Students & Faculty

Jack D. Oaks – 2021 Steel Premier Intern Scholar

This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at Steel Dynamics Flat Roll Group - Butler Division. It has been an honor and a privilege to be immersed into my dream career field at one of the leading companies in the steel industry. I was assigned projects that had meaningful impacts on the floor and familiarized me with a wide variety of processes in Butler’s cold mill. I cannot believe these three months have gone by so fast, but the knowledge I have gained during my time here will carry on with me for my entire career.

I started my summer with training in one of our labs. I learned how to cut and mill samples to ASTM and JIS standards and then pull them using one of our tensile testing machines. I also was trained on an x-ray coating weight gauge and a Rockwell tester. Training on the coating weight gauge was crucial for one of my first projects. I compared samples readings on the coating weight gauges to their actual coating weights obtained via weigh-strip-weighs. The data I obtained from this project helped improve precision of our online coating weight gauges.

As I became more familiar with the galvanization lines, I started analyzing samples from our galvanizing pots to attempt to decrease variation in aluminum content testing. The open-endedness of this project allowed me to thoroughly analyze the sampling process and even look at samples under a scanning electron microscope to find potential areas of variation at a microscopic level. I was eventually able to identify several potential changes that could be implemented. These changes should help the pot operators more confidently control and monitor the chemistry of the galvanization pots.
There were several other projects I was fortunate enough to be able to work on during my internship. These ranged from product development, to improving tracking of equipment throughout the mill. Every single project grew my passion for the steel industry and solidified my plans for the future. It is exciting to be able to go into my last year of college knowing exactly what I want to do with my life. I am very fortunate and am grateful to both AIST and Steel Dynamics for providing me with the resources and opportunities to get a head start on my career. I am hopeful for a fulfilling career at Steel Dynamics where I can grow, learn, and flourish in an industry I am extremely passionate about.

Thank you to everyone in the Steel Dynamics family. I deeply appreciate everyone welcoming me into the company and teaching me as much as they can. It has been an honor to spend the summer in Butler, and I cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for my supervisor and teammates in the cold mill office.