The vanishing of metallurgical engineers and the pursuit of green steel: a uchronia in the year 2040

The vanishing of metallurgical engineers and the pursuit of green steel: a uchronia in the year 2040

March 20, 2040

Nearly two decades ago, the steel industry embarked on an ambitious journey towards producing green steel, with the promise of significantly reducing CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process. However, along the way, a crucial element was overlooked: the education and preservation of metallurgical engineers.

In the preceding years, universities worldwide gradually closed their metallurgical engineering programs due to decreasing demand for professionals in the field. This trend had a devastating impact on the industry, which now struggles to find experts capable of leading the transformation to green steel.

Green steel production relies on ferroalloys, which are essential for obtaining high-quality, resilient steel. Producing these ferroalloys involves advanced technologies and specific metallurgical knowledge. However, with the disappearance of metallurgical engineers, this specialized knowledge has become scarce and hard to find.

Even ferroalloy traders, who play a critical role in the green steel supply chain, face difficulties trading these products due to insufficient training and experience in the sector.

As the industry struggles to achieve its climate goals, it has become apparent that focusing on CO2 emission reduction is not enough. The transition to green steel must involve all stakeholders in the ferroalloy industry, including metallurgical engineers and traders.

This futuristic dystopia feels all too real and frightening: the steel sector must nurture and value its engineers, ensuring adequate training and promoting continuous knowledge updating. Only then can it successfully face the challenges posed by the transition to green steel and achieve a sustainable industry from both an environmental and human standpoint.

In a world fighting to eliminate CO2, it is essential not to forget the people with the knowledge and ability to carry out this transformation. This is as foolish as trying to reduce the carbon footprint in agriculture without involving the farmers (by the way, this is actually happening!)

The industry must acknowledge the significance of maintaining metallurgical engineering programs at universities and fostering the education of new professionals in this field.

The quest for green steel requires collaboration from all involved stakeholders and a multidisciplinary approach from metallurgical engineers, traders, producers, and consumers. Only then can we achieve a future where steel production is sustainable and environmentally friendly without neglecting the human factor and the professionals’ education that make this industry possible with its already complex process.

Sometimes, focusing on the basics can get you further than a hundred fancy tech innovations. And all this comes from someone who isn’t even an engineer.