Decarbonizing The Steel Industry!
August 23, 2022
12PM to 1PM Pacific Time/3PM to 4PM Eastern Time
To fully decarbonize the economy, we need to focus on hard-to-decarbonize sectors like manufacturing! For this field trip, we educated ourselves on the energy needs of the steel industry in order to explore novel ways energy storage can enable the decarbonization of one of the largest energy consumers in the manufacturing sector.
We started with a tour of the U. S. Steel’s Big River Steel site where we saw first hand the day-to-day activities at the plant, the energy flow, and learned about what’s included in their current sustainability plan. We then heard from researchers about the potential for energy storage solutions like high-temperature thermal energy storage and hydrogen storage as potential solutions to accelerate clean energy deployment in the manufacturing space.
About the Speakers
Jim Bell, Field Trip Tour Guide
Vice President of Engineering and Construction, U. S. Steel‘s Big River Steel site
Jim Bell is the Director of Construction for Big River Steel and serves on the Executive Committee as well as chairing the Construction Committee. Bell oversaw all aspects of construction of Big River Steel’s industry first Flex Mill. In June of 2021, Bell was named Vice-President of Construction for United States Steel Corporation.
Bell began his professional career working for Nucor Corporation. Following a successful early career development path, he pursued a career in construction with Schueck Steel. At the age of 25, he rose to Construction and Plant Maintenance Manager for Schueck Steel. While at the Nucor Berkeley facility, he was promoted to Southeast Regional Manager where he played a significant role in the construction activities for Schueck Steel throughout the region.
In 2002, Bell joined Stevens Painton as a Senior Project Manager responsible for plant upgrades at the International Steel Group steel plant in Cleveland, Ohio. Four years later, he was recruited to manage the phase one construction activities for SeverCorr, now SDI Columbus. He then managed the Columbus facility’s phase two expansion project that doubled the plant’s production capabilities.
Hanna Breunig, Field Trip Researcher
Research Scientist and Deputy-Head of the Sustainable Energy and Environmental Systems Department in the Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Dr. Hanna Breunig is a Research Scientist and Deputy-Head of the Sustainable Energy and Environmental Systems Department in the Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She holds a secondary joint appointment in the Earth Systems and Society Domain in the Climate and Ecosystem Science Division. Dr. Breunig specializes in techno-economic analysis, process modeling, market analysis, and environmental and human health impact assessment (life-cycle assessment) of emerging energy and negative emissions technologies. These include circular economy, bioenergy and biochar, enhanced weathering, and gas (H2, CO2, CH4) capture, production, storage, utilization, and management technologies. She holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Dan Brown, Field Trip Tour Guide
Senior Vice President of Advanced Technology Steelmaking and Chief Operating Officer of U. S. Steel’s Big River Steel site
Dan Brown was named Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Big River Steel (BRS) in July 2021 and advanced to Senior Vice President of Advanced Technology Steelmaking in February 2022. In addition to Big River Steel operations, Brown has responsibility over the new mill and facilities planned in Arkansas. He has been serving as the BRS Chief Integration Officer since January 2021 and a member of the BRS Operations Integration team since August 2020.
Brown has 25 years of service with U. S. Steel, joining the Company in 1994 as a Management Associate for the Cold Rolling Division at the Irvin Plant, Mon Valley Works. In 1996, he was transferred to Edgar Thomson (Primary Operations), Mon Valley Works and advanced through several increasingly responsible positions in steelmaking and secondary metallurgy. In 2003, Brown relocated to U. S. Steel Serbia as Plant Manager – Primary Operations for two years and then Plant Manager – Finishing and Tin Operations for two years. Brown returned to the U.S. in 2006 as Plant Manager – Finishing Operations at Fairfield Works. In 2007, he became Plant Manager – Primary Operations at Fairfield Works. In 2008, Brown was named Division Manager – Ironmaking at Gary Works, Indiana and then later as Division Manager of Steelmaking and Casting at Gary Works. He was promoted to Plant Manager – Primary Operations at Gary Works in 2018. In April 2019, Dan was named General Manager – Automotive Operations (Great Lakes Works/Midwest Sheet) with responsibilities for the Great Lakes Plant, Desco Coating, and the Midwest Sheet facilities.
Brown earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Logistics from Pennsylvania State University. He also earned his Master of Business Administration (Finance) from Duquesne University.
Prakash Rao, Field Trip Researcher
Research Scientist, Building Technologies and Urban Systems Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Dr. Prakash Rao is a Research Scientist within the Energy Technologies Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Rao conducts research and analysis into the potential for reducing the energy consumption and water use impacts of the US industrial sector while maintaining its productivity. Dr. Rao received his doctorate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers University and his bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
Kevin L. Zeik, Field Trip Tour Guide
Senior Research Fellow, leading U. S. Steel initiatives in both Innovation and Sustainability
Dr. Kevin Zeik is currently a Senior Research Fellow, leading U. S. Steel initiatives in both Innovation and Sustainability. He has been in this role since April 2016.
Prior to this role, Dr. Zeik was the General Manager for U. S. Steel Research, leading the efforts to develop the Generation 3 advanced high strength steels. Dr. Zeik began his career at U. S. Steel in January 1991 as a Senior Research Engineer working on electron microscopy and surface science of steel products and was active in the Research organization. In 1994, he moved into the failure analysis group as an Associate Research Consultant, and two years later, he was named Research Manager for the failure analysis, computer modeling and welding groups. Dr. Zeik moved to the Materials Technology section in 1999, serving as Research Manager of the group until 2002, when he advanced to Technical Director. In 2004, Dr. Zeik was named Director – Process Technology Division where he oversaw efforts to improve process efficiency from mining operations through iron and steelmaking and into finishing and coating processes.
Dr. Zeik graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Ph.D. in Metals Science and Engineering in 1991. His graduate work was focused on copper-niobium micro-composites for the hypersonic aerospace program, working as a Researcher at the Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University.
Dr. Zeik has been a member of the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST) and its predecessor organization, ISS, for over 30 years. He has held the position of Chair – Mechanical Working Division of ISS, and served twice on the Board of Directors. Today, he is a Board trustee and scheduled to become president of AIST in 2026. He currently serves as President of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME), the founding technical society of organizations related to mining, oil and gas, materials and steel.