Students & Faculty


Digital Transformation for Steel Manufacturing Grant

►Application
►Award Recipients
►Available Mentors

Applications for the 2020–2021 academic year will be accepted through 31 May 2020.

Objective and Intent

This grant was established to challenge university teams from engineering, scientific and mathematical departments at North American universities to submit proposals for grant funding in the theme area of digital technology within the steel industry, including machine learning, big data, simulation, augmented reality, cloud computing, additive manufacturing, system integration, autonomous robotics, industrial internet of things and cybersecurity, among other related technologies.
 
The grant will provide funding to encourage the following:

  • Support professors in promoting the industry to students interested in digital technology.

  • Provide direct interaction between students interested in digital technology and the steel industry.

  • Recruit more students interested in digital technology for employment in the steel industry.

Award and Outcome

  • US$20,000, maximum grant per award

It is the intent to give one award every year to a qualified  engineering university professor interested in digital transformation. The number of awards granted per year is at the discretion of the selection committee and depends on fund availability, the number of proposals received and the quality of proposals received. The maximum grant per award will be US$20,000 for a maximum allowable time of one year beginning in September. At the completion of the project, a report shall be submitted to the AIST Foundation defining the effective outcome of the team effort. A student team will be encouraged to present the project upon completion at an AIST event. A final report will be included in the AIST magazine, Iron & Steel Technology.

Mentor

To assist the applicants in forging steel industry networks (access, connections, relationships), a steel industry representative currently employed with a steel producing or steel-related company must be identified in the proposal. The mentor should be in the appropriate area of expertise for the recipient candidate and from a conveniently located steel producing or steel-related company willing to support the project. AIST will assist in identifying mentors if needed. Feel free to contact them to request their assistance.

Call for Proposals

Proposals will be accepted by 31 July. The proposal should indicate how each team of professor(s) and undergraduate and/or graduate students will approach the challenge including budget and schedule requirements. Universities may submit more than one proposal; however, each must be an entirely separate submission and will be evaluated independently.

Proposal Content

Please follow the instructions carefully for submitting proposals. The information is also available through the AIST Foundation home page at AISTFoundation.org. Proposals should be no more than 10 pages in length and contain the following sections:

  • Complete names, descriptions and contact information of the team (professor and students) that will work on the project.

  • Complete name and contact information of industry mentor. We recommend a mentor be confirmed and  consulted prior to building the proposal.

  • Proposal Summary — including project name, date of submission, contact person and information, requested grant amount and schedule duration.

  • Executive Summary — statement which clearly defines proposed challenge/solution and how it will improve digital transformation challenges for the steel manufacturing industry.

  • Detailed description of the work plan, project deliverables such as potential models, and outputs.

  • Project schedule including a list of anticipated tasks and milestones.

  • Estimated distribution of total project cost. A portion of the grant may be used as a stipend to the professor(s) or student(s) as long as such declaration is defined. Any transportation costs for plant visits and project presentation should be included.

  • List plans for student participation throughout the research and specific activities toward building student interest in the steel industry.

  • Include a resume/CVD for the professor and include previous faculty and student interaction with the steel industry as well as proposed plans for faculty and student interaction with a steel or steel-related company.

  • Clarify if this proposal is for a new project, continuation of a previous effort, or is intended to be a multi-year project (limited to two years).

  • Letter of support from university department head and letter of support from industry mentor.

Evaluation Criteria

It is the responsibility of the submitter to assure that sufficient information is contained in the proposal for reviewers to evaluate the proposal according to the following criteria:

  • Student Engagement (50%) To increase the number of students studying digital transformation technologies with a strong emphasis on steel manufacturing. Engaging students from different backgrounds in high technological steel industry research studies. To provide direct student interaction for awareness of the steel industry, and to recruit more of these students for employment in the steel industry.

  • Probability of Success (25%) The aim of the project proposal, methodology and quality of the technical approach used, the outputs and deliverables and overall quality of communications, clarity and completeness of the proposal.

  • Industry Awareness and Impact (15%) The fit of the proposed topic to the theme of digital transformation for the steel manufacturing industry, including its widespread applicability to the steel industry. The potential of the project outcomes to impact the steel industry and the way it operates, the technical deliverables are beneficial for a wider range of users other than the university, to provide with new and or alternative solutions that deepen the understanding of the technical issues to fully digitalize the steel industry.

  • Time Schedule and Milestones (10%) The expertise and capabilities of the team to bring the project to a meaningful on-time completion and to achieve the project goals within the timeframe. Other factors considered under the criterion are project schedule, including milestones, decision points and overall cost.

Proposal Submission

Your completed proposal must be submitted electronically in pdf form to Lori Wharrey at lwharrey@aist.org by 31 May. Awardee(s) will be announced August 2020 for the 2020–2021 academic year.

Questions about the grant program and/or proposal process should be directed to Lori Wharrey at lwharrey@aist.org or +1.724.814.3044.

Overhead Costs

To ensure the grants funded by the Foundation go directly to the intended purposeit is the policy of the AIST Foundation to not allow overhead costs.

AIST Foundation

The AIST Foundation is a Pennsylvania-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation organized for charitable, education and scientific purposes that seeks to attract technology-oriented professionals to the steel industry by educating the public about the high-tech, diverse and rewarding nature of careers in modern steelmaking. The Foundation receives contributions from industry corporations and individual members of AIST

All scholarships and grants are awarded in accordance with AIST Foundation’s policies, which may be amended from time to time, and are subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees.  Scholarships and grants are awarded subject to availability and funding and AIST Foundation reserves the right to withdraw or amend any listed scholarship or grant without prior notification.  Scholarships and grants may be suspended or revoked at any time at the Board’s discretion.  In no event shall the AIST Foundation or the Board of Trustees be liable for any claim or cost associated with suspending or revoking any scholarship or grant.  All decisions by the Board shall be final and may not be appealed.