Movie from NSCAS 2017

Day 1 - 2047 Science Center, Borlänge

Welcome. Presentation on NSCAS by Elisabeth Dahlstedt, Triple Steelix 2.0.
Presentation techniques. Robot competition.

Today’s highlights
2047 Science Center, Borlänge

Interactive exhibitions, planetary programs, laboratory passes, skills development, seminars and lectures in science, research and new technology. 2047 Science Center is located in Borlänge and Borlänge municipality is the principal.

Borlänge is a municipality in Dalarna County in central Sweden, with an area of 586.4 km². The municipality has a population of 47,640.

Day 2 - Dalarna University, ORTIC AB and Sahlins Struts

Today’s report is filed by Xin Pan and Eduardo Pineda Martinez. Xin comes from China and Eduardo comes from Mexico. Both Xin and Eduardo are studying at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

Today’s highlights

The second day (29th August, 2017) of NSCAS 2017 starts with a lovely breakfast. When we left the hostel, we did not expect such a splendid day.

Dalarna University

The day started off with a visit to Dalarna University which is one of Sweden’s more recent institutions of higher education, this university is the most important academic institution in the region of Falun and Borlänge and has a capacity of more than 15,000 students with about two-thirds of them studying via distance education. The first activity in the university consisted of a lecture about steel forming and surface engineering given by Doctor Ulf Bexell, the lecture was an open forum in which all participants could share opinions, experiences and pose questions. As a complement to the lecture, the visit was extended to the different laboratories of the department and the participants had the chance to talk with the experts in the field. After the lecture, a series of 3 minute-pitches were given by the NSCAS participants in a presentation skills workshop led by Sarah Ramsay, each presentation was recorded for further feedback purposes.

For more information on Dalarna University visit:

Industry visit: ORTIC AB, Borlänge

After the lunch, we came to visit Ortic AB, the pioneers of a new manufacturing technology, 3-D roll forming, which most of us had not heard about before this visit. 3-D roll forming can allow the sheet to be finished to vary along the length with a number of individually mobile computer-controlled roll stands. After the presentation delivered by the CEO, Mr Johan Eriksson and the Forming Technology Manager, Mr Alexander Vigander, all of us were completely amazed by the design and output of this novel technology, almost everyone was eager to know as much as we possibly could by asking many interesting questions. Afterwards, we had a tour of the workshop, where we had the chance to see how all the equipment works and what the products are in Ortic. Before we left, Xin Pan, a Chinese PhD student, studying at the University of Sheffield, who represented us, presented a gift to Johan and expressed our appreciation to Ortic.

All of us enjoyed this visit very much, not just because we learnt some knowledge about the novel 3-D roll forming technology, but also the way Ortic run their business. And this is just the first company for us to visit during this 2-week project, all of us cannot wait to visit other companies on that list now.

For more information on ORTIC AB, visit

Evening visit to a cathedral and an ostrich farm

At the end of the day, we experienced a fantastic time of leisure and dinner. The first stop was in the cathedral of Stora Tuna, the graveyard and the interiors of the cathedral could be appreciated during the visit. Then, the group headed to Sahlins Struts where everybody could closely see the ostriches and learn about the nature of these amazing birds. The day ended with a sensational dinner of ostrich meat in which all the participants had a very good moment of joy. The whole day was felt very short due to the high quality of each activity, the participation of Elisabeth in leading the group was exceptional and thanks to her all the activities were very well organised and successfully done.

Dinner in Sahlins Struts

Day 3 - Ovako and Hofors

Today’s report is filed by Jose M Naranjo Espinosa and Bhushan Dattatray Rakshe. Jose comes from Mexico and Bhushan comes from India. Both Jose and Bhushan are studying at the University of Sheffield.

Today’s highlights


“Today we had the opportunity to visit OVAKO and Stollgangen iron mine in Hofors as part of NSCAS 2017. In 2015, I attended the Artic Technology Conference in Denmark where Ovako was awarded the Spotlight in Artic Technology Prize for their development of “Sub-Zero” steels. Since then I had a personal interest in getting to know more about this company and their steel-making process. The research area of “sub-zero” steels with low impurity levels to improve mechanical properties at low temperature conditions well matches with the topic of my PhD research project. I have been following their developments and publications about clean steel technology, which is very important for many different customers operating in the artic region,” says Jose.

