Olivia Pratt - 2018 Steel Intern Scholar
I spent the summer in northern Utah at the Nucor steel bar mill in Plymouth. My internship was focused in the meltshop of the mill, including the electric arc furnaces, and continuous caster. I completed many projects during my three months in Utah. On a daily basis, I attended meetings, created and consolidated reports, completed cost analyses of various mill processes and equipment improvements, and tried to learn as much as possible about the steelmaking process. My main project involved the replacement of expensive vanadium alloy with cheaper alternatives. For this project I looked extensively into chemistry ranges for different sized angles made at the mill, and assisted the meltshop metallurgist in creating a set of ranges to be trialed.
I did not know the first thing about steelmaking when I began this internship, and the most challenging aspect of the summer was becoming familiar with all the terms and processes occurring around me. I could not work on many of my projects without learning about the steel making process and the many variables involved in creating high-quality steel. Although it was a challenge for me, I think it was very valuable to see metallurgy in action, and to realize that although something makes sense from a science perspective, it may still need tweaks to work in a real-life setting. I really enjoyed my summer with Nucor, and no matter what path I choose after graduation, I think the lessons I learned about safety and teamwork will always apply to my future life.