Next generation of steel leaders let knowledge shine

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 1 Mar 2017

CHRIS Webster, a researcher in process technology at British Steel, has won the local round of Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining's Young Persons' Lecture competition.

Hosted at the Scunthorpe works by the Lincolnshire Iron and Steel Institute, three judges assessed the four entries, all of which were from British Steel employees, and described by the lead judge as the best he'd ever seen.

Chris' presentation, Capturing Carbon for a Sustainable Future, will now be fed into British Steel's own research.

The 27-year-old Oxford graduate joined the company four years ago. He said: "Carbon capture will be essential for us to meet the carbon dioxide emission reduction targets set by the UK Government in their future policy.

"My talk highlighted our options and the need for us to develop our knowledge – this will help us make the correct choice to match our site costs, energy balance and by-products. I also looked at the competing technology we could use and the pros and cons of these different options."

He received a £500 prize and now progresses to IoM3's North East regional final, which will also be hosted by British Steel in Scunthorpe, on March 27.

Chris, who is originally from Streatham, south London, and read engineering science at university, was a finalist back in 2013, having just joined what was Tata Steel. Currently based at the Rotherham Research and Development Centre, he said: "I was delighted to win, particularly as the other three entries were so strong, and now I'm looking forward to the competition's regional stage and the exciting opportunities this could bring."

If successful, he will go forward to the UK finals in London, the winner of which will travel to Perth, Australia for the Young Persons' World Lecture Competition.

John Wilkinson, Fellow of IoM3 and a competition judge, said: "The overall standard of the presentations was the best I've ever seen. All would have been worthy winners.

"We were particularly impressed with Chris' entry. His research looked to the future and clearly considered the bigger picture of one of the issues facing the steel industry. Chris confidently handled all the questions from the judges."

Helping Mr Wilkinson judge the local competition were LISI president Richard Farnsworth and last year's winner Ross Angove, product and process development technologist at British Steel.

He added: "We all wish Chris the best of luck for the next round – he'll be up against some tough competition including entries from the Sheffield Metallurgical and Engineering Association and the Cleveland Institute of Engineers, but we're confident he stands a great chance."

Paul Chimdiribe presented on Digital Imaging Rail Inspection System: Optimisation and Recommissioning; Christopher Payne-Dwyer on The Power of Electromagnetism and Mojisola Sobanwa on Biological Removal of Nitrogenous Compounds in Coke Oven Wastewater.

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