Allison Martin – 2019 Steel Internship Scholar
This summer I had the opportunity to work as a process metallurgy quality intern at AK Steel — Mansfield Works. As this was my first experience as an intern and in the steel mill industry, I was able to acquire a significant amount of knowledge in an environment where professionalism, teamwork, quality and safety are of foremost importance. During my three months there, I was able to learn several different facets of the steel making process by working closely with engineers in most aspects of their work and other personnel and assist them on projects independently, but under their supervision.
Initially, I participated in mandatory safety and environmental training sections that were extensive and extremely valuable, all provided by the company. At AK Steel, I also received thorough and detailed information, as well as live experience on the complex and got to witness the amazing process of how steel comes to completion. All of this was possible thanks to the informational and instructional plant tours and visits to different departments and parts of the plant led by the engineers and staff.
My internship mainly focused on the caster process where I was able to obtain a greater scope of the process of steelmaking. My main project over the course of the internship was to examine and evaluate the problem of strand pulsing by analyzing the periodic movement of strand observed during the casting process, which can potentially lead to downstream defects. The goal of the project is so engineers will have a better understanding of what happens during casting that causes strand pulsing and will contribute on the development of methods to improve the quality of certain bar grades. Moreover, I was trained and able to assist on smaller projects and supported staff on continuous improvement projects.
This internship experience has provided me with real-world exposure to the industry of steelmaking and has enhanced the skillset needed for a future in this field. I have learned that the role of a materials engineer in metallurgy and production is more than just applying one’s knowledge in engineering and design. This role includes the daily work in a hands-on environment where teamwork, responsibility and safety should always be applied. Every single department must work together in order to keep the steel mill up and running. The opportunity to intern in a steel mill and to experience a job directly related to my major was made possible by AIST and AK Steel—Mansfield Works. This internship has had a positive impact on my career by not only helping me decide my path into the steel industry after graduation, but also making a real difference for my last year in college I am about to commence. I’m thankful to AK Steel for giving me the opportunity to learn, work and take part in their company this summer and to AIST for their support in helping make this internship experience happen.