While at the site we were first briefed about safety. We were also given a short presentation by Sven-Olof Ericsson. In the presentation he covered aspects of their facilities, their processes and capabilities and the main products they produce. After the talk, we were given our Personal Safety Equipment, split in two groups and then we started a tour of the plant. It was very interesting to see the whole process from the scrap yard up to shipment of final products.

“During the tour we had the opportunity to ask questions and I even remember some people from our group saying that this was the first time they had visited a Steel Mill in their lives, and they also said that the experience of witnessing the ‘real-world’ process is very different to what you experience or imagine when you read about these processes on the books. It is like seeing the whole picture in reality because, sometimes in books they use to schematically address one phenomenon to understand it in detail, but often you don’t realise all the other factors that affect the whole processing,” continues Jose.
In the afternoon we had the opportunity to present our research to the people from R&D and production managers. We also had a poster session which sparkled some good conversations and suggestions for further work. It was a great opportunity to make contacts and we are sure that in the future we may collaborate together or try to find a job opportunity.

Visit to Stollgang iron mine

After the visit to Ovako, we had the opportunity to visit the open cast Stollgangen iron mine. We enjoyed a tour of the mine and also had the opportunity to perform some blacksmithing employing an anvil and a hammer. The tour of the mine was very interesting because we could even experience the dark for some minutes and that is what often could had happened to an ordinary miner in the old days when they used torches and could even wait for several hours until someone came to the rescue.
After the visit to the mine we had the opportunity to try traditional Swedish beef stew which was delicious in a very traditional wood cabin with its own fire place inside the cabin. It was a very nice experience.

We are grateful to TripleSteelix and Ovako for providing the opportunity to visit the steel plant. We also thankful to Hofors Municipality for arranging a visit to iron mine and the delicious food.

Day 4 - SSAB and the Municipality of Borlänge

Today’s report is filed by Andrea Francesco Ciuffino and Mustafa Seyrek. Andrea comes from Italy. He is studying at Politecnico di Milano. Mustafa comes from Turkey. He is studying at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

Today’s highlights
Visit to SSAB in Borlänge

Today, Thursday 31st of August, we went to visit the SSAB Borlänge plant. We started with a presentation of the company and the mill given by the site manager Eva Petursson, who was very friendly and hospitable. They have underlined how they offer solutions to their customers with a combination of sustainability and performance, as we have also observed during the site visit. The site manager also informed us about the processing routes present within the plant. Then, we visited the rolling mills. First, we saw the hot rolling process and we were all absolutely fascinated by its capability.

After that, the tour continued to the “huge stomach of SSAB”, as said by Fredrik, the pickling lines. Following on, we proceeded through the cold rolling mill with its batch and continuous thermal treatments areas. In particular, the huge continuous furnace caught our attention. Further, one more detail that impressed us was the continuous attention that SSAB pays to quality control and the details in the production process. After plant visit, SSAB offered us lunch, and after that we were interviewed about our impressions of today’s visit.

During the afternoon, the R&D branch gave us another presentation focused on their current research. Thanks to the participation of some researchers from SSAB’s R&D department, we had the opportunity to run our poster session –  catching positively their attention (or at least we hope so). Finally, we got to meet Pepe who won the Swedish Steel Prize.

SSAB is a highly specialized global steel company that works in close cooperation with customers. SSAB develops high strength steel and provides services for better performance and from a sustainability perspective.

Ornäs Cottage/Museum

After SSAB visit, we went to Ornässtugan, an old summer house by the lake, where Gustav Vasa slept for one night hiding from the Danish king. There, an enthusiastic guide also told us about the stories about the first Swedish kings. Then, we lost Anindya. Actually, he thought we would like to catch him and deliver to the Danish, thus he secretly escaped from the toilet. In the end, we found him back at the restaurant for dinner.
Ornässtugan (Ornäs cottage) is one of Sweden’s oldest museums. It first opened as a museum in 1758.The most famous visitor is Gustav Eriksson Vasa who visited Ornässtugan in 1520.

Borlänge Municipality

Borlänge municipality hosted us for dinner in a very nice place just by the lake with a magnificent view. The dinner was really tasty, the halibut was really juicy and delicious and the coupling with the saffron exalted its flavour, and the blueberry dessert was even better.
Finally, we returned to the B&B and had some well-deserved rest.

