Kelsey R. Ferro – 2021 Steel Intern Scholar
I am currently on co-op at Nucor Yamato Steel in Blytheville, Ark., working from June to December 2021 as a metallurgical intern. This co-op ended up fitting perfectly with my AIST Steel Intern Scholarship, which has given me such a cool opportunity to view the world of steel manufacturing up close! Nucor Yamato is a structural steel plant that makes wide-flange beams, pilings and special shapes. During my co-op, I have participated in projects affecting both our roll mill and our quality testing lab. In our roll mill we have a system that allows us to check the tolerances of our beams using lasers and cameras, which can also help detect surface defects. This system has been something I have been working on training to pick up more defects to help us remove teammates from our inspection bed. Through my time in our quality lab, I have learned more about the world of physical metallurgy through metallurgical testing such as charpy impact, tensile, rockwell hardness and vickers microhardness testing. I have focused specifically on the charpy impact testing and optimizing our quality lab’s process to allow us to be more efficient with the high volumes of charpy tests that we complete every day.
I highly recommend for college students to participate in a co-op in the field of their interest because it gives you an opportunity to see what the workforce in your field looks like. This opportunity has given me the chance to work with some amazing engineers as well as with some mill workers that have been in the steel industry for upwards of 20 years. I have always been a hands-on learner and completing projects that have impact in this company has given me good insight into how my future career could look. I have also been given the chance to participate in several housekeeping projects that help keep our mill clean and has helped me realize how much care really goes into the steel making process. I have gained so much respect for the hard work that is put into making steel and making it safely! Nucor’s goal is to be the safest steel company in the world and my time here has opened my eyes to how attainable that goal is. After the completion of my co-op, I will return to school with more hands-on knowledge and a great respect for those who help build America, in hopes to become one of them soon!