Owen M. Hall – 2021 Steel Intern Scholar
Founded in 2000 and located along the Chowan river in northeastern N.C., Nucor Steel Hertford County (NSHC) was Nucor Steel’s pilot mill of the Nucor Plate Mill Group. Able to produce a wide range of carbon and alloy steel grade plates, NSHC encompasses nearly 1000 acres of land, and employs approximately 500 team members, many of whom are from the surrounding community of Hertford County. Embracing Nucor’s core values, NSHC prides itself on providing customers with high-quality steel, while promoting a culture prioritizing team member health and safety.
My internship this summer largely consisted of working alongside team members to solve problems around the mill, such as working with operators and maintenance personnel on many occasions to perform many tasks, from repairing and improving machinery such as optical spectrometers and x-ray diffractometers, to cleaning out trenches and installing pneumatic line. In addition to the general operations and maintenance, I have also been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to put my materials engineering skills to the test, working alongside metallurgists and process engineers to develop armor grade steels. I have had the opportunity to use a plethora of scientific equipment including Brinell hardness machines, scanning electron microscopes, optical microscopes, and nitrogen analysis devices, to name just a few.
In my time working at NSHC, I have had the honor of working with some of the most intelligent, hard-working, respectful, and optimistic people I have met. Over the past three summers, I have had the opportunity to operate expensive laboratory analysis equipment, set up and execute my own sampling trials, research unique microstructural phenomena, and pull full shifts in the melt shop, all the while working alongside peers who treat me as a true Nucor team member, and who challenge me every day to improve my skills as an engineer.
Overall, I have had an extremely positive experience as an intern this summer at NSHC, having learned many new skills and improved my abilities and confidence as a materials engineer. Working closely with the NSHC team instills a great sense of pride and confidence in my work and has solidified my interest in pursuing a career in the steel industry after college.