Day 5 - Outokumpu, Avesta Art and the Coin Museum

Today’s report is filed by Chunhua Tian and Anindya Das. Chunhua comes from China and is studying at MPIE Stuttgart, Germany. Anindya comes from India and he is studying at the Indian Institute of Kharagpur.

Today’s highlights

On 1st September, after roughly one hour drive, we arrived at our destination, Outokumpu, which, in the first place, was solely a set of blankly combined letters in our mind. However, after the consecutive detailed instructions of our guide Gunnel and Anders, we were strongly impressed, not only by its long history of stainless steel making, the outstanding products quality, but also by its highly-qualified strict control on the exhaust gases. For the first time we saw giant copper coins which were used centuries before. Moreover, it was amazing to see the development of Sweden and especially the Dalarna region is based on the growth of the surrounding industries and Outokompu plays an important role in it.

In Outokumpu, we have witnessed, for the first time the operation of a giant electrode arc furnace. The loud noise, heavy smoke due to arc melting was scary but everytging was managed by the operators perfectly and efficiently. It was so amazing to experience such a big evolution, just like what the guide said, the emitted gas is even cleaner than the air outside. Outokumpu operates quite automatically, ranging from the initial remelting of recycled scraps in the arc furnace, the lowering of carbon content in the converter to the continuous casting and hot rolling process, which both improves the production efficiency and provides a much safer and human-friendly working environment. In short, it recycles, extracts and sells that indeed are making contributions, both economically and environmentally, to Sweden.

Avesta Art

After a real journey into the steel making industries, we have visited Avesta Art, Verket that combines innovatively the out-of-run steel making giants like blast furnaces with the soul-soothing masterpiece of arts. The former in the very past time, brought us an impression of people’s impoverishment and loneliness, as well as hardships of life at a time lack of digitalization and automation. The latter, on the contrary to that black-white cold world, through their shining colors, expressed us a sense of happiness and reflected vividly the eagerness of steel workers to such a kind of life that they did not confront themselves with extremely high temperature around a furnace for filling up, over ten hours a day, and even, “they” included little boys around ten years old, with bare feet. Avesta Art not only informed us of steels production hundreds of years back, but also more importantly, reminded us of cherishing our present highly automated life and the significance of valuing science and technology.

The iron museum, Verket

Mynt Museum (The Coin Museum)

The third site of today was MYNT MUSEUM, which tells about the coin development history in Sweden in the past one thousand years. It was so interesting to know that every king required their own portrait graved on either side of current coins, and one copper coin could weigh up to 2 kg with a value of 4 DALER. It must be a tough thing and amusing to us who are living in the 21st century, that one carried such a heavy piece of metal to exchange some living necessities back at 16th century. Indeed, they had smaller coins as well, of silver and gold. However, they did not belong to those ordinary people. Probably, it was also the real inconvenience that promoted the earliest emergence of the bank concept right in Sweden.

The manner in which the history of the coins have been arranged in the museum is appreciable. The display of these rare and exotic collection and listening to the history behind them made us know about Sweden and Dalarna in more detail.

At coin museum

Overall, we spent a refreshing day knowing about Avesta in particular. No doubt the region has a rich culture and history which involves both industrialization and art. By preserving both of these historical forms it has become possible to attract people of all sorts. It was also amazing to see the emotions attached with the citizens of Sweden and particularly of Avesta to their rich historical background of the city. May this emotion deepens and the city prospers more and more.

Day 6 - HTSC 2017, High Tech Steel Conference

Day 7 - Sandvik och Sandvikens kommun

Today’s report is filed by Anindya Das and Mustafa Seyrek. Anindya comes from India and is studying at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India. Mustafa comes from Turkey. He is studying at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.

Today’s highlights

On the 4th September, 2017, during HTSC at Falun, we heard about Sandvik’s cutting edge technology and open innovation strategy. Their research on materials’ technology was inspiring for all of us. Fortunately, on the 5th September we had the chance to visit and interact with Sandvik at Sandviken.

Sandvik at Sandviken has the second largest industrial complex in Sweden. In the morning when we entered the city, we could sense the magnitude of this company spreading over some acres alongside the lake Storsjön. We were warmly greeted by Sandvik in the morning at their conference venue where we were given an insight about this giant R&D company, about their innovations, research and products.

