Mary Kate Jutze – 2019 Steel Internship Scholar
I spent this past summer at SSAB Iowa, a mini-mill in the Quad Cities area, as a research and development intern. I didn’t know a lot about steel at the start of the internship, but I was able to learn about the process of casting and rolling steel from the close proximity to the mill. I also had the opportunity to look at the steelmaking process through an R&D lens, learning about the many factors that affect the steel’s performance and how they can be engineered for better quality steel. My main project involved an investigation into the effect of nonmetallic inclusions on rates of hydrogen-induced cracking in pressure vessel steel. I learned a lot about how the addition of different elements or compounds into the melt can greatly affect the steel’s performance. This project required a lot of metallurgical analysis, which helped me improve my sample preparation techniques. I was using a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) almost daily to scan the steel for nonmetallic inclusions, which was a fascinating experience as well. Through this internship, I also gained professional interpersonal skills and a broader view of the paths available to me as a materials engineering major. This experience has greatly shaped the path I will take to my future career.