In the long tradition of main excursions for students the very one of 2009 organised by Dipl.-Ing. Dr. mont. Jakob Wiener and lead by Prof. Johannes Schenk took our 18 head strong group to Asia, to South Korea and China to be more precise.
The beginning of our journey was stamped by our visit to the Royal Palace of Seoul and a subsequent extensive stroll over an equally alike market, where we could get accustomed to the pleasures of the local cuisine before we took off to the city of Gwangyang, where POSCO operates the world’s largest metallurgical plant with a production of 17 mio. tons of steel per year. Outstandingly impressive the very clear and ample design, the infrastructure and the cleanliness of the plant. The day after, we had the chance to visit POSTECH and make a call on the General Institute of Ferrous Technology (GIFT) and experience its state of the art laboratories and international study programmes in connection with excellent basic research and education of students within the area of steel- and ferrous Metallurgy closely. In South Korea we even had the unique chance to visit a FINEX plant from a certain distance as well as a steel mill with a dephosphorisation convertor and a hot rolling mill. Next day‘s »side effects« of POSCO’s evening invitation were slightly impedimental to a more extensive plunge into Korean Buddhist art in the former capital city of Gyeongju; so the first part of our excursion slowly drew to a close and our China adventure was about to begin. The weekend in Beijing was brimming with a cultural programme of Ming Sepulchres, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Tiananmen Square to mention just a few.
After this buzzing weekend two visits of businesses in Tianjin, a metropolis of 10 million people lay ahead of us. Tianjin Iron & Steel Co. operates a newly residing, integrated metallurgical plant, that is still under construction. After the start of construction in the year of 2001 currently 4 and after completion 6.3 tons of steel are respectively will be produced. In the afternoon we proceeded to a tube rolling mill of TPCO just lying adjacent, where seamless pipes inter alia for pipelines and oil fields are manufactured. The open welcome and the up to date systems engineering have been quite impressive. Back in Beijing we have been granted an insight into Beijing’s University of Science and Technology (BUST) on the next day. Founded as »Steel University«, this university houses many diverse faculties nowadays and we had the chance to visit its departments of Metallurgy and Conversion Technology as well as we had the chance to lead interesting and animated discussions with professors and researchers there. Our next and at the same time next to last stop has been the vibrating city of Shanghai, where a detailled guided tour at Baosteel with its Corex plant in the vicinity of the town has been a main agenda highlight. On the last day our journey took us to Zhangjiagang, where we have been guided through the whole integrated metallurgical plant of Shagang.
Our suitcases full with new impressions and experiences of faraway cultures, where steel products are being manufactured on a very high level, our relativelely long journey homewards commenced. All the rallied impressions are certainly formative for future engineers facing global competition’s reality and challenges. Our group has been very heartily and openly welcomed, always professionally guided and questions patiently answered.
An educational journey of this dimension can only be accomplished by the students’ monetary contribution themselves and generous financial sponsorship by following organizations/companies. Our special thanks go to them.
- ASMET (The Austrian Society for Metallurgy and Materials)
- BÖHLER UDDEHOLM AG
- INTECO special melting technologies GmbH
- Siemens VAI Metals Technologies GmbH & Co
- voestalpine Bahnsysteme GmbH & Co KG