It was in Sandvik, where we found extreme eagerness amongst their scientists to know the details about our research. In fact, we had in-depth detailed discussions with the scientists at Sandvik and also got positive suggestions from them. Their interest to know more about our work has uplifted our confidence and moral regarding research related to Material Technology, particularly on steels.

After lunch, we were accompanied to the R&D labs of the organisation. The visit let us know about their research capabilities and their inclination towards various aspects of material science they are interested to study in greater detail. There is no doubt about their state-of-the-art facilities addressing the need towards mechanical characterisation, electron microscopy, corrosion of engineering materials etc. Most importantly, they not only maintain strict safety rules inside the labs, in fact the laboratories are very well maintained and organised. This was a lesson for all the young research scholars like us who wish to maintain high standards of research methodologies and utmost professionalism. In terms of their electron microscopy facilities, Sandvik has some high class instruments which they are utilising continuously. That is the reason they have developed such in-depth knowledge about the materials which have high demands in various engineering sectors. We were also amazed to see their corrosion lab. Their knowledge database could be sensed from their speeches. The corrosion lab was not an exception. Again, their work methodology and organised behaviour was learning for us.

Sandvikens kommun

In the evening, we went to Högbo and interacted with the Sandvikens municipality. We were briefed about the short history of Sandvik and how the city Sandviken has developed successively with the industry. It was exciting for us to know that Sandvik also has a rich history and the town Högbo served an instrumental role in it. The surroundings are very calm and soothing. We saw a lot of people cycling in that area. Obviously, such pleasing natural surroundings cannot keep people inside their respective homes.

In short, the day was inspiring for all of us. Not only did we have good technical discussions, but also a fabulous tour of the city surrounding Sandvik. The emotional attachment of the people with their city was evident which led to such massive development of the region and probably it will grow to newer heights in the coming years.

Day 8 - ABB Research, Västerås municipality, Frösåkers Brygga Restaurant

Wednesday, 6th September
Today’s report is filed by Andrea Francesco Ciuffino and Viktor Kripak. Andrea comes from Italy and studies at Politecnico di Milano. Viktor comes from the Ukraine and studies at IEHK Steel Institute at RWTH Aachen University in Germany.

Today’s highlights

The day started packing all our belongings, since we are leaving Vassbo today. For sure, we’ll miss the beautiful surrounding landscapes and the handmade-jam for breakfast.

Visit to ABB Research

We drive to Västerås to visit ABB Research. We were welcomed by Professor Rebei Bel Fdhila and some of the R&D staff. They introduced ABB to us and kindly listened to the presentations of our research. Then, we have a tour of ABB’s research laboratories investigating Virtual Reality applications. There, some of us could also experience a couple of ABB Virtual Reality products conceived for training. In short, Anindya was getting lost even in the Virtual Reality.

We had a delicious lunch and then we visited the ABB laboratories and production site regarding the steelmaking products: continuous casting brakes and stirrers. Dr. Hongliang Yang guided us sharing not only his competences but also his passion. We could also observe the water models of Ladle Furnace, Electric Arc Furnace and Continuous Casting mold.

Cultural visit to Anundshög Viking site

After the visit at ABB we went to the interesting historic Viking site of Anundshög. At this site, there are the highest burial mound in Sweden with monolithic stones placed to resemble a ship shape.

Västerås Municipality

Then, we met representatives of Västerås municipality, who showed us their extremely open-minded vision of the future of the city. They also walked with us along the Black River up to the lake, indicating us the Turbinhuset and the Västerås Slott, two of the main historic buildings of this city.

Steam Hotel.

After a short walk on the Mälaren lakeside, we reached the newly renovated Steam Hotel. This hotel has been built in a 100 years old steam power plant, refurbishing its industrial architecture in a stylish and comfortable environment. There, we could act as true gentlemen playing at some old-fashioned table games, visiting the spa and having an appetizer at the 18th floor terraced bar.

Frösåkers Brygga Restaurant

Afterwards, we reached the Frösåkers Brygga restaurant, where we were guided by very friendly chefs into the secrets of Swedish cuisine. We prepared Skagenröra as starter, roasted beef in wild mushroom sauce and homemade ice-cream. Clearly, one of the best meals we had and incredibly handmade by ourselves.

The main chef and owner (John Erik) also showed us his historic and Viking boat collection/museum, inspiring us for a pirate cruise next summer. He also let us visit his cellar, offering us the taste of an AAARRRRRGGGHHH-Viking-style beer and narrating a couple of Viking myths and legends. Finally, we could dream dragons in the hotel/houses surrounding the restaurant.

