wimmer, Vice President Converter Steelmaking, Primetals Technologies Austria

Rolando Paolone, CTO Danieli Group and Member of the Board, Danieli

Thomas Hansmann, COO and CTO, Paul Wurth Italia S.p.A.

Alberto Aldama, Sales Director Steel Melting Plant, Grupo Sarralle