Timothy J. Stachowski – 2022 Steel Intern Scholar
This summer, I had the opportunity to work for Nucor Steel Gallatin, Gallatin, Ky., USA. on the pickle and galvanizing line. It was an incredible experience; I was working on the only pickle and galvanizing line in North America. With the Nucor culture, I was able to pick and choose the projects I wanted to be involved with, allowing me to really be a part of the team. Since I was hired to be a metallurgical intern, I chose to take a wide stance and have both process and product-orientated projects.
My projects varied between installations, performing defect analyses and process improvements. Whether it was on the line testing, and line condition adjustments, or getting pre-installation conditions optimized, I tried to get as involved as possible with each project. The most notable was solving our angel wing defect problem on the heavier gauge material that we would run, usually G235 (G standing for Galvanize and 235 representing 100 times the max coating weight in oz/ft²). When I jumped into the project, I set up multiple trials, gathered data and studied the results from each trial. When we were not running heavy coating, I helped install a second chemical coater. The new machine allowed us to coat the strip in an acrylic coating, which helps protect the strip from defects caused by the environment and give an additional coating outside of hexavalent chromate and trivalent chromate to our customers. After the addition of the chemical coater, and during the break period between heavy coating trials, I also worked on the installation of a coil ID printer, which printed the coil ID on the outer diameter band. Throughout the fabrication process of the installation, I was able to better my skills in machining parts and learn how to stick weld, giving me opportunities to learn new things.
Outside of my main projects, I was able to partake in a few side ventures. I was part of a safety auditing/benchmarking trip at other Nucor company locations, such as River Metals Recycling, Nucor Tubular Louisville and Nucor Tubular Madison. I was able to learn what safety precautions are extremely important, and what auditors do for their job, as well as taking things that the other mills or processing locations did well back to Gallatin. Other than the benchmarking trip, I participated in the intern summit at Nucor Crawfordsville, in Indiana. At the summit, interns from around the region gathered to share experiences as well as learn more about the Nucor culture and how the company is run.
I would like to say thank you to AIST and Nucor for allowing me to pursue my career inside the steel industry. I look forward to finishing my education at Michigan Technological University and being able to be a part of such an amazing industry.