Day 9 - Swerea

Today’s report is filed by Juan Li and Mamta Sharma. Juan comes from China and is studying at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. Mamta Sharma comes from India. She is studying at the Department of Ferrous Metallurgy (IEHK) at RWTH-Aachen in Germany.

Today’s highlights

Our visit to Swerea KIMAB was special in so many ways…


We were impressed by the way in which Swerea KIMAB finds the golden middle ground between fundamental research and industrial application. They collaborate closely with universities (KTH for example), and with industry (SSAB for example outsources a lot its research to Swerea). Thus, most of the research here is applied and industrially relevant. This is also reflected in the fact that more than half of the projects at Swerea are funded by industry. Of course, there are also other sources of funding like national and EU programs (19%), RISE (16%), and 12% from membership programs.

“Swerea is quite a different and unique institute in my opinion,” says Juan Li, “not at all like Max Planck Institute for iron research. At first, I thought that if Swerea’s research resources are mainly funded by industry that one of the disadvantages may be that scientists here would be constrained by industry, and have no attention on scientific or academic research. However, Swerea informed us that through their membership programs, they collect ideas from members with interests in the same research areas. This is an effective and efficient way to solve challenges in the development of industry and people. I think that in this way, we can save a lot of money and energy in our research.”

Visit to the laboratories

We also had the opportunity to visit several of Swerea’s laboratories, and to look at some of their experimental equipment and machines. And, David Martin gave us a brief introduction to Gleeble®. For many of us, this was the first time we had seen a Gleeble® Thermal-Mechanical Simulator.

Experimental simulation and experimental validation are central to the way of working at Swerea. Nonetheless, some researchers and scientists also develop models and carry out materials simulation, mainly using the CALPHAD approach. We noted several impressive facilities: scanning electron microscopes with FEG; EPMA (WDS), TEM.

Vacuum melting and casting facility (up to 2 kg) is quite practical, in that, it is easier to test out new ideas for chemical composition, without much risk in case that it does not work out.
Availability of in-house gas atomization facility that can produce up to 10 kg of metal powder implies that the raw material for SLM 3D printing is available at ease.

“I would have loved to spend more time with researchers in the lab to get a better feel for how their work is going, especially in micromechanics. I had a short discussion with one researcher studying materials deformation. He tried to get information of a sample during in situ tensile testing or in situ compression testing. We have also a lot of work on this. And, we face the same problem, it is not easy to get EBSD during in situ testing,” says Juan Li.

Core values

We were introduced to the working environment at Swerea by Anna Söderbäck from human resources, and were impressed by the physical environment, their core value of “together” meaning helping each other out, as well as the flat organisation structure, and that ideas are always heard and appreciated.

We were pleased to meet Núria Fuertes Casals, a young research scientist at Swerea. And, we were really inspired when she shared her positive experiences of working at Swerea KIMAB in Kista, the opportunities she has been given, and how she has been able to combine studying, working and having a young family. Núria also told us that her work is stimulating and challenging, as well as developmental.

In fact, everyone we met at Swerea seemed to be so happy to work here.


It was great to get feedback on our presentations. And, some tough questions from David Martin. This really challenged us in many ways, and not least to reflect on the content and presentation of our material.

Thank you

We felt very privileged that Maria Åstrand, the Managing Director of Swerea KIMAB, spent so much of her valuable time with us. We learnt a lot from our discussions with her, and from the information and advice she gave us.

A special thanks to Lena Ryde for making our visit so memorable and encouraging an experience for us all.

We have learned so much today.

All too soon our visit ended, but not before we enjoyed a good dinner courtesy of Swerea KIMAB. After such a fantastic day, we went away enthused and inspired.

An evening in Stockholm

We thought, at one point, that we may find ourselves spending the night in Swerea’s car park! We found ourselves locked in! But not for long! Soon we were on our way into central Stockholm where were we were to spend our final night during the NSCAS 2017. After checking into Den Röda Båten (The Red Boat Mälaren) our colleagues set off to explore Stockholm, returning in the early hours, totally exhausted.

Day 10 - Jernkontoret

Final day of NSCAS 2017.

NSCAS discussions

Information Jernkontoret – Rachel Pettersson

Diploma Ceremony Follow-up