The Next Generation In Steel: Why Young Engineers Need To Consider the Steel Industry
Thursday, February 17th, 2022
It’s no secret that steel is an aging industry with a dearth of young engineers. In the next five to ten years, many of the people currently serving the industry as engineers, salespeople, and managers will be retiring as the last of the baby boomer generation enters retirement. While this is something of a crisis for the steel industry at the moment, it’s also a great opportunity for young people to get into the industry and enjoy the upward mobility that the workforce turnover is permitting.
Part of the problem is that the steel industry has a reputation as a male-dominated dirty industry. FRC Global is a great example of how this just isn’t true anymore. Between our all-female executive team and focus on making green, eco-friendly materials, equipment, and supplies available to our clients throughout the steel industry, FRC Global demonstrably breaks the old molds.
In many ways, FRC is representative of the coming change to the steel industry as a whole. Our leaders are young, with leadership under 40 enjoying the advice and expertise of older generations while deviating from old norms in key ways that make for meaningful changes. We’ve been able to focus our company on its most precious resource, our people. We’ve been leveraging the centuries of experience our older staff have to quickly bring our new hires up to speed. At the same time, our new people bring with them new ideas, out-of-the-box thinking, and vital energy that makes our company stronger, smarter, and greener.
This ability to change the trajectory of an industry that has historically been sluggish to implement green innovations and changes to the cultural zeitgeist is perhaps the most important reason that young people should take the steel industry seriously when planning their careers. Engineers have the added professional interest to help improve the steel industry from within as it is the backbone of our society and virtually all engineering specialties make use of steel in some form. Of course, there is also a strong financial incentive, as the steel industry offers competitive pay and is about as reliable and solid an industry as exists today. While the specifics of how we make steel may change over time, its role as a foundational material of our society is unquestionable.
An Engineer’s Perspective
While there are many sound, logical and ethical reasons to pursue a career in steel, the personal experience of engineers in steel is also of key importance when deciding for yourself if it’s the right industry for you.
Who Am I?
I am Diana Barrera. I am 26 years old, and a professional in Metallurgical Engineering from the Pedagogical and Technological University of Colombia. 3 years ago FRC Global gave me the opportunity to work in its technical support team where I have developed my understanding of planning projects, installation of metallurgical equipment, data traceability, and quality control of refractory materials in steel processes.
How Did I Get Into Engineering?
Metallurgical engineering has several fields of action and the steel industry is just one of them. My dad is an industrial mechanic and has his own workshop. During my childhood, he melted aluminum and manufactured bicycle parts. My father was the one who got me involved in foundry and machining of materials, so I feel that I grew up with this love for metallurgy. Shortly after I finished my college studies and reviewed the academic content of metallurgy, I felt a connection and started my studies.
My General Experience At FRC
Within engineering, FRC provides technical support to its clients. My profession allows me to easily understand the metallurgical processes that take place in steel plants for whom we sell refractory materials, test equipment and products, carry out repairs, monitor operations with our materials, and provide transparency regarding the state of the refractories and possible improvements that contribute to the growth of our clients.
Steel production has not stopped growing in recent years. Its importance lies in its relationship with other industries, supporting an extensive supply chain throughout the continents, and facilitating high-value work in key sectors such as the manufacture of metal products, machinery, motor vehicles, and construction. This is why our work is essential for all industrial activities. Our refractories withstand severe operations (mechanical stress, resistance to chemicals, etc.) and they work almost always in high temperature environments without suffering any deterioration, keeping production of steel safe.
What Is the Best Part?
When you manage to get a project off the ground, that’s the best. When several obstacles arise and you manage to get a project going successfully despite them, it’s great. I enjoy having all these anecdotes that are created along the way in each new project and new experience that I have. Day by day you are training and growing as a professional and a human being.
What has it given you personally?
Countless things! Learning day by day, training with my team where we share experiences and seek to fulfill a unified objective: to continue growing. I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to work with a group of people so heterogeneous in customs, experiences, ages that day by day fill you with advice, knowledge, and experiences that lead you to be a better person.
Interested In Working With FRC?
At FRC Global, we’re constantly growing our teams of engineers, salespeople, and other professionals who support our work and make our company great. If you would like to submit your resume for consideration, please email us at EMAIL OR WEB ADDRESS FOR RESUMES.