Students & Faculty

Sydney G. Weiss - 2015 Steel Internship scholar

This summer, I was an environmental engineering intern at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor. I was exposed to many sides of the Burns Harbor plant, as well as other plants owned by ArcelorMittal. I volunteered at an event in which elementary school students came to the plant, learned about the environment and performed stewardship tasks in the forests on-site. 

My first project was to create a mass balance of one of the many waste treatment systems within the plant. I took samples, compiled data and created a model to complete this task. It was challenging, and not everything was answered by the end of the experience. In the end, I created a successful model that will be used to help predict how the waste treatment facility should tackle different issues when they arise. 

My last project involved ArcelorMittal’s dedication to creating positive, environmental impacts. ArcelorMittal has become a liaison between the Wildlife Habitat Council and other corporations in the area located near the National Lakeshore of Indiana. Together they have worked to remove invasive species on their property to restore the National Lakeshore’s ecosystems. I was able to identify key companies in the area so that ArcelorMittal could continue its mission of creating a sustainable future for industry and the environment. 

This internship allowed me to see what manufacturing entails. It truly has changed my view of business in the United States. As someone who values the environment and its health, it is hard to say that what the steel industry does is good for the environment. However, after working at this plant, I have seen the dedication that they have to doing their job to the best of their ability. They are constantly looking to improve the facility and decrease its impact on the environment. With EPA regulation and standards, the United States has allowed for manufacturing to be less harmful to the environment than in other countries, and this is a great thing and something to be truly proud of. After working here, I would be more than willing to work for the steel industry to continue to improve its environmental impact. 

My plans for after graduation are to attend graduate school. I am unsure if I will obtain my Ph.D., but I plan to obtain a master’s degree. This summer has encouraged me to continue my studies to a higher level of education so that I can bring the most to my career in the future.

I am incredibly thankful to AIST and ArcelorMittal. Without the Steel Internship Scholarship, I would have been forced to take out more student loans. This grant means so much to me and my family, and we are truly grateful that I was awarded this wonderful gift.