From 24th to 28th of June thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG thankfully invited a group of 18 students from both metallurgy and materials science department to the Ruhr area companied by Katharina Kirchheimer.

After a bus ride starting in Leoben to the hostel in Duisburg on Monday the students discovered the nearby Landscape Park Duisburg Nord, where former industrial buildings from an integrated steel mill have been revitalized for public benefit. Especially climbing blast furnace 5 provides a perfect opportunity to gain a very realistic picture of the former production chain. With simply enjoying the view from above the whole group was comfortably attuned to the week.

Next day, a visit of the integrated steel mill of thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG at Duisburg was planned. After a warm welcome in the visitor center a short safety instruction and a company presentation followed. The group was then guided through the plant by Mr Folker Baumann following the way from iron ore to steel products. The tour started at the factory harbour, where the unloading of a shipload of iron ore could be observed, followed by a visit of the blast furnace and the oxygen steel mill II. Standing in the impressive steel mill and observing the three BOF-converters at work gave the students the feeling of being really close to metallurgy and made the process clearly understandable for all participants. About noon an excellent lunch was offered in the restaurant “Schifferheim”. In the afternoon a highly interesting lecture was given by Dr. Weinberg, head of the competence center metallurgy, covering topics around material and process requirements as well as economic and environmental considerations and future perspectives. It has been an extremely interesting day with intense discussion and fruitful exchange, which was closed by a delicious dinner in the Italian restaurant “Mezzomar” at the lake “Bertasee” at Duisburg.

Midweek, the way led to Düsseldorf. Every four years one of the largest international metallurgical trade fairs – the METEC – takes place in the Düsseldorf trade fairground. This truly stunning exhibition with 72 500 visitors from 118 countries and 2360 exhibitors from all over the world provided a perfect environment for interaction with company partners, increasing knowledge from professionals in the metallurgy and casting sector and, of course, for scientific and social networking. For dinner, the group then changed to the Old Town of Düsseldorf to the city’s oldest brewery “Im Goldenen Ring”, where they enjoyed traditional meals in an authentic brewhouse atmosphere overlooking the river “Rhine”. The evening was comfortably concluded on the Rhine promenade.

After two interesting days with lots of technical and professional input, a sporting highlight followed to better get to know the Ruhr area and to change the view away from industrial environment to natural scenery. A canoe tour on the river “Ruhr” was planned and led the group, starting from lake “Kettwig”, through the green Ruhr area for about four hours. At noon we had a break at the cosy restaurant “12 Apostel am Staadt Essen”, which gave enough power to finally reach the lake “Baldeneysee”. The day was finished off in a relaxed and informal atmosphere at the “Seaside Beach Baldeney” having a delicious barbecue, playing some beach volleyball and football game as well as socially networking. For those, liking to taste a huge variety of different types of beer, the pub “Finkenkrug” in Duisburg was a perfect place for summing up a fantastic week in the Ruhr area.

Finally reached Friday, the group made their way home to Leoben with lots of lasting impressions, exciting information and new contacts in technology and business.

Special thanks to Stefan Cassel, Rico Gerstenberger, Matthias Weinberg, Alexandra Karcher, Lea Scharping, Andreas Reitz, Franziska Bailer, Lisa Golke and all their colleagues for the kind hospitality and for making this week in Duisburg and Düsseldorf so attractive and interesting for all participants!